You want to eat a healthy diet, but you don’t know where to start. Don’t be discouraged, it’s not that hard!
Cooking your own meals in your own kitchen is the best way to know you are getting a healthy and balanced diet. Start now by following these simple rules and you will begin your journey to a Healthy Lifestyle.
Healthy Food- 4 Simple Steps to remember:
Fruits and vegetables -either fresh or frozen- are important. Whole grains, which are the “good” carbs, are needed in a meal. Fats are necessary, but go for the good fats which include fish, unsalted nuts, olive oil, canola oil, avocado, and dark chocolate (who said eating healthy couldn’t be fun!). And you will need a lean protein to round it out. There are two ways to add a lean protein: non-animal protein like beans, peas, soy, tofu and certain seeds or lean animal protein found in skinless poultry and low-fat dairy.
Water or Club soda are the best options. Try to avoid soft drinks (regular or diet).
If you drink alcohol - remember to do so in moderation. This means one drink per day for a woman, two for a man (one alcoholic drink equals 15 grams of pure alcohol). Coffee and tea are fine choices also, just keep the coffee to no more than 5 cups a day. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and can be served hot or cold.
In your journey to eat healthy, there are also a few things to be aware of or to avoid when you choose your food.
Eggs are fine - up to 5 a week is generally accepted. Some experts say we can eat 2-3 a day (including the yolk). However, this is somewhat controversial.
Beef or red meat should be limited to once a week. Red meat contributes to colon cancer as well as artery and heart disease.
Fast food and deep fried food should be AVOIDED. They are high in calories, have a high salt content, and a high amount of unhealthy (saturated and trans-) fats.
Eating out is also acceptable, but don’t make a habit of it. You should not go out to eat more than once a week and be aware of what you order. Even a salad at a restaurant could be loaded with salt and bad (saturated) fat in the dressing. Also, the salad is usually accompanied with bread sticks which contain too much salt and bad carbs. Plus, you’ll be more tempted to order that high-fat dessert in a restaurant!
Energy drinks and sugary beverages may be unhealthy and should be used in moderation, if at all. The science behind diet drinks is unclear and their long term effects may be harmful. Even though they have zero or near zero calories, they cannot be recommended as a healthy choice.
If you couple your healthy diet with near-daily exercise you are on your way to a healthy lifestyle. When you practice both, you feel proud about your achievements. That gives you the necessary strength to resist temptations when eating (which lead to long-term health problems, not to mention an unflattering figure).
“Enjoy a wonderful healthy meal surrounded by people you love!” - Dr. Anthony Pothoulakis
Your healthy meals should be your own free choices and should not be imposed on you. They must give you pleasure and make you happy, not miserable. Once you learn to enjoy them, you will be living a healthy lifestyle (healthy diet and exercise) and not even think twice about it!