It has been said "You are what you eat", this make healthy eating very important. Eating healthy is something we all would like to do,
although we often may not be aware of what are the best food to eat. In order to eat healthy, you must first make the right food choices. Eating healthy
is all about knowing what is in the food you eat. Being informed about the nutritional content of food helps you make better choices, which is very
crucial to your results.
Whole grains are high in fiber, in addition to vitamins and minerals. You should consume 6 ounces of grains per day. Look for products that have "whole wheat" as the first ingredient. Avoid the "White" stuff, this has been processed and the important nutrients have been removed. Frequently these products have be fortified with vitamins and minerals. This is not a beneficial as the ingredients form nature. Also, you are losing the benefits of fiber.
Ideally you want 1/4 of your plate to consist of whole grain cereals, breads, brown rice, crackers, or pasta. You can get an ounce of grains in
a single slice of bread, or 1 cup of cereal.
Work on having a variety in your diet. In the past it was recomended you should eat 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day. The new guidelines suggest 1/2 of your plate be filled with frutis and vegetables. Go for fresh whenever possible. The next best choice is frozen, if fresh is not available. If you resort to canned, drink the liquid, it is containing all the vitamins.
Strive to have a rainbow of color on your plate. You should start eating more of the dark green vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach. Carrots and sweet potatoes are good as well. You should also eat more bell peppers, peas, cabbage and beans. Squash and beets can be cut with a spiralizer and used to replace pasta, as a low carb high fiber alternative.
Fruits are very important in your diet. You should try to eat 3 to 4 servings each day or half of your plate filled with fruits and vegtables. Focus on eating a variety, again adding lots of color to you diet. As with vegetable fresh would be your first choice, then frozen, or even dried fruit. Stay away from canned fruit most contain large amounts of sugar. Also limit fruit juices as well, they contain sugar with very little fiber. If you do want drink fruit juice you should use moderation when doing so. You can also try a little juice in club soda. Also, be careful to read the labels to be sure you are getting 100% juice and not a fruit drink.
Milk is your calcium rich friend. When buying milk, I encourage you to read the label and select hormone and antibiotic free products. Many dairy farmers add these to the cows’ diets to increase productivity. There are many health consequences of ingesting the added hormones and antibiotics.
Adults should limit their intake to 1 to 2 servings per day. For children 4, cups or the equitant, is where you want to be. When choosing milk products or yogurt, you should go for fat-free or low-fat. Those of you who don’t like milk or can't have it, should go for lactose free products or other sources of calcium such as fortified foods and beverages. Soy products and nut milks are also high calcium alternatives.
Meat and Beans
Protein should contribute to 1/4 of your plate a day. It is best to choose lean protein sources, lean beef, chicken and fish. When preparing any meat, it is best to bake it, grill it, or broil it, rather than fry, as this will prevent fat from adding to the equation. You should vary your protein as well, with more fish, beans, peas, and nuts.
Making Healthy Food Choices
By picking your foods wisely and watching what you eat, make it part of your Teenage girl thinking about dietary choices lifestyle and you will have greater control your health. Exercise is great as well, as it goes along perfect with a healthy eating lifestyle. No matter what your age may be, eating healthy will help you keep your active lifestyle for years and
years and help you maintain your health in the long run.
Here are a few things to think about when making food choices:
- Vegetables, fruits, and grains are normally low in fat and have no cholesterol. Most are great sources of dietary fiber, complex carbs, and vitamins. Work on making foods from these groups the mainstay of your diet. This goes along with The American Heart Association recommendation that you eat foods that are high in complex carbs and fiber.
- Coconut is high in saturated fat, while olives are high in monounsaturated fats and calories. You should use these items sparingly to avoid getting too many calories from fat.
- When cooking your food, you should also limit solid fats such as butter, margarine, shortening, and lard. These foods may add flavor to your dishes, although they can add calories as well. When looking at dietary fats you should try to avoid food contain trans-fats, these have been implicated in raising cholesterol levels. Margarine and some shortenings are high in trans-fat, as are many backed good. Read the labels to avoid these sources of trans-fats and any foods that happen to contain trans-fats.
- To help keep your saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium low, you can check the nutrition facts label. This label can be found on the food package and will tell you all the information you need to know about the food item.
- When vegetable grains are cooked, saturated fat or cholesterol is often added. For example, egg yolks may be added to bread or even pasta.
- Processed, canned, or preserved vegetables may also contain added sodium. With some people, too much sodium (salt) may lead to high blood pressure. There are some food companies that are actually canning vegetables with less salt. You can look for these in the market area. However as mentioned earlier make fresh your first choose and if not available go with frozen vegetables.
- Nuts and seeds tend to be high in calories and fat, although a majority of the fat is polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. There are some varieties, macadamia nuts for example, that are also high in saturated fat.
- Foods that are high in soluble fiber are a great choice as well. Examples include oat bran, oatmeal, beans, peas, rice bran, barley, and even apple pulp.
- Whenever you are looking for healthy food choices, always make sure you read the nutrition label for information about the food. You can then determine what the food contains and how healthy it truly is for your body.
Benefits of Healthy Food Choices
Weight loss isn’t the only reason to make healthy food choices. Some of the benefits of health eating habits are:
- Heart Health Thin people can be at risk for heart disease as well. Just because you don’t have a spare tire around your midsection doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about health issues such as diabetes and high cholesterol. Especially if you don’t get any exercise, healthy eating is something that should be kept in mind for people of all shapes, weights, and sizes.
- Brain Food Healthy eating habits aren’t just good for your body, they’re good for your brain as well. Eating properly will help you to be more alert while giving you increased mental and physical energy. Not only will you have a clearer mind, getting the proper nutrition will help your mood as well. Healthy eating can fight depression and will prevent you from suffering from insomnia and irregular sleep patterns.
- Skin, Hair, and Nails Being properly hydrated and getting the vitamins and minerals, your body needs will help to give your skin a healthy glow and will strengthen your hair and nails. Even if eating healthy is something you do for aesthetic purposes only, your weight still isn’t the only appearance orientated factor it can affect.
- Digestive System By eating healthy and getting the proper grains and fiber, you’re ensuring your digestive system stays in proper working order. A clean digestive system will allow you to absorb nutrients properly and will lower your risks of diseases such as colon cancer.
By building healthy eating habits, you’ll be lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes cancer and other diseases. At the same time making your body feel stronger and your mind more alert. Many people have a naturally high metabolism and don’t need to watch their weight, but this doesn’t mean they should live off chips, cookies, and chocolate milk every day. By taking your time to make healthy food choices, you'll have a long lifetime to enjoy the foods that will take care of you.