What you put in is what you are. Sounds familiar? Our grandparents ate well balanced healthy meals and they had healthier lives. In today’s time-conscious, fast paced, urban lifestyle, quick convenient meals have become the norm. Scientific studies have shown that diet is the most important factor for a long, healthy life. Many common disorders and diseases can be avoided by improving the daily diet. Eat healthy by getting rid of the low saturated fat foods and increasing foods and servings with high fiber content, like fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.
Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables are a daily must. The FDA’s new guidelines recommend five servings of fruit and vegetables. Today, a great variety of fresh produce is available all year round. Fruits and vegetables are important sources of vitamins and antioxidants in addition to soluble fibers that help eliminate the toxins and waste products from our bodies. Eat a good mixture of green, yellow, orange and red-purple fruits and vegetables. Eating a wide variety of foods is important for the daily intake of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Meat is good but it is best to eat lean meats with all the fat trimmed off. Avoid processed meats as they are high in fats and salts. Grill meats quickly and avoid frying them in fats. Eat different kinds of lean meats.
Fish is a great source of protein and has good, heart protecting omega fatty acids. Two to three portions of fish a week will really help lower cholesterol and improve the skin tone. Nuts too provide both nutrition and healthy fats.
Choose dairy products that are low fat or nonfat. This includes milk, yoghurt and cheese. Avoid butter, cream and ice-cream. Dairy products are important for their calcium content.
It is very important to use the right cooking oil. Oils add fats and lots of calories and it’s best not to use oils with unhealthy saturated fats. Oils containing polyunsaturated fats like olive oil and soybean oil are cardiovascular protectors. Do not use lard.
Whole grain foods like whole wheat bread are better and have a greater mineral, vitamin and fiber content than highly processed foods like white bread and cakes. Beans and legumes provide good carbohydrates and are nutritious.
Take into consideration your current state of health with a checkup which includes blood pressure, cholesterol and other routine blood and urine tests. This will give you a base to start from. A regular physical once a year along with healthy eating could save your life.
Healthy eating is a choice. It does not have to be boring or bland. An occasional burger will not harm you. Eat a healthy balanced diet and you will feel better and the bounce will be back in your life. That’s all it takes. Recipes and books are available on how to make healthy dishes. So the next time you are grocery shopping, stop and think what’s good for you.