Healthy eating is more than just about the food. It is the quality and variety of your food. Its about the pleasure of eating that allows you to live longer and stronger and feel better. The key to healthy eating is to focus on the whole and minimally processed food, keep it as close to its natural form as possible. Our body may respond differently to the variation of foods, depending on our genetics and other health factors. Hence, one must find a healthy diet that will work best for himself.
Choose whole foods. Processing takes out the nutrients such as fiber and antioxidants. Go for foods that actually grow, they will give you the most benefits.
Eat Regularly – It is important to aim for a regular eating pattern of meals as it is more likely to include the recommended number of servings from the five food groups. This will also help you to stay away from too much saturated fat, added sugars and added salt. Do not skip meals. Eating regularly throughout the day will keep your metabolism running at full speed and will keep you alert and stay focused. It also helps to maintain your weight by preventing overeating at other meals. When you eat, eat more mindfully. Try to savor every bite. It takes 20 minutes for our brain to realize that our stomach is full. So if you eat like there is no tomorrow, odds are you are going to eat past the full and end up totally stuffed.
Go for more fiber. As we age, our body’s digestion slows down and becomes less efficient. It is important to include enough fiber in our diet. It can also lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Fiber is also good for the skin and will aid in weight loss.
Be smart on carbs. Cut down on refined carbs and sugar. Refined or simple carbs can lead to dramatic spike in blood sugar and speedy crash which leaves you feeling hungry soon after a meal and will make you overeat as you crave for more sugary carbs. Choose the right carbs. Go for complex carbs which can be found in non-starchy vegetables, whole grains and naturally sweet fruits. They will to make your blood sugar levels stable and promotes less fat accumulation.
Stay well-hydrated. This will help your body function properly. Sometimes you may feel hungry, when in fact, you are actually thirsty. There is no harm that can come from drinking a glass of water. Staying hydrated will make sure you don’t overeat.
Eat regularly and eat well. Eating with others at the dining table will allow you to recognize and respond to your body’s signals on hunger and satiety. It is healthier to eat with others at a table as your body will efficiently absorb nutrients and you get less distracted and stressed while dining.
Prepare dishes yourself. Cook at home more often. This will allow you to see exactly which ingredients are going into your food and you can make conscious choices about what you truly want to eat.
Give yourself a break. Treat yourself. We all have to relax a bit. Enjoying your food doesn’t defeat the purpose of a healthy eating plan. When go so strict on these rules, but occasionally craves for sweet or a fast food fix, just go for it. It is still healthy to satisfy your cravings at times rather than ending craving for more and leaving yourself feeling stressed. It won’t make you feel deprived and keeps you away from binge-eating episode. Treating yourself from time to time ensures that your healthy eating plan stays on track.
In actuality, eating healthy doesn’t have to be convoluted. You just need to stick to the basics. Remember, you become what you eat. The nutrients from the foods you eat will provide and become the foundation of the structure, function and integrity of every cell in your body, to your bones, digestive and overall immune system. Remember that what you put on your plate is very important. Every food intake contributes as you constantly repair, heal and rebuild your body.