price of healthy eating Healthy eating is the real chance to keep your body fit and beautiful for many years. By eating properly with your family, you are taking care of both your health and health of your family members. Nutritionists believe that healthy eating allows to live a long and happy life.
Undernourished people or those who consume insufficient amount of vitamins, minerals and other microelements get sick very often and suffer from malnutrition. Not to mention the lack of macroelements as well. Healthy eating must contain a sufficient amount of proteins, good fats and carbohydrates.
Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and stabilizing your mood. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. But by using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create a tasty, varied, and nutritious diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.
Principles of healthy eating
Balanced healthy eating is primarily based on the balance between consumed and expended energy. In other words, the main principle of healthy eating is that calories must be burned!
Changing the balance of macronutrients (fats, for example), you can create diets to increase or reduce the body mass. Such diets suggest the level of physical activity of a person and his body mass index.
For most people, the quantity of essential micronutrients does not depend much on the physical activity levels. To bodies of different people can function normally, they need approximately the same amount of vitamins and minerals. There is one exclusion though – professional athletes.
Some people think that healthy eating is expensive and takes much time. In fact, compliance with the basic principles of healthy eating does not increase your costs and allows having a balanced diet:
- Eat only when you start feeling hungry.
- Eat in a sitting, calm and relaxed position.
- Concentrate on your food, do not get distracted by TV.
- Divide your daily menu on 4-5 main meals.
- Do not drink water with or right away after the meal.
- Lunch must contain the main daily amount of food.
- Eat only natural and fresh cooked food.
Price of healthy eating
We no longer live in the days when the search and purchase of healthy foods force people to go to special stores. Nowadays, a healthy, eco-friendly food is a common thing in most supermarkets. The competition and annually growing demand are forcing supermarkets to sell different kinds of healthy foods at low prices.
The healthy eating plan must involve both the number and quality of foods, as well as their prices. If you buy fresh products, without slicing or packaging, they will cost you much cheaper. We should not forget about comfort too; you can buy healthy foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner or foods supply for several days in most big supermarkets today.
If you want to save on healthy eating, shop wholesale. To do this, you should make a weekly grocery list. When you enter the store, try to focus on the list and do not buy anything extra. Wholesale shopping helps to save money and time.
If you want to experiment on healthy eating cost, you may use the cheapest products during 1-2 weeks. In various regions of the world, the prices depend on many factors and hence may differ. But some foods (like beans) are usually cheap.
To cook a cheap and healthy breakfast, you can buy wholegrain bread, eggs, fat-free yogurt, canned tuna and fresh fruit. The recipe of healthy breakfast may offer you different cereals. Tasty and healthy porridges are perfect for giving your body the energy it needs for minimum money.
The healthy eating at lunch may include baked potatoes, brown rice, fresh vegetables, canned beans, spaghetti and fresh juices. In the middle of the day, you need to eat meat high in proteins your body needs. Low fat meat provides the body with essential and nonessential amino acids.
For dinner, the perfect solution would be foods that are digested quickly without overloading the gastrointestinal tract while you are sleeping. Healthy and cheap dinner may contain sour dairy products, seafood, steamed or boiled vegetables. You should better avoid high-calorie desserts before sleep.
You can change your daily menu and add some other foods to it. Your choice of eco-pure foods must depend on your own purposes. If the chosen recipes of healthy eating do not cause the desired effect, just try some other diet. Choosing diets, you need to pay attention to what is good for your health in the first place.
Benefits of healthy eating
It should be noted that food consumption is not just a transportation of macro- and micro-elements that your body needs for normal function. Some foreign and harmful substances, accumulated in foods may enter your body along with meals.
Ecologically pure foods contain no harmful chemicals (for instance, antibiotics and pesticides). The best products for healthy eating contain maximum amount of useful substances that are not usually synthesized in our body.
Choosing the best healthy eating plan for men, women and children, we can minimize the risk of the most common and dangerous diseases – diabetes, atherosclerosis, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, heart and liver. Besides, people, who got used to healthy eating, rarely overeat and stay more physically active than those who do not support this lifestyle.
At a conservative estimate, over 20% of world population suffers from obesity. Unhealthy eating is one of the main causes of global epidemic of obesity. Overweight or obesity is often accompanied by several diseases that lead to premature aging.
One of positive examples of positive consequences of healthy eating is maintenance or normalization of the body weight. Proper diet improves the metabolism and prevents the formation of new fat deposits. Healthy food strengthens the bones and muscles and makes your body shape more attractive.
Even the cheapest foods for healthy eating can improve the work of all systems in the body, and first of all, the cardiovascular system. If you change your dietary habits, you will strengthen your immune system and speed up the excretion of toxins from the body.
Healthy and balanced diet raises your quality of life to a higher level. Eat healthily, stay more active socially and physically and live longer.
How can healthy eating improve your mood?
We all know that eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of wellbeing. Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet—filled with processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks—with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Eating an unhealthy diet may even play a role in the development of mental health disorders such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia, or in the increased risk of suicide in young people.
Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at home, and reducing your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, may help to improve mood and lower your risk for mental health issues. If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, eating well can even help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your life.
What constitutes a healthy diet?
Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to be overly complicated. While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. The cornerstone of a healthy diet pattern should be to replace processed food with real food whenever possible. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it can make a huge difference to the way you think, look, and feel.
Building your healthy diet
While some extreme diets may suggest otherwise, we all need a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in our diets to sustain a healthy body. You don’t need to eliminate certain categories of food from your diet, but rather select the healthiest options from each category.
Protein gives us the energy to get up and go—and keep going—while also supporting mood and cognitive function. Too much protein can be harmful to people with kidney disease, but the latest research suggests that many of us need more high-quality protein, especially as we age. That doesn’t mean you have to eat more animal products—a variety of plant-based sources of protein each day can ensure your body gets all the essential protein it needs.
Not all fat is the same. While bad fats can wreck your diet and increase your risk of certain diseases, good fats protect your brain and heart. In fact, healthy fats—such as omega-3s—are vital to your physical and emotional health. Understanding how to include more healthy fat in your diet can help improve your mood, boost your well-being, and even trim your waistline.
Carbohydrates are one of your body’s main sources of energy. But most should come from complex, unrefined carbs (vegetables, whole grains, fruit) rather than sugars and refined carbs that have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients. Cutting back on white bread, pastries, starches, and sugar can prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar, fluctuations in mood and energy, and a build-up of fat, especially around your waistline.
Eating foods high in dietary fiber (grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans) can help you stay regular and lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also improve your skin and even help you to lose weight. Depending on your age and gender, nutrition experts recommend you eat at least 21 to 38 grams of fiber each day for optimal health. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t eating even half that amount.
Your body uses calcium to build healthy bones and teeth, keep them strong as you age, send messages through the nervous system, and regulate the heart’s rhythm. As well as leading to osteoporosis, not getting enough calcium in your diet can also contribute to anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties. Whatever your age or gender, it’s vital to include calcium-rich foods in your diet, limit those that deplete calcium, and get enough magnesium and vitamins D and K to help calcium do its job.
Setting yourself up for success
Switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy, and you don’t have to change everything all at once—that usually only leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan.
To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day—rather than one big drastic change. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.
Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food. You’ll eat fewer calories and avoid the chemical additives, added sugar, and unhealthy fats of packaged and takeout foods that can leave you feeling tired, bloated, and irritable, and exacerbate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing dangerous trans fats with healthy fats (such as switching fried chicken for grilled salmon) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.
Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed foods and opting for more fresh ingredients.
Read the labels. It’s important to be aware of what’s in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.
Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The healthier the food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.
Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many of us go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.
Moderation: important to any healthy diet
What is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. For many of us, moderation means eating less than we do now. But it doesn’t mean eliminating the foods you love. Eating bacon for breakfast once a week, for example, could be considered moderation if you follow it with a healthy lunch and dinner—but not if you follow it with a box of donuts and a sausage pizza.
Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods, it’s natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. Start by reducing portion sizes of unhealthy foods and not eating them as often. As you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.
Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, visual cues can help with portion sizes. Your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards and half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb. By serving your meals on smaller plates or in bowls, you can trick your brain into thinking it’s a larger portion. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add more leafy greens or round off the meal with fruit.
Take your time. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
Eat with others whenever possible. Eating alone, especially in front of the TV or computer, often leads to mindless overeating.
Make fruit and vegetables a tasty part of your diet
Fruit and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Focus on eating the recommended daily amount of at least five servings of fruit and vegetables and it will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods. A serving is half a cup of raw fruit or veg or a small apple or banana, for example. Most of us need to double the amount we currently eat.
To increase your intake:
- Add antioxidant-rich berries to your favorite breakfast cereal
- Eat a medley of sweet fruit—oranges, mangos, pineapple, grapes—for dessert
- Swap your usual rice or pasta side dish for a colorful salad
- Instead of eating processed snack foods, snack on vegetables such as carrots, snow peas, or cherry tomatoes along with a spicy hummus dip or peanut butter
How to make vegetables tasty
While plain salads and steamed veggies can quickly become bland, there are plenty of ways to add taste to your vegetable dishes.
Add color. Not only do brighter, deeper colored vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—but they can vary the flavor and make meals more visually appealing. Add color using fresh or sundried tomatoes, glazed carrots or beets, roasted red cabbage wedges, yellow squash, or sweet, colorful peppers.
Liven up salad greens. Branch out beyond lettuce. Kale, arugula, spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. To add flavor to your salad greens, try drizzling with olive oil, adding a spicy dressing, or sprinkling with almond slices, chickpeas, a little bacon, parmesan, or goat cheese.
Satisfy your sweet tooth. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, bell peppers, and squash—add sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for added sugar. Add them to soups, stews, or pasta sauces for a satisfying sweet kick.
Cook green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus in new ways. Instead of boiling or steaming these healthy sides, try grilling, roasting, or pan frying them with chili flakes, garlic, shallots, mushrooms, or onion. Or marinate in tangy lemon or lime before cooking.
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