Healthy Food Choices

Eating healthy is something we all would like to do,  although it can be hard. In order to eat healthy, you must first make the right food choices. Eating healthy is all about what you eat, which makes the choices very crucial to your results.

Grains

You should consume 6 ounces of grains per day. To do this, you can eat 3 ounces of whole grain cereals, breads, rice,
crackers, or pasta. You can get an ounce of grains in  a single slice of bread, or 1 cut of cereal.

Vegetables
These should be varied, as you should eat 2 1/2 cups of them each day. You should start eating more of the dark
vegetables, such as broccili and spinach. Carrots and sweet potatoes are good as well. You should also eat more dry beans such as peas, pinto beans, and even kidney beans.

Fruits

Fruits are very important. You should try to eat 2 cups of them each day. Focus on eating a variety, such as  fresh, frozen, canned, or even dried fruit. You can  drink fruit juices as well, although you should use  moderation when doing so.

Milk

Milk is your calcium rich friend. For adults, 3 cups is the ideal goal. For kids 2 – 8, 2 cups is where you want to be. When choosing milk products or yogurt, you should go for fat-free or low-fat. Those of you who don’t like milk or can’t have it, should go for lactose free products or other sources of calcium such as fortified foods and beverages.

Meat and beans

Eating 5 ounces a day is the ideal goal, as you should go lean with your protein. When eating meat, always bake it,
grill it, or broil it, as this will prevent grease from  adding to the equation. You should vary your protein  as well, with more fish, beans, peas, and nuts.

When cooking your food, you should also limit solid fats such as butter, margarine, shortening, and lard. These foods may add flavor to your dishes, although they can also help raise your cholesterol as well. Therefore, you should try to add these foods and any foods that happen to contain them.

To help keep your saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium low, you can check the nutrition facts label. This label can be found on the food package and will tell you all the information you need to know about the food item.

By picking your foods wisely and watching what you eat, you’ll help control your lifestyle. Exercise is great as well, as it goes along perfect with a healthy eating lifestyle. No matter what your age may be, eating healthy will help you keep your active lifestyle for years and years – even help you and your health in the long run as well.

 

What Do We Really Need to Eat?

Today’s food diet consists mostly of meat and starch.  The fast food drive thru at your local burger joint doesn’t offer a menu of fresh fruit and vegetables.  We’ve become a nation of massive carbohydrate consumers.  But that wasn’t the original plan.

During the days of hunting and gathering, the daily diet consisted mostly of fruits, vegetables and other plant life.  Meat was a scarcity, and bread was virtually non-existent.  During this period in time, there was no problem with obesity.  Of course, hygiene was a problem.  It seems now we’ve solved many of our personal hygiene need problems, and forgotten that in order to survive and enjoy the fruits of our labor, we must pay attention to our eating habits. Our health is the most important asset we have.

Our physical makeup, metabolism, and nutritional need dictate a far different diet than we have come to enjoy.  Cakes, cookies, colas, and kool-aid are not on the healthy diet plan.  Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and plenty of water are the key ingredients to a healthy person.  Even the food pyramid put together by the USDA doesn’t accurately reflect our daily need for optimal health.

Meat is necessary for protein consumption, but it can be obtained from other plant sources.  Peanuts and other nuts contain high quantities of protein.  Eggs and cheese also contain protein.  If meat is to be consumed, fish would be a better choice.  It is high in the omega acids and actually contributes to our health.

Red meat, pork, and chicken were never intended to be our daily staples.  They were luxuries, to be consumed in small doses, only a few times a week.  Today, we will have meat before we have vegetables.

And, then you can take a look at the vegetables we do consume. The starchier the vegetable, the more ways we can invent to prepare it.  Look at the potato, we’ve found more uses for this food, than any other on the planet. It also has the highest level of starch, and can send our blood sugar levels soaring.

Even our medical profession is still researching what our bodies should consume.  Everyone thought they had it figured out when the food pyramid was put together. But now some fifty years later, we have a nation facing an obesity epidemic, and although we are living longer, our hearts are not as healthy as they should be given all the healthy foods we have to choose from, and the exercise facilities available.  Maybe we still have long way to go in coming full circle with what our ancestors had no choice in doing: a diet of mostly vegetables.  The vegetarians may be way ahead of the rest of society.

The other side of this coin has to do with our calorie intake. Consuming fewer calories keeps us leaner and healthier.  All of our body processes function better, when we cut our calorie intake to a level this is about 2/3 of the daily recommended intake of 2000 calories. So how did we arrive at 2000 calories per day? This figure was taken based on the average consumption of a physically active, middle-aged male.  Does anyone female see a problem here?

What we really need to consume for optimal health is a personal formula.  Each and every person is different, calorie and exercise needs are unique to every person.  When our medical profession, our health experts, and any other concerned organization come to realize this fact, and formulate a way for individualized programs to become commonplace then we, as individuals, will be eating what we need to eat.