Welcome

We know that it is not easy to eat well everyday, in fact, it is a challenge. Usually we dedicate very little time to plan our meals. In TheFoodMattersProject.com we want to provide you with advice, tips, recipes or any kind of information about a healthy diet and a healthy life.

Last Articles

Vitamins in What we Eat?

What are vitamins?

Vitamins are compounds of organic nature that cannot be synthesized by the body. They are vital for growth and help to keep a body strong and able to fight off infections. Many people take multi vitamins to help fight off harmful diseases and to help increase their body functions. There are some vitamins we take in every day and don't even know we are doing it. Take vitamin D for instance. Did you know every time you walk outside your body is taking in Vitamin D? Vitamin D3 is a type of vitamin that is absorbed into the body. Its main source is from the sun. Every time the sun hits your body it is taking in a vitamin. There are many other vitamins that are vital to a body. Some of them include:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • B Vitamins
  • Calcium

Omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil

These vitamins have been studies in the past and have proven that they hold keys to helping major health issues today. They help lower blood pressure, help with depression, arthritis and more. As you can tell by the name the foods that hold the highest amount of Omega 3 and fish oil is itself. Some fish however may be high in fat content so be careful when choosing. Don't go for a breaded fried fish but a clean baked one. Some of the fish that is high in both vitamins are sardines, salmon, tuna and swordfish. Check this website to know more about fish oil.

Vitamin C

When most people think of vitamin C the first thing that comes to mind is oranges. Although high in vitamin C all citrus fruit actually holds a big amount of it. Vitamin C helps to fight off infection by building blood vessels, ligaments and tendons. It helps fight off cancer and heart disease and helps to maintain bones and teeth. Some foods other than citrus fruit that are high in Vitamin C are broccoli, peppers, spinach, tomatoes and winter squash.

Vitamin A

Although an important vitamin to our body it is a vitamin that is not heard often. This vitamin helps bone growth, vision, reproduction, immune system and cell functions. Some foods high in Vitamin A are liver, carrots, sweet potatoes and peppers (cayenne, chili and red).

B Vitamins

There are numerous B vitamins. Most people take what is called a B complex vitamin. B12 comes in a tablet or a shot. When someone B12 is low they tend to feel very tired and fatigued. A food high in B12 is Swiss cheese. B3 is a big one but sometimes people can get too much and tend to get a rash because of it. The food high in B3 is turkey or chicken. Next is Vitamin B2 which tends to cause anemia if there is a deficiency. Foods high in this are yeast and liver. Vitamin B9 helps with cell growth. This vitamin is big in children because a deficiency can cause a delay or problem with development. It is also vital in pregnancies to help with the growth and forming of the fetus. Beans and lentils are high in Vitamin B9. There are many more B vitamins these are just the main ones that people look at because they play such a big role in the function of the human body.

Calcium

Whenever people think of calcium they always think milk. The human body has more calcium than any other nutrient or vitamin in the body. This vitamin can be found in medicine, bought as a vitamin, placed in food sources or taken from a food high in calcium content. Not only does it help in bone structure and growth but in blood circulation, muscle functions and intercellular fluids. Any part of dairy is high in calcium. This includes cheeses, yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, sour cream and more. It can also be found in abundant in sardines, turnip greens and tofu.

Our bodies in general cannot survive or live without the help of vitamins and minerals. Eating a healthy regime and diet will help you feel better and receive all the vitamins and minerals your body will need.

The Healthy Sports Diet

A sports diet can be very different than a weight loss diet. The sports or athletic diet does not have any food group that is off the table. The food groups for many athletic diets include breads, fruits and veggies, dairy, meat or alternatives, and fatty or sugary foods. Every once in a while athletes may partake in fatty or sugary foods, but on a daily basis athletes should partake in the other food groups listed. The fatty and sugary foods are not completely off of the table because athletes are constantly burning calories and every once in a while it is good to throw something tasty in the mix. Athletes thrive off of energy and utilize all of the different food groups to develop muscles and create a healthy physique overall. The following will breakdown how the different food groups should be utilized for the ideal diet geared towards athletes.

Bread, Cereals, Potatoes

Eat

  • Whole Meal
  • Whole Grain
  • Brown
  • High Fiber

Avoid

  • Fried Versions
  • Adding Extra Fat
  • Adding Thick Rich Dressings and Sauces

This particular grouping involves cereal, pasta, noodles, maize, oats, rice, cornmeal and millet. Carbohydrates are the initial form of energy. The body burns carbohydrates before it begins to breakdown muscle, so having a breakfast high in carbohydrates is important for optimal body performance and endurance. The nutrients taken from many forms of carbohydrates include fiber, calcium, iron, and different B vitamins.

