So what constitutes a healthy diet? You probably know all about the food pyramid and the different food groups. But what in these food groups should you be focusing on and what can you make changes with?
As Americans, we know this food group well. Most meals are built around meat. There are all sorts of different kinds of meat: chicken, beef, turkey, fish, pork, sausage, hot dogs, and hamburger right? Well, this is where Americans have kind of strayed off the path.
We should not be consuming much processed meat. What I mean about processed meat are the sausages, the hot dogs, the lunch meats, and hamburger to mention a few of the different types of processed meats. Processed meats are high in food preservatives which can lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and brain damage. Scary, right? Some of the ingredients have been linked to these diseases in recent studies.
So, when you are choosing what to eat when it comes to meat, you want to focus on chicken, turkey, and fish. Red meat such as beef can have more dangerous fats and can lead to disease. This doesn’t mean you need to cut out everything besides chicken, turkey, and fish. It simply means be more mindful of the type of meat you are putting into your body. Remember, a day’s worth of meat is about 6oz. How many ounces was that burger you had last night?
If you are eating more meat, you are eating less of fruits and vegetables which is where your focus should be more than with meat.
Fruits and Vegetables
Our society eats some produce. We should definitely be eating more! I mean look at all the different choices that are in the grocery store year-round! But do you realize how much of a variety you can make with these? God has created an abundance of whole foods that it is pretty much impossible to get bored!
Doesn’t it make more sense to put whole foods in your body that come directly from nature rather than processed foods that have tons of chemicals and additives that are harmful to your health? Which do you think will create a body that will thrive? Which one will create a body that is riddled with disease?
Fruits and Vegetables play a huge role in our bodies. They carry tons of vitamins and minerals that will create healthy bodies. They also have tons of antioxidants that have been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer. Give your body what it needs: Fruits and Vegetables. Get creative! Eat from the rainbow! Possibilities are endless!
This is a huge area that could use some work in our society. Most of processed foods are made with bleached or white grain. They refer to this as “refined”. I’ll let you in on a little secret: when wheat is refined, it loses most of its nutritional value! So you are eating something that really has no nutritional value and can even cause constipation.
I have people all the time complain about constipation. I ask them what they are eating and it usually consists mainly of processed wheat products and low on whole wheat. Guess what? Switch to whole wheat and you will most likely regain your regular movements! Whole wheat is what you body needs when it comes to wheat.
So, remember to choose whole wheat pasta, bread, and whole grain rice in order to get any nutrients that your body is craving. Plus, your body knows what to do with these carbohydrates! They will not cause such a high spike in blood sugar as they are utilized by the body slower!
Milk and Dairy
This can be a great source of calcium for stronger bones. Be sure to choose low fat or no fat cheese and milk. Our society is big on the dairy. I would focus on cutting down a lot of the calories that you could be adding to your meals through cheese and butter. Do you really need all that as toppings? You sure don’t need them for eating fruits and vegetables which is what you will be eating more of on your journey to health and weight loss.
I added this in here because I think it is important to understand what is in the oil or butter you add to your food. Make sure there are no hydrogenate oils in your food. This is a known substance that is linked to heart disease. You may remember it as Trans fat.
Food manufacturers have gotten smart by renaming some ingredients to mask some popular dangerous chemicals. Your food can still have Trans fat even if it says no Trans fat. They are allowed to claim no Trans fat if it is under a certain amount. So be careful! Cooking oils can also be hidden sources of dangerous fats that are brought out when the oil is heated to a certain degree. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the oil I recommend!
Please share the love by sharing this article with your friends! I also LOVE hearing from you! What do you think about this article and how are you working at eating healthier in your life?