Do you ever think to yourself, “I wonder if this bagel with cream cheese is a healthy way to start my day?” Well if you don’t you should, and if you don’t know the answer I’ll go ahead and give it to you, NO that is not a healthy way to start a day. So what should you eat instead? What justifies healthy food? So many questions but let’s just go over general guidelines.
- Real food. Real food is super important. Why should you eat a bag of chips with an ingredient list of 20+ items when you could make your own sweet potato chips at home? Check it out…
Eat real, try to buy real food, the more processed the less healthy. But when you have to buy something in a package/can/bag/etc. pick the stuff with the least amount of ingredients and stuff that you know what it is!
- Less sugar! Have you looked at that bag of bagels you’ve been buying for the last year? How many grams of sugar are in there? Enough to constitute your little round treat as a slightly less offensive donut. Sugar raises your insulin levels and is readily stored as fat. Cut back on sugar, of all kinds. Agave nectar is still sugar, so is honey, so is fruit juice, so is cane sugar. They all get broken down in the body the same as fructose so don’t be fooled by the “healthy” stuff. Looking for a sweet snack, have an apple, try some dried apricots (NO sugar added), etc.
- Read your labels. It’s shocking to know what’s in your food. Processed this, sugar that, wheat, soy, etc, it’s a real eye opener. Read labels, find the ones that have the most natural ingredients. Make note of grams of sugar, grams of carbohydrates, and how many calories per serving. Know the serving size.
- Eat when you are hungry. Snacks are sold EVERYWHERE. You can’t even go to Home Depot without staring down Twix, Snickers, and Jolly Ranchers. Instead of eating junk, if you must have a snack be ready with natural food. 100 calorie packs of Almonds, some turkey jerky, a sting cheese. Don’t be tempted to eat just because it’s there. Make smart decisions when it comes to indulging.
- Cook at home! If you constantly eat out, lunch, dinner, weekend breakfast, make it a point to cook dinner at home once or more during the week. Find a fun recipe, go to the Market, buy local, involve your family. You may find that the extra effort makes it taste that much better!
These are just a few basic tips on ways to change to a healthier diet. If you would like more information on nutrition please contact our nutritionist Suzzanne Myer.