To develop a healthy eating program to maintain a healthy weight, it’s a good idea to do some research on health and nutrition. If you’re not trying to lose weight but just want to eat well for good health, then it’s important to understand how your body uses food. This makes it easier for you to choose healthy food and not be tricked when less-than healthy foods call themselves natural and healthy.
A healthy eating program should offer you much more than just a good balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates. But if that balance isn’t in place to start with, the plan probably isn’t all that healthy. Any plan that keeps fat at about 30% or less of the diet and stresses good fats over saturated fats probably has a healthy fat balance. There should be plenty of sources of protein other than meat, like lots of fish, healthy dairy sources like yogurt, and beans.
And carbohydrates should be mostly whole grain sources like whole grain bread and oatmeal. Whole grain pastas are better than regular pastas, and basmati rice is better than regular white rice. A healthy eating program that stresses these smart choices over things like instant white rice and instant pre-packaged sweetened and flavored oatmeal is better than one that includes too many convenience items.
A healthy eating program should follow the government food pyramid pretty closely. Whole grain carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, beans, fish, lean meat and dairy products can all be part of a very healthy diet. But there are other things to look at, no matter what kind of diet you choose to follow.
You want to make sure your healthy eating program has enough diversity so that you don’t get bored, and you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Baked chicken breasts, broccoli and a whole grain roll might be a healthy lunch, but no one wants to eat that several times a week. Your plan needs to include a variety of vegetables, not just one or two. There are more lean meats than chicken breasts, and many different ways to prepare these and other dishes.
You’ll also want to make sure that unhealthy things aren’t creeping into your meals. Some diets stress that you use margarine instead of butter, for instance, because it’s lower fat and not full of saturated fat like butter. But margarine is mostly trans fat, a fat that even the government now agrees is worse for you than saturated fat. It’s a fat that should be eliminated, or at the very least severely restricted, from our diets. A healthy eating program that allows certain commercially packaged low-fat cookies and treats might not take into account the amount of trans fats and sugar in those foods, either.
You have to be the detective and examine all the parts of the diet you want to follow. Yes, the balance of foods and nutrition is important, but don’t forget to look at all the other parts of your healthy eating program.