In this day and age, with fast food on every corner, convenience stores filled with junk food, and television promoting the latest in quick meals, it’s often difficult to make healthy meal choices. Everyone should know healthy eating facts. It’s difficult for small children to realize when they’re hungry until they scream at def-con levels. We accustom teens and busy adults to the near-instant gratification supplied by frozen meals and take-out restaurants. Older adults and seniors may suffer from loss of appetite or simply not want to go to the trouble of cooking at all.
Poor eating habits can lead to diabetes, hypertension, and a host of other food-related problems for people of any age. Often, healthy eating is misinterpreted as being strictly vegetarian, or cutting out all salt and sugars. While those options might work for some and may be recommended by a physician due to existing health issues, healthy eating for the general public means moderation and nutritious choices.
Benefits of Healthy Food Choices
While the obvious benefits of making good food choices are weight loss, lowering blood pressure, and cholesterol, there are many hidden benefits that come with eating better. Among them are alertness, improved memory, and higher energy levels. It can boost the immune system since natural, unaltered whole foods are chock full of vitamins and nutrients.
This can lead to fewer health issues and those who regularly eat right report faster healing of wounds and illnesses such as colds and infections. There will also be less need for supplements which may contain higher levels than recommended or less than desirable ingredients.
Healthy Food Facts: The Importance of a Rainbow Variety
There’s just something about the beauty of a plate covered in a variety of rich colors that makes the mouth water. Fresh foods loaded with phytonutrient keep the body fueled and all systems in top condition. Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to every meal gives your body the immunity to fight diseases like cancer, tumors, and heart conditions. Adding whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats to each meal help to round out the range one needs to maintain optimal health.
Adding superfoods like blueberries, sweet potatoes, eggs, and oats to your meals will leave you feeling full. Broccoli, kale, yogurt, and nuts are also great choices to add a bit of pep to a dish. The internet abounds with healthy recipe ideas utilizing these amazing ingredients.
Healthy Eating Facts: Remember the Beverages
Don’t forget your body needs fluids to function properly and without it your body will start to suffer. In order to avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water. Tea is another healthy option and comes in a vast array of flavors. Juice is another great choice. While you can find some excellent low or no-sugar options, the best way to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need is to make your own.
Beets, sweet potatoes, and apples lend a natural sweetness to juices and offset the slightly bitter flavors of kale and broccoli or the zing of ginger and lemon. Cucumbers or oranges make a good base for any juice, then simply add in fruits and veggies you enjoy. By following the 80/20 rule, 80% vegetables and 20% fruits, you’ll ensure you’re not loading up on sugars.
Things to Avoid in Excess
Limit excessive amounts of sugars, starches, and carbohydrates. Filling up on these means less room for the vitamins and nutrients that healthier choices offer. That’s not to say don’t eat cake or pie but enjoy it in moderation. Don’t eat that whole bag of cookies. Try to take food that has healthy eating facts.
When it’s Tough to Get Them to Eat
People of any age can have difficulties maintaining an appetite, or simply don’t like the looks or taste of food. Cute olive and cream cheese penguins with carrot sliver noses, or a berry smile on oatmeal may help garner more interest. Strive for 2 servings at each meal. Offer snacks such as nuts, berries, yogurt and homemade granola, or sliced veggies and dip.
Tell your youngsters that you made them a superhero juice. Let your kids help arrange things on the plate. Take your teen to the farmers’ market and let them pick their favorites. Sit with an older adult and ask them to tell you stories about foods they’ve enjoyed over the years and then help prepare it with or for them.
By finding healthy eating facts that your family loves, you can encourage them to take part in nutritious, filling meals that will keep them healthy for years to come.