‘Surely, I can still be healthy if I only eat a little bit right?’ said anyone at some point in life. I know I have said it. I can easily sympathize with the struggle to eat the right foods, trying to make sure I get a good balance of nutrients in my daily consumptions. Unfortunately, being healthy does not always go the way that I want it to. I am not a dieting person. I have never counted my calories and carbohydrates, although I feel like I should. But I love food! All kinds of food! And it is true, though; some foods will be healthy and some will not be.
How can I have a diet of everything I like and still be healthy? It really isn’t as difficult as it sounds. First, we have to have a standing knowledge of what kinds of foods are better for us. Let me break things down to the basics. The more a food has been removed from nature and altered, the more trouble the body has metabolizing its ingredients. Foods closest to their natural state are, obviously, best for our health.
Let’s look at some examples of less-nutritious food products.
First on the list is trans-fat. Trans-fats are oils that are man-made and are actually proven to be potentially dangerous to the human body. Consuming a large amount of these oils could raise your bad cholesterol levels and increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Foods with these in the nutrition facts should be avoided the most, but they don’t have to be cut out of your diet completely. Always remember too that trans-fats can be replaced by healthy, unsaturated fats.
Next up is refined sugars. These are not to be confused with natural, unprocessed or unbleached sugars that are common in today’s grocery stores. Refined sugar tastes great but it had no real nutritional value, leaving the body feeling unsatisfied in its cravings for needed nutrients. This is actually an easy obstacle to overcome. There are many tasty recipes for fresh, dried and frozen fruit that can satisfy our unruly sweet cravings more than most candies do.
Lastly, I will talk about refined grains. These are the types of grains used in most commercial cookies, cakes, breads, pastas and crackers. It’s not always easy to avoid these but one of the things to remember is to try to opt for whole grains. Cooking at home with natural ingredients is also a great way to steer clear of the tempting bakeries.
What are the challenges of eating in moderation?
On paper, the idea of eating everything in moderation sounds simplistic. However, we know that eating healthy in everyday life is not as effortless as it sounds. There are catches. It’s not recommended for someone who has just triumphed over food addiction. Furthermore, some people go about it the wrong way, eating fast food every day and ‘balancing it out’ with a vegetable or two. Let’s be clear; a balanced diet is not eating the same amount of unhealthy and healthy choices. (Balancing a diet of moderation looks more like a pyramid.)
I understand that eating in moderation is not for everyone. But what really is for everyone these days? The point that I am hopefully getting across is that this is one of the many healthy methods of living. So go out there and find new foods, try new things and eat to your hearts content.