Simple Steps to Healthy Eating
Healthy eating is something that sounds easy, but can be challenging. For example, the following things might make it difficult to enjoy healthy foods:
- Not enough time for food preparation;
- Not enough money for the best quality foods;
- Not enough knowledge about the healthy foods to eat, and
- Not choosing the right foods.
Of course, this blog is not meant to discourage you from healthy eating, but is meant to explain to you just how easy it can be to begin improving your health through small and basic dietary changes.
So, let’s look at those obstacles and learn how to overcome them.
We all understand that time can be a major issue. However, it is still entirely possible to enjoy healthy foods and healthy eating even when we don’t have a lot of free time. As an example, you know that you should add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, but you just cannot find the time to make a lot of meals or snacks from scratch.
Why not find ways to get two meals out of one? You can use those roasted vegetables for a batch of soup or you can toss them into a bowl of whole grain pasta and pack it for lunch? You can also buy a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and then wash, slice, peel, and prep them as soon as you get home from the store. This would allow you to have access to them at the moment you are ready to eat them or toss them into a dish.
This is a major issue for most modern people, but let’s just look at one simple fact – when you eat a diet that is full of processed foods, you are paying a lot more per serving. When you become a “perimeter” shopper who buys whole foods, your bills may feel as if they stay the same – but you will get a lot more food and nutrition with each trip to the store.
You must also consider the benefits of buying directly from the source – such as a vendor that sells top quality foods online – and buying bulk. You can divide servings into different portions and store them under optimal conditions to be used when needed.
Ah yes, knowledge. The modern world is an informational superhighway and yet where our diets are concerned it would seem as if we were less informed than ever before. (Anderson)
Why is that? Generally, we think of thin or muscular as “healthy” but that is just an illusion. Healthy eating is not something you can so easily “see” when you look at someone. Sure, they have clearer skin and brighter eyes, but you don’t have to be “bone thin” to be healthy.
So, what is healthy eating? It is when you eat a diversity of whole foods that are not processed and which improve rather than negatively impact your health. That would mean your diet is full of fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, whole grains, protein, fresh water, and variety.
This last issue is the toughest. This is because we might understand what to eat to be healthy, how to budget the time and money to buy the foods, but then we get to the store and we get confused. Should we buy the whole grain, all natural, fat free, etc?
We cannot emphasize enough that healthy eating means avoiding a lot of processing. So, foods that have a lot of added ingredients, canned and some frozen foods, and anything with preservatives and ingredients that are not easily pronounced should be kept out of the diet.
However, what about simple issues? What about things like nuts and seeds? How do you know which ones to buy? Should you just pick up the packages that have no added salt? Should you buy the most expensive to get the best quality?
This is actually a great example to use, and we’ll take an in-depth look at it to help you learn more about the healthy foods to eat.
Organic Nuts as the Ideal Example
When you want to eat healthy foods it means you want nutrient density. That is why fresh foods are such an ideal choice, but there are differences. That is why so many people are advocating organic foods that are locally grown or grown by farmers who have agreed to certain conditions.
As an example, here at the Caju Company we sell all natural cashews. We source them from small local farmers in Vietnam. This allows our nuts to be of the best quality and for the farmers to avoid the use of large-scale techniques such as non-organic compounds that reduce the nutritional value of the nuts.
The nuts are not heavily processed, we hand sort them for size and quality, roast them in small batches under ideal conditions, and then packaged and sell to our customers. Though they may not be as “cheap” as the cans on store shelves, they are far healthier, full of the nutrients that make them a super food, and provide the perfect illustration of how to shop and make simple steps towards healthier living.
Anderson, Robert Alan. 10 Ways to Eat Healthier. HowStuffWorks. 2013.