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Eating a balanced diet is essential for good nutrition. With so many unhealthy choices available and your hectic schedule, sometimes it is hard to choose a healthy alternative. Filling up on snack food is easy because it is convenient. This article will give you some tips for fitting good nutrition into your everyday life.

Ideal fitness starts with ideal nutrition. Understand the major nutrition groups: fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Protein helps you build muscle, carbohydrates give you energy for working out, and fats – in moderation – are necessary for injury repair. About a third of your daily calories should come from protein, about half from carbohydrates, and the rest from unsaturated fats.

A good tip to help you lose weight is to avoid fad diets such as the Atkins diet. The Atkins diet has garnered a lot of popularity over the years but it’s far from healthy and it’s not something you can follow long term. Instead, try following a more moderate diet.

Consume 600-900 mg of garlic, about 1 fresh clove, daily to help lower your cholesterol. There have been many studies where people have used garlic for health reasons. These studies have proven garlic is extremely beneficial in helping to lower total cholesterol, and in particular, LDL, the bad cholesterol and triglycerides.

Instead of snacking on sweet items like cookies and ice cream, try their healthier counterparts. Replace cookies with items like granola, oatmeal and cereal, and fruit bars. For ice cream, try going with low-fat or non-fat yogurt. These options not only taste better than the unhealthier ones, but you get nutrients like iron, calcium, fiber and much more in your diet.

To stay away from sodas and other sugary drinks, you need to find an alternative. It is natural to have cravings for something sweet: why not try fruit juice? Or better yet, mix fruit juice and water. Buy some oranges and squeeze them yourself. You can do the same with a lot of fruits, and combine different kind of juices for flavor.

You want to gain the greatest nutritional value from your food. Fresh vegetables are high on your list. What a loss if you throw away these nutrients through overcooking! When you immerse vegetables in water, much of the nutrients are leached out as they cook and are thrown away in the water. Avoid this by using a steamer and cooking vegetables lightly.

A great way to add some extra vegetables to your diet is by having an omelet in the morning instead of just scrambled eggs. If you are not getting enough vegetables in your diet you will miss out on important nutrients and over time may feel tired and worn down.

To reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, try using natural sweeteners instead of white sugar. Honey, molasses, and syrup can sweeten your food without adding as many calories. When you’re baking, try substituting fruit juice for some of the sugar. Use fresh fruit to add some sweetness to your cereal in the morning instead of another spoonful of sugar.

Eat about six small meals a day. Your body processes food differently when that food is spread into smaller portions, more often during the day. Your insulin levels will not spike and there are positive effects on your metabolism, as well. Fill the meals with fruits and vegetables, for optimal results.

Divide your plate by an invisible line. On one half of the plate, fill it up with vegetables. You can use raw or steamed veggies. Be sure to not add butter or cheese. On the other half of the plate, fill have of it with whole grains, such as whole wheat pasta or wild rice, and fill the other half with your serving of meat.

It is very important to get enough Vitamin A in your diet. It is important for many parts of your body, including your skin, immune system and your eyesight. Good sources of vitamin A include dark green or orange vegetables and liver meats. It is also often used to fortify milk.

Most people consume more protein than they really need for proper bodily maintenance. In fact, the average person really only needs about 50 grams of protein, and the rest should come mostly from carbohydrate and some fat. It is important to eat more fruits and vegetables, and that is what should replace most meat in the normal American diet.

Try to eliminate the gluten out of your diet. It has been noticed that those with an allergy to gluten seem to end up feeling much better. It leaves them with a clearer head, more energetic, not as bloated, and all around healthier. Try substituting millet, quinoa or amaranth when you have those carb cravings.

Vegetables like celery and lettuce have high fiber content. Fiber content is good for your bowel system because it provides roughage, indigestible material that passes through the body and helps things pass through. They also have very low calorie content due to the nature of their stem and leaf like qualities. The plants have very low sugar content, and are great for losing weight.

If you need help with selecting healthy food choices and planning menus, you may want to consult a nutritionist. The services of a nutritionist can be of immeasurable value, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed with all the food choices out there. A nutritionist can help with planning custom menus suited to your body type and health status.

If you want to get the most out of your nutrition plan, then stop using food as a reward. It’s a trap that those on a diet often fall into, wanting to use unhealthy foods as the light at the end of the tunnel after a week of healthy eating and exercise. Unhealthy food is unhealthy food and it’s going to have the same negative effect on your body no matter when it is consumed.

As stated in the beginning of the article, a balanced diet is essential for good nutrition. There are many benefits to making healthy food choices. Hopefully this article has given you some great ideas for healthy alternatives that are easy to incorporate into your everyday routine. Your body will thank you for it!

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