Proper nutrition is an absolute requirement for everyone, but especially for athletes. Unless you feed your body correctly before a workout, you’ll never gain full results from that workout. There are a few key nutritional guidelines that all athletes should follow. In this article we will discuss a few tips that can help to make following those guidelines easier on you.
Eat nuts for a snack instead of crackers. Even though nuts are higher in fat content, eating only a small amount can satisfy your hunger for a longer period of time. Crackers are mainly carbohydrates. You will need to eat more of that to satisfy your hunger over the same period of time, leading to eating more calories. So, in the long run, nuts are better snacks.
Always read your nutrition labels when you are purchasing food from a store. You can make yourself aware of ingredients to avoid and also make healthier choices to add to your diet. Keeping track of food this way can ensure that you do not overeat by providing you with serving sizes.
Mushrooms come in a multitude of varieties and add amazing flavor to many dishes. This is a good enough reason to use them. But they have great additional benefits nutritionally. Mushrooms contain protein as well as many trace minerals and needed vitamins–especially the B vitamins such as biotin.
People who are nutritionally aware have made an effort to reduce or eliminate hydrogenated fats in their diet. Studies have shown the dangers of hydrogenated fats, found most commonly in margarine, peanut butter, and bakery products. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life of products, but it “gums up” our bodily systems.
Most of us have a “sweet tooth” that needs to be satisfied. How we satisfy it, has great importance for our health. Refined sugars, which is found in many processed foods, ,are detrimental to our health. Vegetables such as carrots, beets and winter squash are naturally high in sugar and are healthy. For the intense sweet taste that we sometimes crave, honey and maple syrup are recommended.
A good nutrition tip is to stay away from muffins and bagels when you’re eating breakfast. Muffins and bagels tend to be high in sugar, and their glycemic index is pretty high. This means that they’ll more than likely be stored as fat. Try eating oatmeal instead.
Use pureed fruit for a healthy substitute for commercial meat sauces. Fruit that is in season is more than affordable. You can puree up everything from apples to pineapples to marinate your fish, poultry, pork or beef. It works when you are barbecuing and even inside on the range or oven.
Not everyone likes to talk about it, but everybody knows it: Fiber keeps your regular. Meeting your recommended daily allowance of fiber is easier than ever with commercially prepared over-the-counter fiber supplements, not to mention the abundance of fiber found naturally in popular foods like oats, whole grains, lettuce, fresh spinach, and most other vegetables. Getting enough fiber also helps to lower your risk of developing heart disease and certain types of diabetes.
Even if you have been to the restaurant a million times before, don’t just sit down and order your usual dish. Many restaurants have started to make the effort to highlight healthier choices and meal options on the lighter side of their menu. Scrutinize the menu at your favorite eatery and look for special sections for healthier dining options or special symbols that indicate a low-fat, low-sodium, or heart-healthy option.
Be aware that your parents may have taught you bad dietary habits. Many people enjoy their soul food or cultural menus, but neglect to realize that these foods may be rich in fats, oils, and empty calories. Review your recipes and try to remove excess oil, butter, frying, and the like. You will improve your diet while retaining your heritage.
For delicious meals that are good for your heart, try the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes on vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. Fish and chicken are preferred over red meat. Olive oil is used instead of butter. Instead of salt, herbs and spices are used to add flavor to food. This diet is based on healthy ingredients. Eating meals like this regularly can lead to a reduction of the bad cholesterol that can clog arteries.
Eat your day’s worth of fruit and vegetables. There have been numerous studies done that explain the fact that eating a lot of fruit and vegetables helps your skin stay healthy by giving it extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. All of these will keep your skin protected all while keeping your body healthy as well.
In this article we have discussed some tips that can make it easier for athletes to maintain a nutritionally sound diet. Proper nutrition is an essential part of any fitness program and without it, you will never see the results you’re hoping for. Keep these tips in mind, and follow them daily for optimal results from your fitness routine.