The good news is that there is a lot of variety you can sample when it comes to healthy foods. There are literally hundreds of fruits and vegetables available at just about any supermarket, as well as an endless variety of meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, lentils, nuts and beans. If you’re trying to eat healthier and have a healthier lifestyle, you shouldn’t need to be bored while doing so!
One important part of enjoying this wide variety of foods when trying to eat healthy is to plan your meals so that you know you’re using as many different options as possible. If you combine those items of meats, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains then you know you can have different and interesting meals every time and every day.
Most doctors say that you should have a wide variety of food items, for nutritional reasons and to keep you from being bored. Remember that different foods contain different nutrients, so eating those different foods is imperative for good healthy. And if you start to feel bored or deprived when it comes to your favorite foods, you can then be tempted to give up on your healthy eating plans.
Eating foods you like is not bad, it’s just that you should eat them in moderation and use balance. For example, there’s no reason you should never eat bacon again but it should just be on occasion. Remember to have it with something healthy, such as an egg white omelet instead of a stack of pancakes. You might call good nutrition a tradeoff, like so many other things in life!
And of course you should get foods from the five major food groups each and every day as well. These groups, as identified by the USDA, include meat and beans, dairy products, fruit, vegetables, and grains. Each item in these groups contains different nutrients, so if you have a combination of foods you can make sure you’re getting the right nutrition for your body.
Just choosing food items from the five food groups isn’t going to ensure good health on its own. You can’t have bacon, ice cream, avocados, sweet potatoes, and a big slice of cake and expect to be healthy even though each item is from those food groups! Obviously no one would say that those are healthy food choices even though all five food groups are represented. You need to choose healthy options from each of those groups and make sure the not so healthy options are exceptions, not the rule, to be sure you’re in good health with a varied diet.
As an example of this, think of choosing lean meats to get the protein you want without the extra fat and calories of fattier portions of meat. You can also help yourself in this area by removing skin from chicken and trimming fat from roast beef.
As for grains, meaning breads and cereals, you typically want to choose whole grain options rather than refined products. When grains have been refined this removes most of their nutritional value as well.
Many bread and cereal products have also been fortified with vitamins and minerals as well. Having fortified products can help your nutritional needs but of course they should never be used in place of a proper diet overall. Supplemental elements such as calcium can help your bones and teeth and folic acid can help women who are expecting.
Choosing healthier foods instead of the unhealthier ones is part of the foundation of a good diet. You can choose leaner cuts of meat for the ones with more fat, and choose skinless chicken breasts or turkey breast instead of the drumsticks and thighs, both of which have more fat. This way you can have the most nutrition without sacrificed the taste of good foods.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to be healthy and to have a healthy diet, and whatever your goals are as far as fitness is concerned, make sure you understand the basic principles of nutrition. If you understand how food groups work together to make up a healthy diet you can understand how they can work for you when it comes to your own health and fitness. If you want to train for a marathon or boxing match, lose a few pounds or just have more energy, remember that you can use what you know about nutrition to help you for the rest of your life.