Today, you can come across a great variety of diets that are recommended by both their creators and the people who have adapted them. The raw food diet, the ketogenic diet, the vegan diet are only some examples of the ones that are especially popular today. It is so difficult to understand which one to choose since some of them are promoting a totally different approaches to food. What should you do in order to stay healthy and enjoy each meal your consuming? Here, you will find recommendations that will make a regular Western diet healthier.
General rules about food you are consuming
– Supposing you are not on the ketogenic diet, the greater part of food you are consuming during a day should be vegetables, beans and legumes.
– Eat grains and all products made of grains such as pasta, bread or cookies made of whole grains in the first place.
– Consume fruits regularly, but remember about the sugars they contain. In fact, you can cut down all your sugar intake to fruits and occasionally to honey. Do not eat fruits right after a meal since they weaken the digestive process and they can also make your body accumulate fat.
– Honey is a very healthy product but it is extremely sweet as well so it is definitely not a good alternative to sugar as a sweetener. Many people sweeten coffee or tea with honey instead of sugar believing it is a better solution, albeit it is not so. Furthermore, honey loses the majority of its health benefits when added to meal or drinks that are at least 38 ℃ hot. Thus, you surely can eat it, but only in very moderate amounts and not with hot food or drinks.
– Try to avoid eating excessive amount of salt.
– Drink a sufficient amount of water which is really pure water or some herbal tea, but certainly not coffee and black/green/white tea (they actually lead to dehydration) and no soft drinks or juices, at least not on a regular basis.
– Avoid processed food as much as possible. The less food was heated, modified and enriched by chemical additives, the less healthy it is. Don’t regard some extra added vitamins to the products that normally won’t have them (for example some cookies or granola bars with vitamins) as a healthy product. Natural vitamins and other nutrients are far more valuable than chemically synthesised and added to the food which otherwise has only empty calories.
When it comes to calorie intake, it is recommended to use a calculator for counting the amount of calories you should take on a daily basis according to your height, age and lifestyle. Generally, the average amount of calories recommended to people is 2000 kkal but it can differ a lot. Still, do not think that eating less calories is healthy or it will help you to lose weight.
Unfortunately, the body doesn’t lose weight thus easily. It should have healthy calories that will supply it with vitamins, fibre, nutritive elements and antioxidants. For example, sweet food will give you a boost of energy but it will last for a short time since refined sugars are easily digestible. At the same time eating legumes or meat might give you even more calories, but they will keep you satiated for a longer time and will supply your body with all the necessary nutrients.
Furthermore, cutting down the calories in a drastic way can lead to a situation when your body will start accumulating fats even more because it will know that now is the period of starvation and it should preserve all the possible sources of energy for the future.
Remember that a healthy diet is diverse. There are some devotees of monodiets, in which you eat the same things every day or even the same product during an entire day. Actually, such diets are regarded as the worst possible ones by many doctors since they limit the intake of possible healthy nutrients only to the ones that can be found in this particular product included into a monodiet. Furthermore, monoeating can lead to accumulation of stones in the body.
There are also different opinions about the size of the portions you eat. Some people believe it is better separate all your meal into multiple small portions, between 5 and 7 and take them like this during the day. Other people think that we should eat like animals which sometimes consume only one portion during the day.
In fact, a lot depends on your physical and cognitive activity as well as the food you are eating. There should be a healthy balance between these two approaches, since having a lot of small portions can lead to consuming more calories than you should as you might not feel satiated by them and feel the urge to eat something else, whereas having, let’s say only three meals during the day without snacks can make you consume large amounts of food at a time. This is also unhealthy as it can quickly lead to stretching the walls of your stomach. The larger the stomach is, the more food you will need.
The healthiest way of eating is eating up to the moment when you are almost satiated. The brain doesn’t receive a signal of the body being filled with a sufficient amount of food immediately which means that your stomach might be even overfilled by food, but you still won’t realise it. That’s why you should give your body a couple of minutes to let it realise it doesn’t need any more food before you pack it with something else.