What comes to mind when you think of a healthy diet?
I’ve heard a lot of people say that eating a healthy diet is only eating salads and green juices.
Others say a healthy diet is staying away from fats, counting your calories, and limiting carbs.
Some think they are eating healthy by choosing low-fat products and margarine rather than butter.
Then some think it’s unhealthy to eat burgers, pasta, and greasy foods.
These statements all have something in common. They are all one way or the other, there’s no middle ground.
Most don’t realize that our bodies need good fats, carbs, and calories to function properly and low-fat products are basically plastic.. (Yea, I said it)
Eating only burgers every day will result in all sorts of health problems, while only eating salads will deprive your body of vital nutrients.
Eating a balanced diet is where it’s at. You don’t have to give up foods that you love in order to achieve a healthy diet. Moderation is key.
The problem is that unhealthy processed foods are so readily available and “inexpensive”. Packaging dictates what’s healthy and healthy foods seem so boring.
I love fish and chips, but if I only ate that greasy goodness, my gallbladder would yell at me like there’s no tomorrow! So I only eat it every once in a while and when I do I add a side salad or veggies to balance out the grease and give my digestive system a fighting chance.
Do you know the old saying “Breakfast, the most important meal of the day”?
Well, it’s true. Eating a balanced breakfast will get your day started off right, but don’t stop there. Unless you have specific dietary restrictions, be sure to include good fats, carbs, protein, and whole grains at every meal.
Fats and Carbs
Good fats provide energy, helps keep our organs healthy and helps our bodies absorb vitamins. Steer clear of trans fats and unsaturated fats as these are very unhealthy. Hydrogenated fats and veggie oils fall under the unhealthy fats category.
Good fats are in Ghee, Butter, Avocados, Nuts, Olive oil, Seeds, Dark Chocolate, Cheese, Fish, and Eggs.
Fish such as wild-caught salmon provide omega 3s which is a vital fat that helps regulate hormones and helps to prevent heart disease and stroke.
Carbs provide energy and help stabilize blood sugar levels. Complex carbs found in whole grains and beans are great because they help you feel fuller longer, so you won’t be tempted to overeat.
Rice, bread, cereal, oatmeal, oat bran, beans, lentils, and most veggies provide carbs.
Always look for unrefined flours, grains, and oils as these provide more nutrients than refined products.
Animal protein is essential for our bodies to function properly. Especially for children whose bodies and minds are developing.
I was nervous about how this would go over with my readers but it needs to be said.
Red meats provide essential vitamins and amino acids that aren’t found naturally in a plant based diet.
With everything though, balance is key. Plant-based protein is also good to eat in conjunction with animal proteins.
Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant-based proteins.
Update 1/30/2020 – Quinoa and Chickpeas each provide all the essential amino acids our bodies need meaning they are complete proteins! Conventional animal protein is lacking in a lot of the amino acids our bodies need so always choose wild-caught or organically raised meats.
Also Read: Our Amazing Bodies
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins D, B, C and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium just to name s few are vital for proper health.
Unfortunately, conventional foods are lacking in a lot of these vitamins, nowadays. That’s why it’s so important to buy organic or grow your own.
Natural sources occur in vegetables and animal proteins such as fish, eggs and red meats.
Water also provides essential minerals. Distilled water and reverse osmosis filtration systems take out the good and bad minerals in water creating dead water. Dead water is dangerous for our bodies. I talk about a filter we use for our drinking water in my post about sustainable water filtration.
Limit unhealthy foods
This is where moderation really comes into play. Processed foods are hard to avoid sometimes, but try to limit them as much as possible. Instead of eating processed cakes or cookies, try making them at home using organic ingredients.
They will not only taste better, but you will feel better as well.
Splenda and other sweeteners will wreak havoc on your health. It’s said that Splenda is as bad for your natural gut flora as antibiotics are. Not to mention it tastes terrible!
Stevia and other natural sweeteners aren’t great for health either as they have been linked to kidney damage and other digestive issues. If you need to use sugar, use organic cane sugar. It’s pure and in the long run, will be so much better for your health.
Eating well = Feeling well
Eating real food and cutting out processed food helps tremendously.
Always read the label. Just because a product says it’s natural or organic doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Unfortunately, companies will add dangerous preservatives in some organic and natural products, so be on the lookout.
My husband and I have made it our aim to eat a balanced diet and in doing so we feel better than we have in a long time.
Eating a balanced diet doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated.
Remember this, eating healthy, organic and real foods can be expensive, but so can trips to the doctor’s office and prescription medications.
This content is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. I am not a medical professional and the information contained on this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Read my full disclaimer to learn more.