Eating 'healthy' is something frequently talked about, but it is not something people necessarily understand. Healthy eating does not entail carbohydrate counting and cutting out whole food groups. To truly eat well, strive towards consuming a diet that focuses on moderation, and is inclusive of all major food groups while mainly eating foods with few to one ingredient. That is a lot to take in, right? Let's break it down below.
Many diets that claim to be 'good for you' ask individuals to cut out major food groups, which is not only challenging but also not beneficial for the body. It is recommended to consume grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy, lean protein, fats, and oils. Unless there is an allergy or sensitivity, it is not wise to eliminate one of these groups. Instead of sticking to these life-giving groups, processed, man-made foods have seeped into our pantries and become the norm. While many people are beginning to recognize the harmful effects of processed foods, others do not because food can be developed into an addictive habit. The body continues to crave what it is used to, and breaking the chains of an unhealthy eating habit is incredibly difficult. However, it only takes a few days to break free of the cravings and stick to organic foods. In this instance, organic foods suggest items that come from the earth and are not composed in a lab.
Moderation is another hugely important factor when trying to create a wellness-promoting diet. Due to our eating habits, the stomach is stretched beyond what is beneficial. The portion sizes nowadays are two to three times the recommended amount, and many people still go back for seconds or thirds. Usually, dietitians will suggest portions the size of your fist with at least half of your plate filled with fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately, this recommendation is not being followed by the majority of the population. Changing how much you eat can improve energy levels and allow weight loss.
Lastly, to eat a well-balanced diet, throw out the packaged, processed food from your pantry, and fill it with foods that contain few ingredients. It is incredibly important to stick with foods with only one ingredient, like an apple, or very few ingredients, like applesauce. The more components on the label, the harder it is to understand what exactly you are consuming, and usually, the more processed and altered food becomes. If you do not know what an ingredient is or how to pronounce it, you most likely should not be eating it. When grocery shopping, try sticking to the outer ring at the grocery store, which is where the fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and dairy products are located. The processed foods are typically found in the aisles of grocery stores.
With that being said, it is acceptable to splurge occasionally, but it should be considered a treat and not a daily occurrence. The more mindful you become regarding what you are fueling your body with, the 'healthier' you will become.
Speak with a physician today at Shifa4U for further recommendations on dietary changes.