Healthy eating is on everyone’s mind. After all, we’re reading everywhere that our diets are to blame for obesity and diabetes epidemics. And these are pretty scary conditions that we should be worried about. Salt, sugar, and fat seem to be the public enemies of the times. But it’s not actually that easy to avoid any of them. They’re part of the ingredients in nearly everything we eat. After all, the wholesome apple is full of natural sugars. So how can we be sure we’re eating healthily at all?
Options for Ingredients
When you’re selecting ingredients for your main meal, there are always plenty of options. You can choose the low-fat cheese or the sugar-free yogurt. Maybe there is even low-salt salt you can buy? At the end of the day, we are all different. We have different bodies and different tastes. Some of us have food intolerances or allergies. Others know they don’t like the taste of tomatoes. This doesn’t mean you need to miss out on good flavor.
If you check out this Fortune article on Hampton Creek foods, you’ll see there are brands out there making yummy things for those who have to steer clear of certain foods. There are now entire supermarket aisles dedicated to gluten-free foods. Using these items in your cooking and meals gives you the option to still enjoy your favorites. It’s better than taking on the foods you should be abstaining from and making yourself ill.
If you’re trying out different diet plans right now, you may be eating more of some foods and trying to quit others. Diets are really hard to stick to because one plan doesn’t suit all. Instead, you need to try out a few before you discover which one works best for you. Most diets these days recommend you add plenty of activity and exercise to your day. This is encouraged because it helps you burn more calories than you put in. This will result in weight loss. The trouble is, it can leave you feeling pretty hungry!
Good recipes that you really enjoy making and eating are important for eating healthily. If you don’t enjoy cooking, you won’t do it. Then you’re left with ready meals, take out food, or binging on snacks. This can quickly lead to bad eating habits. Instead, spend some time finding delicious recipes. Pick ones that are quick and easy. Maybe they only have four or five ingredients to worry about. Enjoy the flavors of different seasoning to make foods like chicken taste different in every meal. Those that enjoy and savor their meals tend to be satisfied on less for longer.
Healthy eating unfortunately takes time. Most of us need plenty of convenience in our busy lives. That’s not always easy to find. But some of the most convenient snacks and meals can be made from the healthiest foods. Nuts are really easy to store and take with you for a healthy snack on the go. So are pieces of fruit like bananas, apples and oranges. If you buy frozen vegetables, they’re cheaper, last longer, and boil up with zero preparation in just 6 minutes. And it’s thought they’re fresher and more nutritious than the veg on the shelves!
Lots of us love a bag of chips in front of the TV. The chips are often full of flavor. The seasoning often stains the fingers and couch, though. There are lots of ingredients that go into that flavoring, and not all of them are healthy. If you love strong flavors, look out for recipes that include plenty of heat and seasoning. You can buy herbs and spices to make your own version too. Curries often use a wide variety of spices to create all the aroma and heat that we love. Spicy foods can also be healthy foods, especially when you make them yourself. Salt is one of the best-loved seasonings in the country. And it can be used sparingly to add lots of flavor to our favorite dishes. Life doesn’t have to be bland!
Not everybody knows what a healthy portion looks like. Generally speaking, you can use your fist to guesstimate what you need. If you like mashed potato, try not to serve up more than a fist-sized portion. The same can go for a cut of meat, or a portion of pasta. Most foods you buy that come with packaging will have information about the nutrition. In those details will be a typical portion size by weight. This is often the best way to measure food out.
Some people try to fill up on vegetables to make a meal seem bigger. This can be a good idea at times. However, if your stomach is used to eating more to feel full, this can also cause a problem. And large portions of vegetables can also cause digestive distress! Kids struggle with healthy foods. Playing with toy food will help them become more familiar with vegetables and healthy options.
Eating out is so hard to do when you’re on a strict diet. But it is often a necessity, especially if you travel for your job. Plus, it’s nice to go out and eat knowing someone else is cleaning the pots and dishes! Most restaurants serve up really huge portions. This is their way of showing you’re getting value for money. Don’t be afraid to leave food on the plate. Nobody will be offended. And you’re not wasting your money if it was a cheap meal anyway. Eat until you’re full. Try using the fist measurement to determine what a real portion should look like.
When you’re entertaining, it can be tempting to fill the plates up to look like a generous host. This doesn’t do anyone any favors. Use smaller plates if you like to dish up. Or allow people to help themselves from the pot at the table.
Eating well is something we should strive to do more often. It isn’t easy, but there are several ways to make better choices when it comes to meals. What will you have for dinner tonight?