Healthy Eating Information
Good health is one of those things that if you have it, you don't think about it, and if you don't, it becomes the focus of your life.
Someone once observed that we spend much of our lives trying to get wealth at the expense of being healthy, and then, in our later years, we have to spend that wealth on trying to get back our health.
Our healthcare systems tend to focus on treating symptoms of disease and poor health, with less emphasis on disease prevention and wellness and finding the underlying cause of poor health.
However, you can take the reins of your own life and health by making some lifestyle choices that promote vitality.
Keep in mind that you do not have to make drastic changes all at once, and even making just a few changes can have huge benefits and move you towards your goal of feeling better and living longer.
Here is some useful healthy eating information to get you started on a wellness lifestyle.
1. Drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water each day, while avoiding soft drinks and limiting fruit juice.
2. Eat a variety of fresh, whole foods, including selections from the five food groups—Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Meat/Legumes and Dairy.
3. Learn about servings, so that you can eat appropriately from all the food groups.
4. Include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, with an emphasis on vegetables.
5. Include a serving of good quality protein with each meal and snack, choosing plant-based proteins at least some of the time.
6. Eat good carbs such as whole grains most, if not all of the time.
7. Choose monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
8. Include fiber foods with each meal so that you get a total of 25-30 grams of fiber each day.
9. Eat a balanced diet with a ratio of 40-30-30 of good carbs, low-fat protein and good quality fats respectively.
10. Eat colorful foods for their phytonutrients.
11. Stay away from junk food that provides calories but little nutrition and may even harm your health.
12. Limit your intake of foods that contain added sugar and salt.
13. Avoid or limit pre-packaged foods and fast foods, which are generally over-processed, full of preservatives and high in sodium.
14. Get enough sleep, which for most people is 7-8 hours each night.
15. Learn to manage the stress in your life through deep breathing exercises or whatever works for you.
16. Nurture your spirit by helping others and taking time for prayer.
Breaking it down
There are six nutrition categories that you need to consider when looking at healthy eating information. Each of these categories has a unique and important role to play in your total health.
Protein... Carbohydrates... Fats... Vitamins... Minerals... Water...
In addition, I would add a category for Fiber, an important component of every healthy diet.
Variety is key in healthy eating information.
Keep in mind that, as mentioned above, it is important that you eat a variety of foods so that it is more likely that all of these nutrition categories will be represented. If you eat the same foods day in and day out, you may be deficient in one or more of the essential nutrients.
It is also important to remember that one nutrition category is not more necessary than another, since they all work together to keep you healthy.
Now it's up to you.
Take time to educate yourself. Find out about the food supply so that you know which of the foods you eat promote wellness and which hinder your ability to be healthy. For specific information on the healthy eating topic of your choice, click the links on the top of this page, starting with "The Basics."
If you have been eating mostly fast food, junk food and processed food, don't despair. It's possible to retrain your palate to appreciate the wonderful flavors and textures of real, whole foods.
I hope this healthy eating information will help with your pursuit of a vibrant and healthy lifestyle.