Category Archives: Quick Tips

How to choose healthy fats

SONY DSC1. Use liquid vegetable oils for cooking and baking. Olive, canola, and other plant-based oils are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Try dressing up a salad or roasted vegetables with an olive oil-based vinaigrette.

2. Avoid trans fat. Read labels to find foods without trans fats. You should also scan the ingredient list to make sure it does not contain partially hydrogenated oils.

In restaurants that don’t have nutrition information readily available, avoid fried foods, biscuits, and other baked goods.

Or, you may have the good fortune to be eating in a city like New York, Boston, or San Francisco, where trans fats have been banned (do keep in mind, just being trans free does not mean these are all healthy foods).

3. Eat at least one good source of omega-3 fats each day. Fatty fish (such as salmon and tuna), walnuts, and canola oil all provide omega-3 fatty acids, essential fats that our bodies cannot make.

4. Cut back on red meat and dairy foods. Try replacing red meat with beans, nuts, poultry, and fish whenever possible, and try reducing portion sizes of dairy products.

5 Quick tips: Choosing healthy protein foods

Protein1. Upgrade the protein on your plate. The Healthy Eating Plate encourages you to eat protein-rich foods like beans, nuts, tofu, fish, chicken, or eggs in place of less-healthy options like red and processed meats.

For example, try a turkey or black bean burger instead of a traditional beef burger. Or slice up a fresh-roasted chicken breast or salmon for your sandwich instead of using processed high-sodium lunch meat.

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Eating well for your waistline and wallet

what_should_you_eatEating a healthy diet isn’t simply a matter of knowing what to eat – though that’s a major factor. It’s also about knowing how to acquire and prepare such foods, and last but certainly not least, it’s about being able to afford these healthier foods. One of the biggest barriers to healthy eating is the belief that it’s expensive, a topic explored in a paper (1) coauthored by HSPH’s Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian.

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Re-thinking your New Year’s resolutions

to-do-listThe holiday season brings parties, presents and an endless array of festive foods. Some people adopt a holiday eating or exercise strategy to offset all the snacking and sipping, while others willingly overindulge, planning to start the new year with a clean slate and new diet plan — the popular but usually ineffective “I’ll start tomorrow” strategy.

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Develop a “sugar strategy” for healthy holiday eating

Chocolate with berryShared meals are a highlight of the holidays. And while it’s easy to overindulge when there are so many delicious dishes on the table, desserts can be especially easy to overeat.

  • A 2013 study examining how sugar and fat affect regions of the brain related to overeating showed that when it comes to food cravings, sugar has a stronger impact than fat. (1)

With a few simple tips, you can enjoy sweet treats without overdoing it. Avoiding sugar altogether might be an unrealistic option, but with the right “sugar strategy,” you can indulge wisely.

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5 Quick tips: Staying healthy with alcohol

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1. If you don’t drink, there’s no need to start.

For some people—especially pregnant women, people recovering from alcohol addiction, people with a family history of alcoholism, people with liver disease, and people taking one or more medications that interact with alcohol—drinking can be dangerous and harmful to health. There are other ways to boost your heart health and lower your risk of diabetes, such as getting more active, staying at a healthy weight, or eating healthy fats and whole grains.

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Exercise Safety

purple-weights-ballFor an elite athlete, a weekend warrior, or anyone just starting out on a fitness plan, physical activity does increase the risk of injury. (37) Don’t let that stop you from becoming more active, though. The health benefits of being active far outweigh any risks.

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Make exercise a daily habit – 10 tips

Whether you’re looking for motivation to start exercising, or are interested in changing up your current routine, here are 10 tips for making exercise a daily habit. Staying_active_shoes

  1. Piece your workout together. You don’t need to get all your exercise at one time. Ten minutes morning, noon, and night can give much of the same benefit as 30 minutes all at once.
  2. Exercise with a friend. Finding a workout partner can help keep you on track and motivate you to get out the door. Continue reading