Your diet is healthy, right? At least, for the most part. Well, except for that hot dog dinner on Wednesday to please the kids, the visit to McDonalds on Tuesday at lunch, the frozen pizza you pulled out on Friday night and the restaurant indulgence on Saturday. You snacked on nuts, though – that’s healthy? And you did cook on Monday, had oatmeal or low-calorie energy bars for breakfast and snacks. Oh, then you went to try that new Fro-yo place with your office mates on Thursday. Get it, your diet may not be as healthy as you think.
1) Why eat healthy?
Healthy eating promotes energy and decreases your risk of chronic diseases. Really, it does make you feel better to eat less sodium, added sugar, refined carbs and saturated and trans fats.
2) What is healthy?
With all the messages about the foods you should include in your diet, it can be confusing to decipher what to include in a healthy diet. In reality, healthy eating is not about chasing the latest super food or diet fad. Rather, healthy eating involves a variety of foods so you enjoy an array of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Basing menus around plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and plant oils, is an easy healthy eating strategy. If a food comes in a carton, shrinkwrap, plastic tray or can, it is not as healthy as it could be. Boxed foods, processed foods, restaurant foods, fast food — not healthy, no matter what the label says. If a food has to tell you how healthy it is…it is probably not truly something you should be eating.
3) Impact on weight
Healthy eating is not just about choosing the right foods, it is about not overeating them as well. Too large of portions is one of the biggest contributors to weight gain, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Even if you manage to avoid restaurants and packaged, processed foods – if you are overeating nuts, olive oil, salmon and whole-grains you will gain weight. Healthy does not mean low calorie or weight loss. The benefits of healthy eating for weight management is that healthy foods tend to satisfy you more than processed products so you consume fewer calories overall.