Do you clearly know what healthy eating actually means? Your daily diet is one of the biggest influencers of your health. Health will not come to those who have a vague understanding of healthy eating and this article attempts to demystify this concept.
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Most people relate healthy eating back to how it affects their health when they already have a health problem. As an example, someone who is having elevated cholesterol will try to avoid fatty foods. His version of a healthy diet would be anything that helps him to cut his cholesterol levels. He may over-eat low-fat foods but inadvertently start overeating high-carbohydrate containing foods. This is because low-fat foods are in essence high-carb foods.
What healthy eating actually means
Healthy eating is a diet that has a holistic health enhancing effect. It should cause you to be healthy in all areas of your life. Unfortunately, good health cannot be measured directly. As long as your health is good, you will not notice it. You will notice it if your health deteriorates.
There are also other signs of increased health such as high levels of energy, increased alertness among other things.
Indirectly measuring good health
You can indirectly measure good health by keeping track of your body-fat levels. You cannot have low body fat levels without being healthy. Having low body fat levels is very different from having low body weight. When you have low body fat, you are ripped. When you have low body weight, you are skinny and not necessarily healthy.
Why people cannot eat healthily
There are 3 reasons why people cannot eat healthily. The first reason is because they are simply ignorant. They are really not aware of what food is contributing to their health and what is taking health away from them.
The second reason is that their lifestyle simply does not let them to eat the healthy way. They may be missing meals or eating unhealthy food because they just do not have the time to do otherwise.
A third reason is that their hormonal system may be so disrupted that they crave unhealthy foods. This is typical of people with insulin resistance who constantly crave refined carbohydrates.
One of the main reasons that your health deteriorates is because your hormonal balance is out of whack. A lot of people have insulin resistance where their insulin remains at unhealthy elevated levels. Women may have estrogen progesterone imbalances. These are mainly caused by unhealthy dietary habits.
Eliminating food that deteriorates health
One of the fastest ways to become healthier is by eliminating those foods that are making you unhealthy. These are essentially refined carbohydrates, foods containing trans-fats, calorie dense foods, liquid calories and alcohol.
Taking concrete steps to eliminate these foods from your diet will immediately put you on the path of enhanced health.
Simple steps to eating healthy
The simplest way to eat healthier is by eating foods that are as close to nature as possible. It is better to eat an apple than drinking apple juice or eating apple pie. It is also better to eat fresh tuna than to eat canned tuna or fresh salmon instead of smoked salmon.
The macro-nutrient part of your diet should not come out of a box or a packet. In other words, you should eat fresh carbohydrates and protein. It is not avoidable to get condiments, sauces and other stuff in bottles in these modern times. But as far as possible, the main part of the meal should be fresh and unprocessed.
A balanced diet should not be devoid of any macro-nutrient. There seems to be a push towards a low-carbohydrate or high-protein diet. This is not healthy simply because it is not sustainable. If you are one of those who can sustain it for the rest of your life, by all means go for it. The bulk of the people out there can only sustain these diets for a short duration and when they come off it, they eat all sorts of unhealthy refined carbohydrates. This is where it becomes unhealthy. Eat more complex carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables instead of taking carbohydrates out of your diet completely. Refer to the Harvard food pyramid to get another perspective of what healthy eating actually means.
Your healthy diet must be something that you can live with for the rest of your life and not a temporary fad.
No one size fits all
There is obviously no one-size fits all prescription when it comes to eating healthy. You need to adhere to some fundamental principles and adjust these according to your body and lifestyle. It is important that you know what healthy eating actually means. Only with adequate knowledge can you get sustainable weight loss.