Fruit and Vegetables

Eat

  • Variety of Fruit
  • Variety of Vegetables

Avoid

  • Adding Rich Sauces
  • Adding Syrupy Sugary Dressing

Fruits and vegetables usually involve carbohydrates which aid in helping the performer gain energy to burn. Fruits and vegetables can be utilized in many different forms to include fresh, frozen, and canned. All of the forms listed can be effective for the ultimate athletic diet. The nutrients involved in this grouping are Vitamin C, carotenes, fiber, folates and carbohydrates.

Milk and Dairy

Preferable Eating

  • Low Fat Dairy Versions
  • Yogurt

Milk and dairy foods include milk, yogurt, cheese, and from age frais. This group should be taken in moderate amounts partaking in the fat free and low fat versions if possible. The nutrients involved in this food group include calcium protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12.

Meat, Fish and Alternatives

Viable Eating Options

  • Options Lower in Fat
  • Fat Cut Off
  • Skin Off
  • Without Batter
  • Try to Cook Without Fat Additives
  • Substitute Beans and Pulses for this Group When Able

This group includes eggs, nuts, pulses, beans, fish, poultry, and meat. By meat it means meat products, bacon, salami, pretty much any pork or beef products. Meat options have to be watched quite closely because they tend to be high in fat which is not ideal for the ultimate athletic diet. This group should be eaten in moderation. Meat options should be chosen according to their fat content. The lower the fat the better. The nutrients offered in this food grouping include iron, B Vitamins, protein, Magnesium, and Zinc.

Fatty and Sugary Foods

Eat

  • Sparingly

This group includes low fat spread, margarine, butter, cooking oils, spreading fats, mayonnaise, oily salad dressing, chocolate, biscuits, crisps, cake, pastries, pudding, fatty gravies, rich sauces, ice-cream, sugar, and sweets. This particular group will be eaten daily in some form or fashion, but athletes should partake sparingly, utilizing this group in very small amounts.

Overall different body types call for different amounts of calories and the sport the athlete is involved in also needs to be taken into consideration. A body builders’ diet is much different from a basketball players’ diet. The basketball player will usually have a much leaner diet with less calories than the body builder. There are also factors that affect the athletes’ energy requirements. The factors include gender, amount of physical activity, age, and being overweight. Some athletes also have an issue with eating enough of the needed items in order to maintain a well-balanced diet, so they find the appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements to take care of the parts of their diet that needs enhancing. Utilizing the right vitamin and mineral supplements can help maintain the well-balanced diet needed to help one’s body to perform at its best. No matter what your level of athletics is a balanced diet can help you be the best YOU that you can be.

Healthy Supper

Why Dinner?

Although breakfast is the most important meal of the day dinner is what sustains you through the night. Which in most cases is 6 to 8 hours each night. Even at rest your body tends to burn fat although not even close to what it does when you are awake because you tend to be moving some way when you are awake. People look at suppers today as what is the fastest meal to make. Where do they go:

  • Fast Food
  • Processed Food
  • Microwaveable snacks (pizza rolls, frozen dinners and box meals)

So many people are looking to restaurants and fast food for their next supper. NO. No matter what the menu says they are worse for you than eating your own home cooked meal at home. You know what you put in and cook with at home. They can tell you it is cooked with olive oil till they are blue in the face and turn around to use vegetable oil because it is cheaper and more cost effective for the business in general. Another thing is pasta. Although a very tasty dish and one that can be prepared thousands of ways the carbs in it are a no. Never fry. They grease is nasty. Ok try this, Cook a piece of chicken in oil. Make sure there is enough to really fry it. Remove the chicken and let the grease sit for about an hour. Go back and look at the grease. That is what you were going to put in your stomach. Not a pretty sight uh? As in with breakfast men tend to eat more than women and children. At this meal the children probably eat the least amount unless it is a teenage boy and he will eat mom under the table. Dinner is the biggest meal of the day. This is the meal that takes the most preparation. Try grilling. It entraps the flavor and gives it that nice hint of charcoal taste. Women tend to eat more fish than men. Fish is a very good food to eat. It is high in nutrients and vitamins.

Women and What's for Dinner

As said before women tend to eat more fish than men. Women are more prone to worry about their weight than men so eating right is always on the top of their list. The best side to go with fish is rice. Try a brown rice pilaf instead of the white rice which is loaded with carbs. Last follow up with a green steamed vegetable like broccoli or snow peas with low fat melted butter. The following recipe will show you how to cook a low fat delicious meal.

Fish with lemony salsa

  • 4 fillets of fish (salmon, tilapia or cod preferably)
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded low fat parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 cup green onion sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 lime

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix bread crumbs and cheese. Coat both side of fish with mixture and put on a baking sheet. Mix all other ingredients and place in a rounded ball on top of fish. Bake for 25 minutes or until fish is flaky and done...

