Learn to love healthy food for a better life and body

Lana Bandoim's picture
Healthy food for good health

Healthy eating is at the core of great living, and what you put in your body determines what you get out of it. If you put in good, healthy food options full of vitamins and minerals, then you will probably feel better, and you will most likely see better performance in your daily activities. In addition, you will have better control of your weight. You may find that you look healthier, lose pounds and feel happier.

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Although many people want to eat healthier, they either do not know where to start, or they feel that healthy options will not taste as good or be as appealing to them as unhealthy foods. When you are reaching for something from the pantry, the way to start eating healthier is to begin reading your food labels. This will help you manage your calories and reach your weight goals.

Read labels on food in your pantry and when you shop

A commitment to healthier eating begins by reading labels and educating yourself about ingredients. You have probably heard buzzwords such as vegan, organic and cage free. However, you may not be sure about their meaning. It is important to do research ahead of time, so you know which options are healthier, and how to incorporate them into your diet. Certain phrases like gluten free, for example, are usually meant for people who have a specific medical problem like celiac disease or gluten intolerance. People with the autoimmune condition celiac disease need to look for foods that do not have gluten in them.

You may want to look for phrases such as "no artificial flavors or colors" and "no high fructose corn syrup." Starting with cutting these things from your diet can be helpful and can lead to a healthier you. You also want to pay attention to things like grams of sugar and salt in food, and you want to learn which numbers are acceptable and which are not. In addition, you may want to calculate how many calories you need to eat every day to maintain or lose weight.

Make eating healthier second nature

Once you have started to make healthier choices and are eating better, it will become second nature and a habit. You will automatically make yourself aware of what is in the foods you eat and what numbers you are looking for to make sure that you and your loved ones get the correct daily amounts of nutrients.

It is important to keep in mind that food that is cooked at home with minimal processing is usually healthier. When you shop, steer clear of highly processed, convenience foods. Cooking with all natural ingredients like fresh meats with no added hormones or vegetables and whole grains is a good place to start when you are trying to follow a healthier diet. You want to minimize buying and using food items that are labeled "instant" and "heat and eat."

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Decide what makes you like or dislike foods

There are things that help people decide right away whether they like a specific food or not. There are some vegetables, for example, that cause people to cringe when they think about eating them. This can be true of items like broccoli and the sometimes dreaded Brussels sprouts. You may decide that this dislike of certain foods is a natural-born thing. However, it usually is not, and it is actually a learned response.

The decision about whether you like a certain food depends on factors such as how it looks, how it smells, how it tastes, how it feels and how appetizing it sounds. The five tastes that people can differentiate are salty, sweet, bitter, sour and savory or umami. They determine whether you like a food or dislike it.

Take steps to get used to eating healthier

There are several ways to become used to eating a healthier diet. Contrary to what many people might think, it is possible to change your feelings about certain foods and relearn the way you think about them. One way to change how you feel about disliked foods is to change the way the foods smell by using different spices to prepare them. Vegetables like broccoli inherently have a smell that makes them less appetizing. Changing that smell can make a difference in your perception and make you more likely to eat healthier foods and lose weight.

Most people enjoy the smell of sweet foods and desserts. In addition, they like foods prepared with ingredients like vanilla and cinnamon. Food that smells pleasant while you are eating it can make you take smaller bites, which can also help you control the amount of food you eat. Making a food smell more attractive is one way to fool the taste buds and make healthy food more enjoyable. Another way is to add just a touch of sweetness to food, without using too much sugar in the process.

Make healthier decisions

When shopping for high quality healthy food, it pays to be aware of the newest health related trends. Some places that offer advice, like Hampton Creek's Facebook page, can be a good learning tool for discovering healthier ways to eat. Healthier eating begins with awareness and knowledge of what is healthy and what to avoid. A new, better you is waiting to be discovered, so you can start by making the smart switch to healthier food.

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