We have all heard since we can remember about how important a healthy diet is to our overall well-being. Many people choose to eat what is affordable or good tasting, and unfortunately are not getting the nutrients we need to maintain optimal health. While supplements are useful to help get those valuable nutrients into our bodies, the effectiveness of any supplement regimen is maximized when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and proper exercise program. But with so many products out there claiming to be “healthy”, or “organic”, it can be a challenge to know if what we are putting in our bodies is the best fuel available.
So how can I know if what I am eating is healthy?
- Read the Nutrition Facts: This is one of the easiest ways to determine if a product is healthy or not. Be on the lookout for red flags such as MSG, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, or very high sugar, calories, sodium, or cholesterol. These are all ingredients that should be avoided when possible, as they can lead to adverse health effects. Conversely, foods high in protein, potassium, and fiber should be considered when shopping for healthy foods. Examples include eggs (especially egg whites), yogurt, cauliflower, broccoli, berries, bananas, avocado, salmon, and white beans.
- Watch Where You Shop: The best foods are all-natural, preferably grown locally. Your local farmer’s market will generally have an excellent selection of these foods, as well as fruits and vegetables that are free from harmful chemicals. Grocery store produce is often over-priced and lower quality. If you must go out to eat, consider restaurants that offer low-calorie or health-conscious meals, and avoid fast food. Some chains, such as Panera Bread, are very health friendly and affordable as well.
I don’t know if I can make the switch
Changing your entire diet to benefit your health is a very difficult task, but it can be done. Your body will thank you, and you will never feel better than when you are healthy. But if taking that first step is overwhelming, consider these tips:
- Start Slow: There’s no need to make a drastic diet change overnight. Start with small, manageable changes and work your way up to replacing all foods in your home to healthy alternatives. When I first began, my first step was to throw out my sugar, and switch to stevia. I exchanged my white bread for whole wheat. Those were baby steps, and manageable changes. Doing too much at once will be very difficult to maintain.
- It’s OK to Cheat Sometimes: The ultimate goal is health, but it won’t hurt to have a candy bar now and then or to have your favorite meal once a month. The key is progress. As long as you are making consistent progress on your journey, you will see results.
We hope that we have enabled you to make informed choices regarding how to start and maintain a healthy diet. A good diet can help to combat disease, and is essential to overall health and well-being. For a healthy food option, consider Life Extension Cruciferous Vegetable Soup. It’s full of nutrients, and a great addition to any pantry.
As always, we want you to be happy, and healthy!
Thanks for reading!
By David Benic, DR Vitamin Solutions