Believe it or not, eating healthy isn’t that difficult. It really comes down to being consistent, being disciplined, and retraining your taste buds. Below are some simple, basic components to healthy eating.
Eat a variety of foods. Try not to get into a rut with what you eat. Branching out by buying and sampling new foods is a great way to incorporate new foods into your diet and helps guarantee that your body receives all the different vitamins and minerals it needs.
Eat as many fresh foods as possible. The best way to achieve this is by increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you eat on a daily basis and limiting the amount of processed foods (chips, baked goods, prepackaged meals, etc) you eat.
Consume as many whole-grain, whole-wheat items as possible. Whole-grains provide your body with good carbohydrates and provides a significant source of fiber, which helps play a major role in preventing cancer and disease.
Limit your fat, cholesterol, and sodium intake.
- With fat, the point is to limit the amount you eat and the fat you do eat should be from healthy sources. Healthy sources of fats include: seeds and nuts, avocado, peanut butter, vegetable oil (i.e. olive, canola, peanut oil), and fatty fish.
- Cholesterol comes from animal sources. Common sources of cholesterol include: meat, cheese, butter, eggs, and milk. I suggest consuming more lean sources of meat, consuming low-fat or fat-free milk and cheeses, and reducing the amount of butter you use.
- Sadly, the biggest benefit of limiting your sodium, or salt, intake cannot be seen or heard. Sodium is one of the biggest contributors to high blood pressure and heart disease. By reducing the amounts you consume, you are really helping your body’s chance of not developing these two life-altering conditions.
Do not completely eliminate a food group. The well known food group people eliminate is carbohydrates, but are you aware of the common side effects of eliminating carbohydrates? These include: constipation, irritability, moodiness, and loss of energy. Any diet that encourages you to completely eliminate a food item is not taking your health into consideration.
There is no one easy way to achieve optimal health or make you lose weight, rather the point is to make healthy nutrition part of your lifestyle. The information above will help you lay the foundation and provide you with the tools to being and eating healthy.
July 14th, 2008