Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Role of Good Nutrition

Eating the right nutrient-rich foods is essential for maintaining a healthy body. A sound nutritional diet will keep your energy levels high, boost your immune system and fight off illness.

Supplying the body with what it needs is an important part of Southwest Age Intervention Institute’s comprehensive program of health and wellness. The role of nutrition in maintaining a good quality of life and preventing the symptoms of premature aging can’t be emphasized enough.

For both men and women, the  40s and 50s are a time when the bad habits of youth may begin to catch up and set the stage for problems later on. A lifetime of poor eating habits – both too much food as well as the wrong food, can be a recipe for disaster.

The consequences of unhealthy lifestyle choices related to diet and nutrition are serious, with significantly increased risk for developing everything from high blood pressure and high cholesterol to heart attack, stroke, gastrointestinal problems, cancer, and adult onset diabetes. Diabetes is now at epidemic levels in the U.S.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control reports that obesity is one of the major public health concerns today. One in three adults are classified as obese, which puts them at risk for an enormous number of problems. Studies also show that just having excess fat in the abdomen and waist – the middle-age spread or pot belly – raises your risk for colon cancer.

For the most the part, many of these medical conditions are preventable. At Southwest Age Intervention Institute, it is our goal to reverse this trend. We help you work toward correcting nutritional imbalances and reducing your risk for disease. Food is the body’s fuel, and our objective is to keep you fit, active and at the top of your game no matter what your age.

A Tailor Made Plan Based On Your Body’s Needs

Good nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all plan.  Everyone’s needs are different. But we do know the best plan calls for a low-fat diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, lean meats and essential fats, while reducing or eliminating processed fast food and trans fats, refined sugar and simple carbohydrates. We also recommend a regimen of nutraceutical supplements to boost the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that your body needs.

This type of diet is not a fad, but a proven means of reducing disease risk and preventing premature aging. For example, the American Institute for Cancer Research reports that fruit, vegetables, beans and whole grains have the necessary minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and fiber to help fight cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. On the other hand, a diet high in red meat (beef, lamb and pork) and processed meats (bacon, hot dogs and sausage) can increase the risk for developing colon cancer.

Here’s a closer look at how these foods can help keep you healthy:

Phytochemicals are natural chemicals found in fruits, vegetables and beans. They include beta carotene, flavonoids, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin E, antioxidants and other substances that have many healing properties.

Fiber is found in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and beans. It is the roughage or bulk that the body can’t digest or absorb. Fiber in the diet is helpful in lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar, and maintaining a healthy colon by reducing constipation, hemorrhoids and preventing colon cancer. High-fiber diets are also good in combating weight gain and obesity.

Protein is found in lean meat, eggs, nuts, beans, some dairy products and some vegetables. Protein is essential for growth and energy, building and repairing body tissues, and production of enzymes, hormones and other substances. It is important to understand that muscle strength and size is less a function of protein in the diet and more about exercise, fitness levels, balanced hormones and overall good health. Most Americans eat more protein than is needed.

What is BMI?

Body mass index is a measure of body fat levels based on height and weight. Calculating BMI is a simple way to determine whether you are overweight or obese compared to the general population. Southwest Age Intervention Institute uses BMI as a screening tool. It is part of an overall evaluation of your health and well being that also includes a comprehensive laboratory blood profile.

Knowing your BMI is useful in developing an appropriate plan to help meet your health and nutritional goals.

To learn more about the age management protocols we have in place to help you age successfully, enjoying your health all the days of your life, call Southwest Age Intervention Institute today. Speak to our expert team of age management specialists and schedule your private consultation so you can get started living extremely well and achieving and maintaining great health.

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