Top 10 Healthy Eating Tips

03 Dec 2012

This is all about my personal tips on how to eat healthy. I wanted to mention this because I get so many questions from people asking how to make healthy food, what to buy if they are out at restaurants or sandwhich shops, and easy ways to eat clean. So here are my top 10 tips:

  1. Eat as many natural colors as you can for each meal. The more colorful, the more satisfied you feel.
  2. If you cannot pronounce the ingredient, it’s probably NOT good for you. Think of your grandparents: do you think they would know what mono- and diglycerides are? Most likely not! Do you know what common “health food”product they can be found in? (see picture below plus a list of ingredients)
  3. If it says “enriched” or “fortified” don’t buy it.  It simply means the minerals, vitamins and nutrients were stripped during the refining process and added back in or there were non to begin with. You cannot take a carrot and remove all the beta carotene in it, then magically expect to put it back in with a machine (this is the same for white flour, as they remove the nutrients and minerals then “add” them back in later). Fortifying means adding vitamins into a product that doesn’t naturally contain them, such as a kids sugar-filled cereal fortified with calcium and iron.
  4. If the product list contains more than 5 ingredients, it’s not healthy. This is a pretty simple one as you can consider anything natural has only the one ingredient of what it is, such as almonds=almonds, spinach=spinach, lentils=lentils. Now look at the Subway 9 grain wheat bread (which has 16 INGREDIENTS!): Enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, barley malt, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, high fructose corn syrup, whole wheat flour, wheat gluten, contains 2% or less of the following: oat fiber, soybean oil, salt, wheat bran, rolled wheat, rye nuggets, dough conditioners (DATEM, sodium stearoyl lactylate), yeast nutrients (calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate), degermed yellow corn meal, rolled oats, rye flakes, caramel color, triticale flakes, parboiled brown rice, refinery syrup, honey, barley flakes, flaxseed, millet, sorghum flour. Sounds healthy, right?! NOT!
  5. Do not buy “low fat” or “sugar free” items. For low fat, they simple remove the fat that your body needs and typically replace it with either sugar or salt. Sugar free means they increase the fat or add aspartame, which is pure chemicals.
  6. Fake sugar is NOT a good substitute in order to cut calories. Numerous studies show that fake sugar actually backfires and makes you gain weight. The biggest goal is to get yourself off added sugar and instead enjoy natural fruit sugar, but if you must have a sweetener, use stevia. It’s the only no calorie sweetener from the Stevia plant which is native to South America (it has two ingredients: natural stevia leaf extract and inulin, a soluble vegetable fiber), where as Equal has dextrose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, starch, silicon dioxide (an anti-caking agent),maltodextrin, and unspecified flavoring. (Click this link if you want a ton of articles, peer reviews, videos, etc. on aspartame and sweeteners.)
  7. When buying food out, green vegetables should be the biggest portion of the meal. Whether you are at a sandwhich shop, restaurant, or eating food at a buffet, load your plate up with veggies (again, see #1) then head for other things. Eat this first before anything else. You are less likely to overeat on the not-so-healthy foods if you start off each bite with something healthy.
  8. Don’t walk while eating (nor watch tv, talk on the phone, drive, or work at your desk). This one is pretty simple: if you sit down, focus on each bite, the taste, the textures, and get a sense for if you are actually full or not, you begin to enjoy your food, overeat less, and can actually lose weight by practicing this very simple tactic. I see so many people walking down the street, eating a sandwich, and texting on their phone…. do you really think you are enjoying your food or are aware if you are even still hungry by doing this? Most likely not.
  9. Use your hands as measurements, one snack should be the size of a cupped palmful, a full meal no larger than your two hands together, cupped. Your stomach is not as big as you think, yet we seem to jam pack it with as much stuff as possible. This is a simple guide to never overeating.
  10. If you wouldn’t eat an apple, you’re probably not hungry. If you are craving a chocolate bar, Big Mac, vanilla latte, the chances are that you are only wanting it because it has tons of added salt and sugar, not because of your bodies natural hunger signals. If you are TRULY hungry, you would eat healthy food in a second. Try this one the next time you reach for the candy- hungry or not? If yes, eat a piece of fruit. If not, put the candy down.

Now I could go on about my tips for eating healthy and maybe that will be another post, but I know this was a bit of information for one post…sorry! Hope it was helpful though!

Now for the “healthy” snack bar as mentioned above: (which contains a ridiculous 56 ingredients)Nutri-Grain bars, containing a whopping 56 ingredients!Ingredients: Crust: Whole grain oats, enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, vitamin B1 [thiamin mononitrate], vitamin B2 [riboflavin], folic acid), whole wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, soluble corn fiber, sugar, calcium carbonate, whey, wheat bran, salt, cellulose, potassium bicarbonate, mono- and diglycerides, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, wheat gluten, niacinamide, vitamin A palmitate, carrageenan, zinc oxide, reduced iron, guar gum, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, folic acid. Filling: High fructose corn syrup, glycerin, fructose, modified cornstarch, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, nonfat yogurt powder (cultured nonfat milk; heat-treated after culturing), cellulose, strawberry puree concentrate, modified tapioca starch, sugar, malic acid, natural and artificial flavor, salt, color added, datem, mono- and diglycerides, soy lecithin, caramel color, red 40.

Do you still want to eat that now?! Or how about the ingredients below, which are a staple in my everyday meals…

Cooking with lots of colors!

2 Responses

  1. Katinka says:

    I was thinking.. What’s you’re view on the proteinbars at fitness centers..?? 🙂

    • I believe most of them are loaded with very unhealthy additives as well as sugar and/or aspartame. I try to stay away from them and bring my own snacks for post workout such as a shake made with a banana, Sun Warrior protein powder and some almonds. Or just grab a banana with all natural peanut butter. x


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