HELP YOUR CHILDREN GROW AND LEARN

A healthy, nutritious diet helps children grow and learn. It also helps prevent weight-related diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. Children need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. They need to eat three meals daily and have healthy snacks in between. The more active your child is, the more calories he or she needs. Here are some ways to encourage your child to follow a nutritious diet:

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SODIUM AND YOUR HEALTH

Sodium is an essential mineral for life. It is regulated in the body by the kidneys. It helps control the body’s fluid balance, affects muscle function and helps send nerve impulses. An Australian study showed the brain responds to sodium in the same way it responds to substances such as cocaine and heroin, which may explain why we tend to overindulge in high-sodium foods.

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HEALTHY EATING TIPS

A balanced healthy diet should contain a variety of nutritious foods and sufficient vitamins and minerals. Such a diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your risk of many diet-related problems, such type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It’s recommended men have around 2,500 calories a day and women 2,000 calories a day. Studies indicate eating a typical Western diet filled with packaged meals, takeout foods, processed meats and sugary snacks may lead to stress, high rates of depression....

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We’re often told how important it is to stay hydrated. Water is one of the essential elements involved in the proper functioning of the body, helping it perform at its optimal level. Instead of sugary beverages such as sodas, drink more water to support a healthier body and brain.


Sodas are one of the major sources of added sugars in the diets of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A diet soda seems to be a health-conscious choice when it comes to carbonated beverages. However, there are more ingredients in a diet soda than you may be aware of. Diet sodas are advertised as being lower in calories and a healthier option. However, they still contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose.


The main reason people start drinking diet soda is to cut back on calories in order to lose weight. A study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center found the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater the risk of becoming overweight. Consuming two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500 percent. Just because diet sodas are low in calories or have zero calories does not mean they will help you lose weight. The artificial sweeteners added to diet sodas are known to have the same effect on the body as regular sugar. These sweeteners are still able to trigger insulin, which sends the body into fat storage, which then contributes to weight gain. Artificial sweeteners are also known to have a

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP DRINKING DIET SODAS

TANIQUA WARD, M.S.

TaNiqua Ward is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by taniqua ward

more intense flavor, which can eventually dull your taste buds to the taste of natural sugars such as those found in fruit.


Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages has been linked to a variety of adverse health effects, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as liver disease, gout and tooth decay.


So what may be a better option than a diet soda? If you don’t like the non-flavor of water, there are other healthy alternatives. Try drinking sparkling mineral water, tea or coffee. These are all better options than diet soda. If you choose to drink a diet soda with zero calories, you might as well drink water with zero calories. At least water provides nutritional benefits to the body, unlike a diet soda.