Cilantro rice

  • brown rice
  • 1/2 juice lime
  • 1/2 cup dices cilantro

Directions: Cook rice according to package. While warm add other ingredients.

Men and What's For Dinner?

Like before a man needs his protein. What kind of man doesn't like steak? If grilled it is a good red meat that men love and enjoy. Try pairing it with sweet potato fries sprinkled with cinnamon.

Steak with garlic butter glaze

  • USDA low fat steaks of any kind
  • 2 teasp. Garlic powder
  • 4 tablesp. Softened low fat butter

Seasoned meat tenderizer (can be found at any grocery store under $2)

Directions: Combine butter and garlic powder. Scoop out with melon baller. Place in plastic wrap and put into fridge. This should be done a couple hours in advanced so the butter forms into a little ball. Season steak with meat tenderizer and grill on grill till it is done to temperature you like. Put ball of butter on steak when it is fresh off the grill and still really hot. Butter will melt on the steak.

Kids and What For Dinner?

If your children are anything like the kids now they are picky little eaters and are finicky about everything on their plate or stuff touching each other. One of kids favorite dishes is chicken nuggets. Try this low fat and easy recipe:

  • Crunchy nuggets
  • 4 chicken breasts all white meat
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 cups special K cereal (put cereal in zip lock bag and grind into tiny pieces)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Dip in egg and then Special K. Put on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Kids think they are nuggets and they are not even fried.

A Healthy Breakfast

Why Eat Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is what starts the process of our metabolism for the day. Breakfast helps keep concentration and focus throughout the whole day. There have been numerous studies through the years that state that breakfast is one of the most important things to keep a fit and lean body weight. This is why so many people fail in their diets.

Weight Loss Without Eating Breakfast

The lack of eating doesn't give you less calories but slows your body down making it inefficiently unable to break down body fat the rest of the day. Without breakfast people are sluggish and tired the whole day through. When breakfast is not in the plan the hunger for lunch comes relatively earlier than it should. In the meantime making people eat more during lunch because they are so hungry then what they would have eaten. With the over load of food it is less likely the body will be able to break the fat down as well. Some things that can weigh a person down through the day if eaten in the morning are:

  • Fats - Eating something loaded with cheese or snack food like a bag of chips. This will weigh you down anytime
  • Sugar - Put the doughnut aside and go for something a little lighter. Sugary cereals are not good either. Yeah they may say made with extra nutrients and whole wheat but what they don't say is you just packed on 5 pounds for the sugary topping it is coated with.
  • Carbs - Leave the potatoes alone. Hyperglycemic foods send glucose into the blood stream right after you eat them. This will slow your energy level way down.

Different Eating Requirements

The eating requirements are different from a woman to a man as well as an adult to a child. The difference in food quantities is due mainly to body weight. It is a proven fact that a woman who may be excessively lower in weight than a man will need to consume a lower rate of calories. The same goes for a child. Take a 175 lb man who will need around 2800 calories a day then compare to a 125 lb woman who will need around 2000 calories a day and then compare to a 60 lb child who will need around 1400 calories. Even though a child may be excessively lower in weight they will need a good amount of calories. A child needs so many more calories because they are more active normally than an adult and their body including brain cells are still developing in their early years.

Eating Habits For a Healthy Woman

I have found through tons of research that the average woman tends to think that eating less is better for them. Not really. If you eat 3 apples they are better for you then 1 with fat free caramel dip. Women also tend to take lots of time looking at labels. It is not about what you eat most the time as in how it is prepared. So, A given fact is yes a salad is better than a steak but what people don't realize is that if the steak is grilled it may be better for you. The salad after adding cheese, croutons and the dressing, which is where most of the fat comes from, is more in calorie intake than the grilled steak and less in protein. A good recipe for a woman's breakfast is berry oatmeal.

Berry Oatmeal

  • Quaker Oats
  • Blueberries (preferably fresh)
  • Strawberries (preferably fresh)
  • Raspberries(preferably fresh)
  • 1 tbl. sugar
  • 1 tbl. brown sugar

Directions: Cook oatmeal as directed. Add sugar and brown sugar till dissolved. Top it off with fruit. Enjoy! This is a simple easy recipe that is not time consuming.

Eating Habits for a Healthy Man

The average man loves to eat. My mother always said that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach. This is not so bad on them however because they tend to have high metabolism and burn fat a whole easier and faster than women. Men tend to need more protein because their bodies have more muscle. Red meat although not healthy all the time is a great food to build muscle. A good high protein breakfast for men is a veggie omelet with toast.

