What is a healthy diet

Are you wondering what is a healthy diet and struggle to find the answer?

Look no further, we’ll delve into what a healthy diet can be and how to acquire healthy habits that are good for your body mind and spirit!

More and more people are becoming conscious that our diet can wreak havoc on our health and want to change the way they eat. However there are so many information out there that people get confused, what is really good and what’s not? Should I avoid gluten, should I stop eating meat, should I become vegan? There is no simple answer but in this article I would like to delve more into this topic to help people find a way to change their diet to become healthier without struggling.

What is a healthy diet: basic guidelines

One thing you can start with is eating foods in their natural state:whole as much as possibile. Fruit is a good example, when you eat the whole fruit you get the fructose but you also get the fibers and other nutrients that you don’t get when drinking a fruit juice, even the one you make at home with your juicer.

Whole grains are a good example too. Flours may be extremely refined and then enriched with chemicals that helps with lengthen the shelf life.  Eating whole wheat flour, or wheat berries is better than consuming a squishy white bread that stays fluffy for ages.

Don’t feel like you have to do it, a healthy diet should be natural. You want to be happy rather than feeling the constraint of something you have to do. And forcing yourself into something won’t give you the same benefits.

To start eating a healthier diet you can also start paying attention to what you eat. Eating in a calm environment, while noticing the food you eat is also a good habit. Human connections are as important as the food you eat. Be more open and accepting, share your thoughts and food with the people you love.

What is a healthy diet: what to include…

Fats are another important topic. Should I skip fats altogether? what’s the best source of fat? Fats should not be demonized, they are good for our health and brain and also for our heart. The key is choosing the right fats and eating them in moderation. I often use different fats for cooking and seasoning. Heat resistant fats like ghee can resist the heat and won’t oxidize. Extra virgin olive oil is best when consumed raw. You get the best of it on a salad or on a slice of whole wheat sourdough bread.

Diversity is also the key to know what a healthy diet is. The more foods you eat the better. Pay attention to the color of the food you eat, and include a variety of color every day to your plate. Select 5 colors a day when preparing your food. An example? 5 colors could be: orange, black, green, red, purple. Foods to eat might be: carrots, soy sauce, spinach, beets and tomatoes.
Adding food from other cultures will also enrich your diet and your mind and soul as well.

healthy diet vegetables

Fermented foods are also a great way to improve your health. Foods like kefir, kimchi, miso, fermented vegetables are a powerhouse for our gut health. These foods strengthen our immune system and helps also with weight loss. Thet are very helpful in preventing diseases and chronic illnesses.

Fish rich in omega-3s are also a great way to add more nutrients to our diet, eating skipjack tuna, salmon, anchovies or other seafood once or twice a week adds important nutrients into our diet.

Research has shown that allowing the digestive system to rest is also a great way to improve our health. Stop eating at 8pm and start again at 8am is a simple way to practice an effortless intermittent fasting. You can start gradually, if you are used to eat late at night try to eat a bit earlier every day until you get to the point where you can easily fast 12h in a row.

…what to reduce

We all know that processed foods are not good for us and they can be tricky. The secret is to look thoroughly the label of everything you buy. Even dietary food, or low-fat food can hide high quantity of sugar, corn syrup or fructose. Studies have shown that fructose or syrups are bad for our health even if they may sound natural. 

Dietary products are often filled with other forms of sugar and a large consumption of these foods can rapidly induce insulin resistance, postprandial hypertriglyceridemia, and blood pressure, moreover it is a potential risk factor for fatty liver disease. If you want to start eating a healthy diet, take a closer look at what you buy. Start reading the ingredients to see if what you buy is real food or not.

Yogurt is a “healthy food” in disguise: simple plain yogurt is a great source of protein and probiotics. But what about fruit yogurt or all those other snack-like versions? A fruit yogurt can contain up to 26g of sugar per 125gr.  Anyway yogurt is in good company! Many vegan alternatives or healthy snacks are filled with sugar or a tons of other ingredients that are far from healthy. 

Reducing the consumption of meat and trans fat is also a good habit. That does not mean you need to become vegan, or vegetarian. Not everyone is the same and many people won’t thrive when giving up foods they like. Reducing the consumption of animal protein, however,  is a good habit that has been proved to have positive effects on our health.

..what to avoid

Trans fats instead are to avoid when possibile. They are surely something you want to remove from your diet since they’re the worst type of fat for our body.

Artificial sweeteners are also to avoid at all costs. They are very bad and can cause weight gain, have a negative effect on the microbiota and cause chronic inflammation.

Last but not least avoid eating in a rush or when you are angry or in a bad mood. You can eat a super healthy diet but, if you are lonely and depressed, you will barely get the same benefits.

eating healthy together

What is a healthy diet: Conclusions

A healthy diet is not only about the food you eat, but when and how you eat is important as well. Allowing our body to rest and regenerate at night, paying attention to the food you eat are all habits that will allow you reap huge benefits.

The most important thing is finding habits that are sustainable for your life style, that won’t feel like a constriction, something you HAVE to do instead of want to do. It is the same with diets, if you stop eating the things you like you’ll crave them even more as long as the diet feels like an obligation.

Try different solutions until you find the routine that best suit your needs and you will surely see great results in a short period of time.



Photo credit: freepik.com

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