Key To Eating Healthy
Physical fitness and eating healthy have been a hot topic in the last 5 years. With links to conditions such as diabetes, heart problems and stroke, it has become more evident than ever that making certain dietary changes is necessary. You probably have read lots of things in magazines or on the internet or watched a program where they talk about all the things we know: reduce fat, increase vegetables and fruit; get daily exercise, and other things that have been talked about ad nausea. Here, we give you some other dietary changes that will help increase your energy, your metabolism and your overall health.
Eating Healthy With 6 Small Meals
When we were growing up, we were taught you need 3 big meals each day: breakfast lunch and dinner with an occasional snack in between lunch and dinner or dinner and bedtime. However, research has shown that 6 small meals instead of the three large meals are much healthier. It allows the body to regulate the blood sugar better. Because proteins and whole grains take longer to convert to sugars, they sustain stable blood sugars longer, avoiding the “sugar/carbohydrate crash”.
Eating six small meals every day also lessens the overall amount we eat. Obesity is at an all time high. With people leading more sedentary lifestyles and less physical work being done yet we are eating more, is it any wonder our waistlines are growing? Some of it has to do with the fact that if you go too long between meals, we tend to overeat. Doing the 6 small meals eliminates that and the calories consumed are often less than the 3 meal way.
How this works is, instead of only having three large meals with sugary, carbohydrate loaded snacks is to eat small meals. For the three main meals, you can make them a little larger and have things like your big meats and proteins, such as chicken, fish and lean beef; a vegetable of some kind, a grain and dairy.
So, for example, a breakfast could consist of oatmeal (try not to use the ones that are flavored and sugar laden), a glass of juice and some yogurt. A lunch of a sandwich on whole wheat or multi-grain bread with low fat meat and cheese with lettuce, tomato, onion (or any other vegetables you like) and cottage cheese. For dinner, a sample would be something like grilled fish, a fresh garden or fruit salad, multi-grain rolls and some type of dairy.
Then you would have 3 “snacks” in between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner and dinner and bed time. A snack could consist of some high fiber multi-grain crackers, low fat cheese, and a piece of fruit or vegetable slices.
You Don’t Have To Go Organic Or All Natural
The newest craze is eating organic or natural foods. Everyone is talking about them; grocery stores are stocking them, and all for a price that is almost twice what you pay for other things. While in some cases these products are better for you. However, if you pay attention to the labeling on these products, many have additives that are just as bad.
Not all “natural” products are natural. You need to read the labels. The more important thing is this area is to buy fresh. Fresh fruit and vegetables are healthier for you than say canned and some frozen. Canned and frozen can contain excessive amounts of salt, which can lead to other health issues. If you are worried about GMO products, there are supermarkets that sell only those items that are not GMO, plus visiting your local farmer’s market is an excellent place to get fresh fruit and vegetables that are locally grown at a reasonable price.
We all know that high fiber multi-grain bread is better for us. But did you know using other multi-grain breads, such as English muffins, bagels, and other breads also come in multigrain? Using these options instead of the processed white flour breads will give you a healthier choice.
Also, along the same lines, plain white rice is a little healthier, but using wild or brown rice is the healthiest. While there may be a little taste difference, there is not enough to truly change the flavors of your dishes. So, spend the extra money and save your health.
Sugar is not good for us. A little doesn’t hurt, but with so much out there today, finding reasonable solutions has become imperative. There are a wide variety of sweeteners out there, and choosing the right one can be confusing. There is a relatively new one called monk fruit, is one of the safest out there. Also called Nectresse, Fruit-Sweetness, Go-Luo and Pure fruit, this extract has some added other health benefits such as lowering your cholesterol.
One problem, though, is that you have to read the ingredients list on the product packages. Because it is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the FDA, it can be in many different products. But some of the monk fruit products can also include things like sugar which is something you want to avoid. But for sweetness, it can’t be beat and it comes in both powder or liquid form for cooking, baking or your coffee/tea.
Another option for sweeteners is honey. Pure, raw honey or molasses both work well as sweeteners. It is these things that were used to sweeten foods and drinks for years before processed sugar came along. Also raw sugar works well too. These are not processed, so don’t have many of the harmful things in them. But, again, moderation is the key. You don’t have to cut out sweeteners, but you do have to use them sensibly.
Our health is the most valuable thing that we have. And while eating healthier is best, we don’t have to make a lot of huge changes right away. By simply doing these easy things, you can decrease your waistline, increase your health status and know that these dietary changes to eating healthy will make a difference.