The Six Rules For Healthier Meals
Eating well is one of modern life's great challenges. It is now extremely easy to eat an unhealthy diet -- as proven by the sky-high rates of obesity now plaguing advanced societies. That's why it's important to have some solid guidelines for eating healthy meals. Here are six good rules to follow for more nutritious meals.
1. Control portion size.
The typical portion size today is much too large. This, combined with the impulse to eat everything on the plate, can easily lead to overeating. Too-large portions are particularly a problem when eating out. That's why saving part of a restaurant meal for later is often wise. Eating to fullness should be the goal -- continuing past that point is foolish.
2. Emphasize fruits and vegetables.
There's a reason fruits and veggies have a reputation for being very healthy -- they are. It's important to consume both each and every day (two servings of fruit and three of vegetables is a good rule). Eating a wide variety of veggies and fruit is also smart. Fruits and vegetables are the primary sources for many important vitamins and minerals. Bottom line, you can't be healthy without plenty of both.
3. Don't eat out often.
While it's possible to eat nutritiously at a restaurant, it usually doesn't happen. Besides the portion-size problem, most restaurant dishes are high in fat and calories. Plus, it's generally hard to know exactly how or with what a restaurant meal was prepared. At home, you are in control of the entire process.
4. Choose healthy proteins.
Protein is one of the building blocks of human life. It's vital for overall health, and is especially important for bones and muscle. Some of the best sources for protein include dairy products, lean meats such as chicken and turkey, eggs, oily fish such as tuna and salmon, beans, and legumes such as soybeans and lentils.
5. Eat healthy fats.
The idea that fat is always bad for you is now considered a myth. In fact, fats are crucial for good health. It's simply unhealthy fats (such as saturated fat) that should be avoided. Processed foods and red meat are among the foods of which consumption must be limited. Instead, aim for beneficial high-fat foods, including eggs, avocados, fish such as salmon and sardines, olive oil, yogurt, and nuts.
6. Opt for whole grains.
While some diets demand the avoidance of carbohydrates entirely, whole-grain carbs are actually very healthy. Nutritious whole-grain foods are notable for being especially good sources of fiber, which is necessary for a healthy, properly functioning digestive system. They also provide a long-lasting supply of energy. Among the whole-grain foods to prioritize are brown rice, whole-wheat bread, oats, quinoa, bulgur, and barley.
Consuming healthy meals is a certainly a challenge, but it is not one that is impossible overcome. What's important to remember is that better eating results in a better life. An improved diet will improve mood, provide a sense of pride in accomplishment, mitigate the effects of aging, and enhance physical capacities. An understanding of why healthy eating is so important will help generate the motivation needed to eat the right way.
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