When you make decisions about what to eat, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the choices that meet you in the grocery store: Rows upon rows of boxes of prepared meals, heaps of produce, bags of frozen vegetables and countless varieties of milk. Many people throw around terms like “high fructose corn syrup,” “trans fats” and “glucose free” knowing they should be more mindful about the choices they make in regard to food, but actually understanding what these terms mean and what we should do about them is an entirely different story.
As you navigate the options available to you in creating a healthy diet, here are five tips you can use to ensure you’re heading in the right direction:
- Eat locally grown and organic foods. When you eat products that are grown close to home, they don’t have to be slathered in preservatives. Fresh food that goes directly from garden to table via farmers’ markets or agricultural co-op programs may look imperfect, but that’s because they’re natural and not pumped with chemicals that enhance their appearance. Make sure your produce is not grown using pesticides.
- Don’t drink soda, sports drinks or other sweetened beverages. Excess calories, artificial sweeteners and an overabundance of sugars are found in these beverages, all of which have adverse effects on your health. Soda is also loaded with acid and will dissolve tooth enamel. When you cut these beverages out of your diet, take a stance to keep your children healthy as well by advocating for a ban on soda and junk food in the nation’s schools.
- Minimize meals out. Children eat nearly twice as much when they eat out, and adults aren’t much better. Restaurants serve up excessive portion sizes without providing nutritional information, and most people passively eat what’s placed in front of them without questioning the nutritional value. When you do eat out, know what you’re ordering, and support laws that require the posting of nutritional information in restaurants.
- Don’t make drastic changes at first. If you want to eat healthier, slowly implement changes into your diet. Find healthy foods you love and create dishes using simple recipes with few ingredients. Cut your portion sizes; at restaurants, order an appetizer instead of an entrée, split your meal with a friend and don’t order the supersized option.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Look beyond the center aisles of the grocery store for the healthiest options available. It is around the perimeter of the store that you’ll find fruits and vegetables, poultry and fish, dairy products and whole grain choices. In the aisles you’ll primarily find prepackaged and overpriced meals packed with calories and preservatives.
For more information on a healthy diet, we encourage you to regularly visit one of our sister sites, www.breakupwithsugar.com.
Also, please join us at The Specific Chiropractor Center on August 25 for a screening of Food, Inc., the groundbreaking film that reveals what you don’t know about the nation’s food industry. Seating is limited at this special event; reserve your spot today.
8 Ways Soda Fizzles Your Health. www.WaterForLifeUSA.com. (October 23, 2010) Retrieved August 3, 2010 from http://waterforlifeusa.com/blog/uncategorized/8-ways-soda-fizzles-your-health.
Kemp, Gina, M.A., Paul, Maya W. and Segal, Robert, M.A. Healthy Eating – Easy Tips for Planning a Healthy Diet and Sticking to It. www.HelpGuide.org. (February 2010) Retrieved August 3, 2010 from http://helpguide.org/life/healthy_eating_diet.htm.
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