Health benefits: How much is too much?


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Health benefits: How much is too much?

In these health conscious times, every food is calculated for its health benefits. Every health article and your mom will say you are not drinking enough water or you need to cut down on your salt and sugar intake. But how much is too much?

You cannot gulp down water every 30 mins, or consume only fruits and vegetables everyday. We give you the legal and righteous limit that you should not cross, but keep in mind this limit is flexible and based on sex, age and BMI, amongst other things.

How much water is too much?
According to research, women need two and a half litres of water while men need three and half litres of water. BUT, here's the criteria:

- You have to take into account the liquids from beverages and foods.
- If it's a hot sweaty day, you need more than this amount.
- If you're pregnant, exercising, sweating or vomiting you need more than the 3 litres of water.

How much salt is too much?
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, we can consume maximum 2,300 mg in a single day, which means that one can consume approximately one teaspoon of salt every day. But if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or if you are 51 years and older, then stick to less than 1,500 mg of salt a day.

How much sugar is too much?
A safe estimate suggests that you can consume 70gms of sugar (men) and 50g (women), but it also depends on your age, weight and how active you are through the day. But it's not that simple.

How much fruits and vegetables do you need?
It is recommended that you eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day, but it depends on your age and gender: Women between the ages of 19-50 should eat 7-8 servings, while men should eat 8-10 servings. And for those above 50, men and women should consume seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

How much cured meat is too much?
According to expert nutritionist with Evolve Medspa, Pallavi Srivastava: "Smoked meats might increase the risk of other health problems. Frequently eating smoked meat leads to obesity in some people. This is particularly true if a person chooses fatty foods like sausage over leaner cuts of smoked meat." Hence consume cured and smoked packaged meat in moderation to avoid health problems.

How much yogurt is too much?
The requirements of dietary fats and dairy would depend on the age group. For an adult, the requirement of dairy products is a minimum of 150ml per day. These requirements are higher for children and for women during pregnancy and lactation. The minimum requirement of dairy may need to be increased for vegetarians if the protein requirements are not quite adequately met.

How much sleep is too much?
Experts recommend eight hours of sleep for ideal health and productivity. If you over sleep and you are sleep deprived, you are inviting mental and physical health problems. Besides, lack of sleep equals lack of concentration and poor performance at your daily work.

How much cardio is too much?
15 minutes spent on running and not more than 30 - 40 minutes on weights can improve your physique. Don't make a mistake of focusing only on cardio to lose weight; you need a balanced weight loss program.

How much dessert is too much?
Here's when the 80-20 principle comes in. If you follow a strict regime 80 percent of the time, you can give in to cravings to make up the 20 percent. When it comes to desserts, the scale is 70 - 30. If you are invited for a party, you know you will indulge, so here plan ahead. Have a healthy week ahead of the party, so that your diet does not go for a toss.

And here's one the jury is still out on: How much cricket is too much?
Sports journalists have the answer. When cricket tournaments turn into a non-stop frenzy the stress builds up in your body. Lack of sleep, constantly in front of the idiot box, excitement and disappointments build up in you, which can turn into a deadly cocktail.
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