How To Get The Most Out Of Your Meals
Have you ever thought you were eating a healthy diet but kept seeing zero results. How frustrating right?
Well many people believe they are eating healthy but might lack certain foods in their diet, eat excess of certain foods, make food unhealthy by adding to it, not eat the right combination of foods, or just eat something where the package tells them it is healthy.
Plus eating too much (even if it is healthy) is still eating too much!
Every time you put food into your body you are putting in a combination of nutrients that each help your body function and perform. These combinations of nutrients are not however created equal. Some foods’ nutrients give your body no nutritional benefit and hurt the metabolic processes of your body, which in turn leads to a decline in your health. Food in essence acts as medicine, giving your body what it needs to stay in optimal health. If we don’t get the right kind of food or get too little of that food we can become overweight, undernourished, and at risk for a host of diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke or obesity.
So how do you know for sure if you are eating the healthiest you can? And how can you still enjoy this healthy food?
1. Well first off make sure you are eating whole foods in their most natural state, or close to it. Foods such as fresh vegetables, fruit, local meats, and whole grains. These foods contain a large amount of nutrients and are lower in calories compared to processed foods. These will also be much more satisfying and keep you full for longer periods of time.
2. Next think variety. The more of a variety of foods you eat in a day the less likely you will be deficient in any nutrient. This will also ensure you aren’t eating too many vegetables, fruit, grains, or dairy, or on the flip side ensure you aren’t eating too little of each.
3. Prepare food both raw and cooked. Some food contains more nutrients when raw while others contain more nutrients when cooked. Eat food, like vegetables, the way you prefer, raw or cooked, and try to eat a combination of the both. Because in the end as long as you are getting these healthy foods in your diet that is the most important thing, raw or cooked.
4. Try new ways to eat the healthy food you enjoy. Don’t get stuck in a rut and think you have to eat the same thing over and over again. Experiment with new dishes and make sure each food in the dish is healthy, not just the main ingredient. Just because you are eating oatmeal doesn’t mean you should add brown sugar to make it taste better. Try something like peanut butter and a banana with the oatmeal. Remember, each food must be healthy in order for the dish to be healthy. When you find a combination that tastes great you will be more likely to enjoy eating healthy and not think of it as a punishment.
5. Don’t believe everything you read. Just because a package says it’s organic, gluten free, or all natural does not mean it’s healthy. Always check the ingredients before buying, is there added sugar? Chemicals you can't pronounce? Make smart buying decisions and don’t let food companies take your dollars for the sake of a label.
Food tells our body how to perform. When we begin to view it in this way food becomes much more than just calories. We begin to view food as being necessary for optimal health, and not just any food, but the right combination of food.
So I challenge you, start thinking of your food as, “What nutritional value is this food giving me?” or “What can this food do for me?”. If you can’t answer those questions, or find the answer being nothing, than choose something else that will benefit your body. Always be conscious of what you are putting into your body when choosing foods, and think of the combination that will contain the most nutritional value + give you the biggest bang for your health!
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