Living a healthy lifestyle can help you to remain healthy and free from disease and may also help reduce symptoms of chronic diseases. A healthy diet may require you to reduce the intake of certain foods, increase others, exercise and make lifestyle changes. These changes are designed not only to help you lose weight, but also to give you a better quality of life.
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Mayo Clinic Diet
The Mayo Clinic diet is a diet designed to help reshape the body, decrease weight and increase health. The Mayo Clinic Diet recommends exercising as part of a successful weight loss experience and to boost the health benefits of being on this diet plan. On this diet, you are suggested to work towards a minimum of at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise and 75 minutes per week of aerobic activities, spread out throughout the week. You are also required to eat a large portion of fruit and vegetables per day and a smaller amount of carbohydrates, protein and dairy products.
The Mediterranean diet is designed to help with weight loss and increase heart health. This diet does not go along with the standard USDA food pyramid, but instead goes by the Mediterranean food pyramid, which suggest eating the majority of meals from the fruit, vegetables, grain and non meat protein categories. This diet suggests eating less meat and sweets, moderate portions of protein and eating fish twice a week. On the Mediterranean Diet you are recommended to get ample exercise, replace salt with herbs and spices and to eat meat--red meat-- no more than a few times a month. According to MayoClinic, the Mediterranean Diet is associated with lowering low-density lipoprotein "bad" cholesterol levels.
The low-GI diet focuses on regulating blood sugar levels as well as weight loss. This diet follows the glycemic index, which is an indexing of foods based on how they affect blood insulin levels. Foods that are high on the glycemic index may result in weight gain due to increasing insulin levels rapidly. Foods that are in the low GI category, have little effect on blood insulin, and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve diabetes management, manage PCOS symptoms and help people lose and maintain their weight, according to the Glycemic Index site. This diet restricts the intake of processed, sugary foods and suggests replacing them with whole foods and whole grain food sources.
American Heart Association Healthy Diet Goals
The American Heart Association recommends setting goals that include several key dietary elements to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. First you are recommended to stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight, exercise, eat a healthy diet, manage your blood pressure and cholesterol and keep blood sugar levels at bay. You are also recommended to eat at least 4.5 cups of fruit per day, two 3.5 oz. servings of fish weekly, three 1 oz. servings of whole grains per day and less that 1,500 mg of sodium per day. You are also recommended to eat 4 servings of nuts, legumes and seeds per week and processed meats no more than twice a week. The most important element of reducing the risk of heart diseases is to replace bad fats with good polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Bad fats such as saturated fat should be limited to less than 7 percent of your total caloric intake.
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