Take Soda Out of the Diet Soda, or as some say, soda pop, is known to be loaded with sugar, empty calories, and the potential to rot teeth. The truth about fruit juice is also as grim. Fruit juices contain 10 teaspoons of sugar per 12-ounce glass, the identical amount as soda. Soda is produced by mixing dry ingredients and/or fresh ingredients, for example lemons or limes, with carbonated water. The consumption of soda has doubled during the years from 1977 to 2001, which has been paralleled to the doubling of obesity in America during this same time frame. Studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between omitting soda from the diet to weight reduction.

Unhealthy lifestyles have also been linked to the ingestion of soda, which is associated with the high amounts of sugar in soda. Drinking sugar-sweetened soda has also shown contributions to diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular risk factors, and tooth decay. Many types of sodas are sweetened with artificial sweeteners which have been added to the unhealthy lifestyle lists. Artificial sweeteners similar to saccharin have been linked to cancer due to the carcinogens in the artificial sweeteners. There is a scientific hypothesis that the phosphoric acid in soda displaces calcium from bones, which lowers bone density of the skeleton, leading to osteoporosis. The nutritional content of sodas has no vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, or any other essential nutrients and actually displaces other healthier liquids such as water, milk, or fruit juice.

Soda is a major part of American culture and a huge portion of the beverage market, so the decision to make the United States a “no soda zone” needs to be the decision of the American people. Keep Your Body On Schedule Just how important is your body to you? Do you ever stop to think of the true importance it has for you? Are you overweight from bad eating habits? Lastly, are you getting all of the nutrients the body needs or are you snacking to get by? Your body is the most precious possession you have and should be taken care of on a regular basis.

It may not be the most expensive item you own, but eventually can be because of existing health problems you may incur. It needs constant tune -ups just like your vehicle. In fact, more tune-ups are needed because your body is an everyday maintenance project and vehicles are periodical. Neglecting the proper foods to put in your body can eventually cause you to be overweight. Foods you like are consumed in excess but do not contain the fuel you need for a smooth running machine. Overweight or obesity is hard on you because of strain on your heart and body.

In order to resolve these problems, crash diets are practiced. Nutrients and vitamins are a prime necessity. Without these, your muscles deteriorate, bones become brittle, you starve the brain and your overall health is affected. If you lose weight on a crash diet, you will gain it all back or even more because the body is trying to replace the items it has been without. In order to restock, it does not excrete anything and keeps calories for fueling purposes. If you want to lose weight, place your body on a regular schedule of eating and try to cut the amount of calories you take in.

This will provide the body with plenty of fuel and still allow it to burn off some of the excess fat the body has stored. Spice Up Your Life and Your Food Everyone knows the food groups in the pyramid that are supposed to be followed in order to have a healthy diet. You have to experiment with your foods and change them around a little bit or you will get tired of having the same thing every week or every month. If you make a menu for a month and then keep it where you can see just what you had and when you had it, that will help keep you from having something too often. You can get some suggestions from the family and even cookbooks or magazines. There are a bunch of them at the library.

You could even go online to get some good ideas of what to make. Once you get in the habit of trying something new, you will find that it is easy and fun to do. You may even just try changing one of your own recipes and substitute some of the ingredients. There are an awful lot of spices and vegetables to choose from. The problem is that one tends to get in a rut when you have to come home and make a meal and you haven't even thought about what you were going to make. That is the trick - have everyone write down what their five favorite meals are and if there are four members in the family, that makes twenty meals.

You now have a starting point and all you have to do is keep the ball rolling. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because usually it has been between eight and 12 hours since your body last refueled its glucose levels. Glucose is your body's main source of energy and is essential for proper brain function. Studies have shown that children who eat breakfast get better grades and test scores and have fewer behavior and health problems. They are more alert and can concentrate better. Even a junky breakfast of sugary cereal is better than none, but healthy choices include multigrain cereals and breads, peanut butter on toast and milk, eggs and fresh fruit.

Even though sweetened oatmeal may have the same amount of sugar as a sugar-coated cereal, its superior fiber and protein content make it a more nutritious choice. People who eat breakfast tend to eat fewer calories overall and have a better diet, with less saturated fat and sodium and more calcium, fiber, fruit and vegetables. They are less at risk for certain diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Even if you aren't usually hungry when you first get up, try eating something small and healthy, like a cup of yogurt or a piece of whole wheat toast. It may be enough to keep you from caving in to mid-morning cravings and heading for the vending machine. If you don't like breakfast foods, then make a sandwich or a bowl of soup.

Heat up some leftovers from last night's dinner. If you don't have time for breakfast, get up 15 minutes earlier or take something you can eat at your desk. Planning A Menu That Covers All The Food Groups To begin the process of planning a menu that contains all of the food groups, you need to know the tools you will need to begin. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed what is called the Food Pyramid. This is the only true source that can be used to get a fully balanced meal from all of the food groups. To help you remember how the pyramid is used, the bottom of the pyramid is, of course, the largest and it travels upward to a point.

This being said, the bottom layer of the pyramid is the food group you should eat the most of throughput the day. As the pyramid narrows, each food group above the other lowers the amount of food you should eat in that group. Once you get to the tip of the pyramid, which is the smallest part, there are no actual servings allowed. Food groups and serving recommendations are as follows: Breads and grains are six-11 servings, fruits are two to four servings, vegetables are three and five servings, proteins and dairies are two to three servings and fats, oils and sweets are to only be used sparingly. When planning a menu, each day should include all of the serving requirements from each food group. Once you understand how many servings you need per day, you must then find out what a serving of each food group will be.

Many people do not understand the importance of that step. What you normally serve yourself at a meal is not necessarily a standard serving size based on the USDA Food Pyramid. Once you understand the basics, it should be easy to plan your menu.