When you’re trying to lose weight or get healthier, it’s not about how much you eat, but what you eat, that makes a difference. I work with many clients in Stamford, CT to help them learn how to make smarter choices when it comes to food. Every time you eat, you’re making a decision whether you’re going to eat something healthy or just fill your body with empty calories that don’t provide any of the nutrients you need to look and feel your best.
When you eat food that was living, you extend your life, too.
Living food, such as garden fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs or whole food from animal sources will help you live longer, too. You’ll note that the term whole food was used when talking about animal sourced foods. That’s because there are so many processed foods out there that are filled with ingredients that never existed in nature and came from a lab. Eating healthy is all about eating food as close to its natural state as possible with no added ingredients.
Frozen and even canned food can be healthy, too.
Buying fresh produce, especially organic, isn’t always in everyone’s budget. Don’t worry. There are many canned and frozen options that are just as good. Studies show that both contain as many nutrients as fresh fruits and vegetables, but you have to look on the label to ensure there’s no added ingredients or chemicals. If it’s not green bean season, canned or frozen green beans can be just as nutritious. Canned tomatoes make a great sauce and in the case of cooked tomatoes, the amount of lycopene in the tomatoes increases with cooking.
You should avoid processed foods and start cooking differently.
What exactly is processed food if it’s not canned or frozen fruits or vegetables? Think Spam or other processed meats, those microwave delights like pizza rolls or hot pockets, crackers, cookies or anything that has chemical or mechanical changes to make it something different from the original, increase shelf life or add flavoring—such as added sugar. It’s especially important to avoid additives like high fructose corn syrup, which seems to be in everything on the shelf. The body cannot process it correctly and it interferes with the production of the hormone that makes you feel full, so you eat more.
- Eating food heavily laden with sugar may give you a boost initially, but it won’t take long that the super high peak in energy drops to a deep valley. That blood sugar fluctuation can create severe health problems.
- Making your plate a rainbow of colors from whole foods helps ensure that you have all the nutrients you need. Plants contain phytonutrients that improve health in a variety of ways. Many come from the substances that give the plant their color, so getting variety is important.
- What you drink makes a difference, too. Soft drinks contain high amounts of calories and even diet drinks have been shown to increase fat around the middle. Water is the best choice.
- There is a new medical area of study considering food as medicine for many illnesses. Why not start by eating and staying healthy before illness strikes.