“Stay away from carbs and eat more protein! a huge part of healthy eating”
“Keep your hands off that doughnut. Here, have a kale smoothie!”
“Eat more organic and whole food!”
“Avoid processed and canned goods, they’re unhealthy!”
“Eat more salad, avoid anything fried… oh, and please throw away that milkshake if you don’t want to get fat!”
Sounds familiar? Most likely, you already read or heard some of these so-called warnings… while enjoying a slice of chocolate cake.
Given these above mentioned statements, eating healthy may not be as easy as it seems. For one thing, who can resist not eating these tempting goodies if they are readily available everywhere you go?
The real deal to stay healthy eating
We all need food to live and eat to nourish our bodies with the nutrients that come with whatever you eat. We eat to satisfy our hunger and, most of the time, cravings. Food is life, literally and figuratively.
But sometimes, you cannot get the best of both worlds when it comes to food. For example, processed food is easier to prepare freshly-cooked meals. Canned soup, hotdogs, or chicken nuggets made family meals more bearable especially for households with picky eater kids. It also made food preparations faster for busy parents instead of whipping up meals from scratch.
In other words, most food found on your friendly-neighborhood grocery shelves made people’s lives a lot easier. Add to the list is paying a visit to your favorite fast-food restaurant and grab some burgers and soda on the go. Unfortunately, there will always be those healthy-eating junkies who will talk you out of taking a bite of that precious burger. It’s a never-ending cycle, and it can be annoying when all you want is to enjoy your meal in peace.
Here is the good news: you can still be healthy without giving up your favorite foods! Go ahead, eat that fried chicken and guzzle that fizzy soda with all your heart. There is no need to feel guilty if you eat that slice of cake.
But wait! Before you get all too giddy with this great news, you still need to consider certain factors to maintain a healthy weight. The main point here is this: Food is not the enemy. It’s all about eating right and knowing the word “moderation”. Okay, so here we go talking about “healthy” eating.
What is “healthy eating”, really?
First of all, we need to understand the concept of healthy eating. For starters, healthy eating usually refers to anything organic, unprocessed, and whole food.
Some people believe eating healthy means eating salad and bland chicken breast. Other examples of “healthy” food include fruits and vegetables, olive oil, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and so on.
These types of food are considered “healthy” because these are packed with nutrients and vitamins. At the same time, they are lower in calories, unlike processed and fried food. The main point of healthy eating is eating the right food and feeling satiated without the fear of weight gain and other health risks.
Basically, healthy eating can be synonymous with smart eating. Sure, you can go ahead and eat a piece of the donut because you want to. In case you don’t know yet, a piece of donut can have around 200 to 300 calories. Meanwhile, a large plate of broccoli or sliced apples can also equate to the same amount of calories.
So, what’s the point here? Admit it or not, we tend to overeat. We make poor decisions when it comes to eating. In fact, statistics reveal that we tend to eat 40 percent more than we should.
That said, healthy eating is not about eating veggies and whole foods exclusively. Weight loss does not depend on your genes and blood type. Exercising won’t simply shed those excess weights, either. It is simply because we overeat, regardless of the food.
So, how can you start healthy eating?
First of all, you cannot eat healthily without changing your mindset. Next is knowing what kind of food you should eat without feeling deprived. You need to consider three major macro nutrients every time you eat: carbs, fats, and protein.
Call it carbs if you want. You need carbs to fuel your body and have enough energy to go about your day. Unfortunately, carbs gained a lot of negative reputation over the years. However, you will realize how important carbs are in our everyday diet.
Likewise, there are also good types of carbs that can be beneficial for our health. Among examples of healthy carbs include the following:
- Brown/white rice
- Potatoes/sweet potatoes
- Whole grain bread
When it comes to carbs, serving size is the key. Health and fitness experts recommend a cup of cooked carbs in every meal (or two medium boiled potatoes).
Like carbs, fat also gained a negative reputation over time. There is such a thing as healthy fats, which we should include in our diet. Health experts recommend about a tablespoon of serving of fat. Food with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are considered healthy fats. These include:
- Olive oil
- Peanut butter (preferably not the grocery-type)
If you are exercising regularly, you need protein to build muscles and body strength. Fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, pork, and even beans are considered protein. If you do not eat meat, there are plant-based options as well. Experts suggest a palm-size protein serving in every meal.
In conclusion, we should not fear food nor dread it. It’s all about the mindset of how you treat food. It’s all about smart eating, knowing when you’re full, and knowing the right food portion. Happy eating!
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