ON THIS PAGE:
HOW TO EAT MORE HEALTHILY
WITH ONLY MINIMAL EFFORT
Check out these super healthy foods
and learn which ones are the best to avoid
FIRST THINGS FIRST . . .
- in other words, cut back on portion sizes and don't eat anything to excess
(Did you know that the good food discarded by developed countries -
the stuff we throw unthinkingly into the waste disposal or garbage bin -
is more than enough to feed ALL those in the Third World who never see a square meal)
EAT MORE SLOWLY
Chew thoroughly and rest the cutlery down between mouthfuls!
Eating more slowly is known the satisfy the appetite, help weight loss and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
GO FOR VARIETY
- eat as wide a range of foods over the week as possible and don't stick to samey stuff
The more variety, the more nourishment you gain
BECOME AN AVID LABEL READER
and prepare to be horrified!
Checking the ingredients list on every packet of food, any food, that you buy really is the best way to reduce your intake of items which contain high levels of sugar, salt, hydrogenated fat, fillers and chemical colours, flavours or preservatives. My suggestion? If it contains a whole list of additives in addition to the basic foodstuff, leave it on the shelf and search for a better one without unnecessary additives. I never cease to be amazed at the garbage that manufacturers 'hide' in packaged foods and I simply don't get why we need to be swamped with salt, sugar, sweeteners, flavourings, unnatural processed oils, emulsifiers, stabilisers and other glop? Just because something shouts that it's 'low in calories', 'low fat', 'zero sugar' or 'cholesterol-free', doesn't necessarily mean that it's any good for you. What's the answer? First of all, try to avoid packaged, processed foods and make your own from basic ingredients. It's cheaper and healthier. Where you do have to resort to ready-prepared items, remember that label reading not only guides you away from the rubbish, it can also help you to choose better quality products.
NEXT, clear out your refrigerator, freezer and food storage cupboards, using up what's in stock. Then look through the lists below. Each week, cut out a few items from the list on the left and replace them with some of the healthier foods on the right. All the items on the left are fab foody things that are part of my regular diet. Everything mentioned in that column has a value, for example: it might be an especially useful source of a particular vitamin or mineral, something rich in antioxidants, or perhaps a fantastic fresh fruit or some other kind of healthy sweet treat, maybe it has good dietary fibre scores or is in some other way simply good for you.
In the right-hand column is list of things I prefer not to eat because they just don't suit me. For example, I wouldn't buy poly-processed grease in a tub if it was the last food on earth! This also applies to those eye-wateringly expensive cholesterol-lowering spreads because I think there are easier, cheaper and better ways of keeping cholesterol in check (but that's only my personal view so if you think they help you, then take no notice of me). And because I don't much like red meat, I would never be able to enjoy a fast food burger, although I realise I'm probably in the minority on that one!
As I've admitted elsewhere on these pages, this doesn't mean I'm a goody two-shoes about all my food. Unfortunately, I still think that tofu looks and tastes like wet pencil rubber, even though it's supposed to be really nutritious rubber! So that will always be a no-no for me. And I have to be very careful not to over-indulge in delights such as salty snacks, coffee, cheeses and hot buttered toast (it's not the butter I worry about, it's that I don't tolerate wheat very well). But what I do love best are things that are unadulterated, unprocessed and (when they're available and affordable), organic, local and seasonal. I've seen, all too often and at first hand, the havoc that the wrong kinds of foods can wreak on a person's health, and it's not a pretty sight. Happily, I've also witnessed many times, in patients, colleagues, family and friends, the great benefits to be had by making moderate changes to regular eating habits and how the simplest things can help to ease (and often eradicate completely) a whole range of symptoms and conditions. That's why I believe eating healthily should be a first, not a last resort.
However, I think the best piece of advice I could give you is this: Never let food choices become an obsession or take over your life. There should never be any need to get stressed about food.
MY FAVOURITE FOODS LIST
You can add nutritional value to everyday menus by including more foods from this list:
"Long may the energy of red running shoes permeate your household and the turquoise of wisdom animate your spirit."
I included this as part of the dedication page
of my book
Good Gut Bugs
FOODS I ALWAYS TRY TO AVOID
I don't believe the foods in this list contribute to a healthy diet in any way whatsoever so I do what I can to avoid them. You may find your health improves if you add in more of the superfoods listed on the left side of this page and cut out some or all of the things in this column:
Red vegetables and fruits including red onions, tomatoes, beets, red apples, red (black) grapes and pomegranates contain valuable antioxidant phytonutrients such as lycopene and anthocyanadins which help protect us against degenerative diseases
For more information on
how to make a food rainbow,
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