Ever wonder what the difference between probiotics and prebiotics is? Or how much protein you should really be eating? We asked Elisa Sloss, registered dietitian and VP of Hy-Vee HealthMarket, for answers to the top questions people ask their dietitian.
How Can I Drink More Water?
Try drinking a glass upon waking and one with every meal. For a flavor boost, add a spritz of citrus, like lemon or lime. Proper hydration is vital for health. It helps regulate body temperature, removes waste, lubricates joints, helps prevent infections, shuttles nutrients to cells and helps organs function properly.
Why Should I Eat a High-Fiber Diet?
Dietary fiber from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes can help maintain a healthy weight, lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels, help food pass through the digestive system, promote regularity and prevent constipation. Aim for at least 25 grams per day.
Do I Need to Eat Breakfast?
Those who eat breakfast tend to eat less throughout the day, and studies have shown that breakfast improves cognitive performance, especially in school-age children. Skipping breakfast may leave you feeling tired and hungry, which can lead to poor dietary choices.
How Can I Eat More Healthfully?
Fill up on nutrients the body needs—vitamins, minerals, complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats—by eating a varied diet of nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, eggs, beans, and nuts.
What Are Healthy Fats?
Unsaturated fats, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, that can lower your risk for heart disease or stroke are considered good for you. For monounsaturated fats, think olive, canola, peanut, and sunflower oils, as well as avocados and most nuts. Polyunsaturated fats are in corn and soybean oils and in walnuts, sesame, pumpkin and flax seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat in salmon, mackerel, tuna, and trout.
How Many Fruits and Vegetables Should I Eat?
At least half your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables. You can't get all the nutrients you need from a single fruit or vegetable, so it's important to consume a variety of both. Men and women between the ages of 19 and 50 should aim for 2-1/2 to 3 cups of veggies per day and 1-1/2 to 2 cups of fruit. To make it easy, look for Hy-Vee Short Cuts pre-washed and cut fruits and vegetables in the produce department.
What Are Probiotics and Prebiotics
Tiny microbes referred to as probiotics in fermented foods, like yogurt, may aid digestive function, regularity and improve overall immune health. Prebiotics can affect the growth of immune-boosting helpful bacteria throughout your gastrointestinal tract.
How Much Protein Should I Eat?
Adults need a minimum of .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or a little more than 7 grams of protein per 20 pounds of body weight. Athletes and those who exercise regularly will need more. Protein is found throughout the body, and is critical for cell and organ function, as well as repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue after exercise.
What Are Some Healthy Snack Options?
Go for fruit, like grapes, mandarin oranges or berries. Also try red pepper strips with hummus, or celery with natural nut butter. A little jerky and snack-size amount of cheese is a high-protein option. Or, check out 9 Healthy Snacks That Aren't Just Nuts and Berries.
How Much Caffeine Is Safe?
Most health experts agree that up to 400 mg per day is safe for average adults. However, expecting mothers and small children should limit caffeine intake. An 8-oz cup of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine, while a 12-oz soda contains about 50 mg.