We are always being told that we should eat healthily but some people have a misconception about some foods. Sometimes, it is how they are cooked that matters and what you have with them. A healthy diet does not have to be a boring diet, as there are many foods that you can enjoy and still be eating in the best way.
Pasta is low in fat and salt, which is good. It is often the sauces put with it that are the problem, and it is these that you need to be careful with. Put a sauce that is high in fat and salt and you will take away the advantages of eating pasta.
Pasta is also quite filling and will keep hunger pains at bay for longer, so you are less likely to snack or eat treats after a pasta meal.
Lean Red Meat
Lean red meat is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, and iron. It is not something you should eat every day, but small amounts of it have been shown to lower the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol. Just make sure you trim all visible fat from it before cooking.
Popcorn is not the junk food most people think. It is a whole grain that has a lot of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin B and magnesium. These can help[ to protect you against disease and cell damage. The secret with popcorn is not to smother it with lots of butter or salt.
Honey is one of nature’s sweeteners that will also help to increase the good bacteria in your gut. This is great for helping your digestive system and for getting more of the nutrients from your food.
Among other things, nuts have a lot of the good fats your body needs. Even peanut butter is full of the unsaturated fats that are good for you. People who eat nuts regularly are shown to be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who do not eat them. Just try to avoid the roasted and salted varieties.
Small amounts of dark chocolate can be good for you because of the flavonoids it contains that help to reduce cell damage. It has less sugar than milk chocolate because of the way it is processed, but don’t overdo the amount of this you eat.
Eggs have things in them that you will not find in many other foods, such as vitamin D and selenium. They will make you feel satisfied for a while which is why they are such a great start to the day.
Dark Chicken Meat
The dark meat on a chicken often gets thrown into the bin, yet it has more iron, zinc, and selenium than the white meat and also contains vitamins A, B, and K. Dark chicken meat also has more of something known as taurine. This helps with inflammation and blood pressure.
Hot or cold, potatoes contain some called ‘resistant starch’ that acts in the same way as fiber. It will help to keep you toilet habits regular and your gut healthy. They also have many other nutrients such as potassium and magnesium. If you fancy a potato salad, for example, it can be really good for you as long as you opt for low-fat mayonnaise for the dressing.
Caffeine can be bad if you have too much of it, but 3 – 5 cups of coffee or tea a day can have the opposite effect. This small amount has been shown by researchers to lower the risk of strokes and heart disease and can help to make you feel less stressed.
Moderate consumption of alcohol has been shown to help protect you from heart disease, kidney stones, gallstones, and type 2 diabetes. It is thought that this is why people who look at the red wine on sale and have a glass with their evening meal, seem to be healthier than those who do not touch it. Red wine is particularly good as it contains antioxidants, boosts the immune system and can help to increase the density of your bones.
It is a myth that fresh vegetables are always the best. The longer they sit on the supermarket shelf, the less goodness they will have left in them. With frozen vegetables, they are put into this state as soon as they are harvested, while all the goodness is still there. Keep your freezer stocked with frozen vegetables and you can just take a few of each, as you need them.
Full-Fat Dairy Products
Full-fat dairy products such as milk and yogurt can be great for you as long as they are part of a balanced diet, and that is the secret. Eating mainly full-fat foods is not so good, but if you use the milk in your tea or coffee and have yogurt a couple of times a week, they are unlikely to do you any harm. The biggest problem with them is that too much and the calories will start to add up, so if you are trying to lose weight keep your consumption of them low.
Avocado is very nutritious. It contains more potassium than bananas and is loaded with fiber. They can help to lower cholesterol levels and help to stave off heart disease. They help to increase the absorption of antioxidants, especially the ones that protect your eyes. Some studies have shown that they can help to reduce the risk of some cancers and also help with arthritis associated pain. They can help your diet if you are trying to lose weight, and overall research has shown that people who eat them regularly tend to be healthier than those that do not. This is perhaps why it is sometimes referred to as a ‘superfood’.
Eat A Varied Diet
The key to having a healthy diet is to make it varied and to remember that nothing is bad, in moderation. Too much sugar, too many cars or too many fats are not good for you but small amounts are unlikely to do you any harm.