Veggie Omelet

  • 3 large eggs
  • low fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1/4 10oz. package of spinach thawed

Directions: Crack and whish eggs till completely mixed. Put into hot skillet over medium heat, cook for 3 minutes or until edges start to form. Add all other ingredients. Let set for a few minutes till solidified and flip. Put on plate and enjoy.

Eating Habits for Children

Children tend to need full that fills the stomach more. Due to their activity level and metabolism rate (which is high because they are still in their growing stages) they tend to eat more. A good breakfast for children is yogurt.

Yogurt Surprise

  • 1 cup low fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fruit (berries, peaches or even bananas)

Directions: Mix together and enjoy.

Over all three groups of people eat differently but ultimately eating breakfast and a healthy one is the better choice in the matter.

The Healthy Eating Pyramid

A healthy diet comprises of foods which help us to stay fit. It should provide required nutrients such as fluids, proteins, carbohydrates, fatty acids and minerals to the body. A typical healthy diet is often represented in the form of a pyramid, which is further divided into several components. Several agencies and international organizations have had their own versions of the diet pyramid. Most of these versions of food pyramid were based on obsolete science and did not actually show people how the choices of food affected their health. Moreover they were influenced by the interests of business and certain organizations.

Nearly two decades ago, USDA developed a food guide pyramid, which was taught in schools and accepted world-wide. Unfortunately, this model failed to provide facts about connection between diet and health. The model was later replaced by the ‘Healthy eating pyramid’ which was developed by the Harvard School of Public Health. This diet guide gives the best evidence about the connection between diet and health. It helps people to make correct choices about which food to eat. The foundation of this pyramid is made of ‘weight-management’ and ‘exercise’ because these two elements play an important role in keeping our body healthy.

Elements of The Healthy Eating Pyramid

  • Stay Active: This pyramid sits on the base of exercise and weight-management because a regular exercise routine can help us keep calories in control. Whenever we exercise, we use a portion of calories present in the food we consume. However, if we do not exercise and use the calories, our body will store it in the form of abnormal fat.
  • Vegetables and fruits: Half of your plate should be full of vegetables and fruits. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits decreases the chance of heart-attack and protects against certain cancers. It lowers blood-pressure, protects your eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Whole grains: Our body needs carbohydrates primarily for energy. Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat breads are the best sources of carbohydrates. These have bran and germ layer in addition to starch which is rich in energy. When we eat whole grain foods, it is digested slowly which keeps our insulin levels in control. Controlled insulin levels decrease the risk of type-2 diabetes. According to a latest study, plate rich in carbs may also help to protect against cardiovascular problems.
  • Healthy Fats and oils: The Healthy Eating Pyramid has placed some fats near the foundation which is quite unconventional as per the wisdom. However, it has particularly mentioned ‘healthy’ oils and fats and not all types. It is seen that an average American gets nearly 1/3rd of his energy from fats, so keeping this element near the base makes sense. Consuming healthy unsaturated oils such as olive, soy, peanut, sunflower, corn and other vegetable oils can help to improve cholesterol levels and protect us from heart ailments.
  • Nuts, beans, seeds and tofu: All these are plant foods which are rich sources of fibers, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Black beans, lentils, navy beans and other beans are can be incorporated in daily diet. Having a handful of nuts daily such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios can save you from several heart ailments.
  • Fish, poultry and eggs: Fish, poultry and eggs are rich in protein which can minimize the risk of getting heart disease. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which are heart friendly fats. Having an egg in breakfast is a healthier option than having a doughnut rich in trans-fats or having a pancake made of refined flour. People with heart ailments and diabetes should restrict the consumption of egg yolk to not more than 3 times a week. Eggs whites can be used in place of whole eggs in baking and making omelets.
  • Dairy, Vitamin D and calcium supplements: Dairy products form an important part of people’s diet and it helps in building strong bones. An average person needs 1,000IU of vitamin D daily. You can get calcium from milk and cheese which contain lot of saturated fat. Hence if you enjoy dairy products, restrict yourself to fat-free or low-fat dairy products. If you do not like milk or cheese, you must take vitamin D and calcium supplements.
  • Red meat and butter: These two products sit at the top of Healthy Eating Pyramid because these are rich in saturated fats. Consuming lot of red meat can increase the risk of colon cancer. You can replace butter with olive oil. If you eat red meat every day, switching to chicken, beans and fish several times a week can improve your cholesterol levels.

The Healthy Eating Pyramid is a simple and flexible diet which offers plenty of food choices for everyone. Even a vegetarian can follow this healthy diet plan by accentuating on plant sources, beans and nuts. This pyramid does not stress on ounces or cups, but it focuses on quality.