Obesity and overweight, as well as the diseases they cause, are preventable and good diet and nutrition play an important part in this. In a nutshell, the two simplest choices for preventing overweight and obesity are making healthy eating choices and regular physical activity. It is not necessarily easy, but it is possible. Quite obviously healthy eating is fundamental in keeping healthy and maintaining a good healthy weight. What exactly can one do, to prevent overweight and obesity, and to potentially lose weight, with diet and nutrition?
Limit Fat Intake
Low fat diets are the mainstay of a lot of weight loss diets. Therefore, limiting the amount of total fat in the diet helps not only to prevent overweight and obesity, but it also aids weight loss. The body can easily and readily store dietary fat as body fat, making it easier to gain weight or harder to lose weight if you eat predominantly fatty foods, Some fat in the diet is necessary, though. It is a documented fact that fat in meals, just like proteins, keeps you full for longer and therefore helps prevent overeating. Cutting off saturated fats from meat is one of the best ways of limiting fat intake, and is an important part of healthy eating. Also beware of butter and spreads, as they are calorie rich.
Avoid Refined Foods
Processing foods, especially grains, strips them of the nutrient-dense bran and the germ, and leaves only the calorie dense kernel. Therefore, eating plenty of refined foods gives you a lot of calories whilst offering only limited nutritional benefit. This predisposes to weight gain and is not conducive to weight loss or a healthy weight. Limiting the amount of refined foods helps reduce the intake of unnecessary calories, which are the main cause of overweight and obesity.
Increase Fruit And Vegetable Consumption
Most people know that fruits and vegetables are an integral part of healthy eating. Not only are fruits and vegetables nutrient-dense, they also contain fewer calories than other food choices. That is, you’d have to consume a lot, and I mean a lot, of fruit and vegetables to become overweight or obese. Fruits and vegetables add bulk to your diet and help prevent constipation, whilst they help avoid overeating, and therefore, help prevent overweight and obesity. Low GI fruits and vegetables help keep you full for longer, thereby helping control hunger and overeating. The general recommendation is to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily.
Reduce Intake of Sugar
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Other than pure calories, sugar does not contain any nutrients. It only adds taste and calories to your diet, thereby predisposing you to overweight and obesity. Avoiding sugar, especially refined sugar, wherever possible goes a long way in limiting the amount of calories ingested and helps to lose weight. There are loads of sugar free foods that you could try. Beware, though, that sugar free doesn’t necessarily mean low calorie. Sugar free foods may still be full of fat and therefore could be calorie-dense. For those with a sweet tooth it is healthier to snack on fruits rather than sugar-rich snacks, like pop and chocolate. Low GI fruits are better than high GI ones as they keep your blood sugar level and keep you full for loger.
It is clear that the benefits of healthy eating, in preventing overweight and obesity, is to limit the amount of calories eaten. This is through eating more nutrient-dense foods and avoiding calorie-dense options, and choosing low GI foods that keep you full for longer thereby controlling overeating. As you’ve already guessed, the very same measures used to prevent overweight and obesity are very useful in weight loss. Use good diet and nutrition to maintain or get the body you,ve always desired! Have food work for you, rather than against you, and enjoy good health and a healthy weight.