There''s a misconception about healthy eating that equates it to something akin to eating cardboard. That misconception is untrue. The fact is, you''ll probably taste more flavors once you begin eating healthy than you do now eating the standard American diet.
Don''t believe us? Think about your grandparents and how they speak of food from their childhood. Probably none of their parents had access to large grocery stores. Few ate processed food. And fewer still ate fast food. But notice how they talk with joy about the dinners they used to eat! As flavorful as those meals were, most were much healthier than the meals most Americans eat today because they were created with fresh, less processed ingredients that were typically free of the chemicals that our foods are infused with today.
Some basics of healthy eating are outlined below.
Bread & Whole Grains
Try whole grain bread. It can be a leap from white or brown bread. It may take a week or so to get used to it, maybe longer. But once you adjust, you''ll find it hard to be satisfied with overly-processed breads again. Make sure the labels of the bread you buy say "Whole Wheat" and not just "Wheat Flour". You want the whole grain, not just the flour. Another option is to find a bakery in town. You might also consider baking your own whole wheat bread at home. It''s easy, and will get rid of the hydrogenated fats that most grocery store breads contain.
Eat fat. Your body needs it. Surprised? Don''t be. In moderation, fats are an essential part of every good diet. The key is choosing the right kinds of fats. Do not buy hydrogenated fats, AKA transfats, or products made with hydrogenated oils. These are fats that were specially processed to avoid spoilage. But these oils don''t break down properly within the body, and can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses. All vegetable shortenings and many vegetable oils are hydrogenated. Avoid them. Instead, use olive, flaxseed, canola or safflower oils. These are unsaturated fats and good for the body. Remember, though, never cook unsaturated fats beyond their smoking point, since it''s that sort of overheating that turns good oils into transfat-laden oils.
One more note about fat. Reduce your intake of saturated fats. These are the fats found in animal products such as meat, butter, and milk products. You can have them, but minimize them as best you can.
Fuits and Vegetables
For some reason, a lot of people get all stressed out by the concept of having to eat fruits and vegetables. Let us set your nerves at ease: It''s not that big a deal!
The consensus is that eating two and a half cups of vegetables a day and two cups of fruit is about the right amount. Think about the size of an orange or apple or banana. That''s not a lot of fruit. Think about a serving or two of green beans or broccoli or a big salad, and you''re not talking a lot of vegetables, either.
The great thing about fruits and vegetables is that you can eat a ton of them and still not add a lot of calories. Meanwhile, they infuse your body with a lot of necessary vitamins for your muscles and nervous system. Plus, they pack a lot of flavor.
Note: one reason vegetables don''t get good PR is because we eat so much fat these days. When you eat a lot of fat, you lose the ability to taste the more subtle flavors that vegetables and fruits contain. As you cut down on the fast foods and junk foods, you''ll find that a lot of those subtle fruit and vegetable flavors that you never tasted before become addictive. Further, if you buy organic fruits and vegetables, their flavors are even better.
To learn more about a healthy lifestyle, contact us for a free consultation.