The Benefits and Advantages of Eating Healthy Food

One should never underestimate the importance of eating healthy food. There are so many benefits but why are there so many people still not eating right? Why has obesity and heart diseases become such a huge factor? Although the statistics are clear, people still refuse to change their life styles.

Eating healthy food may become a struggle, especially when there are so many fast food restaurants everywhere we turn. Often people make excuses like they don’t have time to get healthy food, it’s not that accessible, or that they don’t know how to prepare it. However, there are just as many supermarkets that stock fresh produce as there are fast foods outlets, so accessibility is a poor excuse.

The rate at which obesity in children is rising is more shocking than that in adults. But what is the root of this problem. One cannot really blame the children as they learn from their parents. Children are more likely to eat unhealthy foods if their parents do.

The benefits of eating a healthy diet include living a longer life, feeling happier, gaining vitality, weight loss, and a healthy appearance. Processed food decrease the quality of our lives, so eating healthy foods means we can better fight diseases and live longer. When it comes to happiness, studies have shown that eating healthy foods is an excellent natural anti-depressant.

When you eat healthy your energy levels tend to rise. Because fatty foods cause weight gain you will also have a better chance of losing weight with a healthy diet. You will not only feel healthier but will look healthier. You’ll be surprised at how much healthier your skin, hair, and nails will become.

Sometimes it is not enough just to eat an apple a day. To really gain the benefits of eating healthy foods you need to plan an entire healthy diet and stick to it.

The best time to eat healthy is the morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so keeping at least your breakfast healthy is a good start. Drinking a smoothie in morning is a good healthy option. It is packed with goodness and tastes delicious. Yogurt also makes for a healthy breakfast but stick to low fat, unsweetened yoghurt. Eating plain yogurt with freshly cut fruit pieces may be an even healthier option. Eggs and whole wheat bread or bran muffins is more filling. Eating cereals or oatmeal is also better than eating a fatty breakfast or even no breakfast.

During the day you need to eat meals that contain loads of starch because they contain energy. Breads, cereals, rice, potatoes and pasta will do the trick however, stay within the limits. Do not over eat; just eat enough to sustain your energy.

You should also try to eat as much fruits and vegetables as possible throughout the day. One should at least pack in 5 portions. Avoid eating a lot of meats; rather choose fish as a healthy alternative. Stay away from a lot of fatty and processed foods but do not cut it out completely. Lastly, drink loads of water.

What Makes Our Food More Appetizing?

Have you ever heard it said we eat with our eyes? Although the phrase may sound silly give it some thought. Our eyes tell us when we’re attracted to the opposite sex. You’re not going to get up close and personal with someone you don’t find physically appealing are you? It’s the same with food.

So it could be said we do eat with our eyes. If we don’t find it physically pleasing then it’s unlikely we’ll want to eat it. Ever wondered why restaurants serve up meals with a little garnish on the plate, some salad, etc. It’s to make the food seem more attractive. If it looks pleasant then chances are it probably tastes that way as well. A problem a lot of people have is not making their meals look good enough. When people start a diet they invariably make their meal look dull and boring. Extra effort is needed to make it seem exciting and appetising.

Do we perhaps make unhealthy meals seem more appealing? Dress them with trims and garnishes as we don’t like to think how bad they are for us. Is this perhaps true with some meal choices in restaurants? Maybe they don’t want us to think of all the unhealthy ingredients that make up the dish.

So how can we make our diet more attractive? Let’s discuss some important points.

Colour

As with all things in life we’re guided by our senses. We’re not attracted by things that give off an unappealing aroma or don’t look good on the eye. It’s the same with food. Make your meal look pleasant and enjoyable by adding lots of colour. Lemon or other acidic juices sprinkled over your food will help it keep its colour until ready to serve. A good tip to keep green veg from losing colour is to only cook it briefly.

It’s vital to add lots of colour to mealtimes. Be creative and make your food vibrant and appealing. If it’s overcooked, dull or soggy it’s not going to appear appetizing. Vegetables are a great way of adding appeal to food as they come in so many colours. Yellow peppers, red onions, green celery, all excellent additions to your plate and attracting the eye.

Next time you’re at a market or in the vegetable aisle at a store have a look around at the wide variety of colour available. Check out the freshness. Make food tempting to the nose and taste buds as well. Add lots of spices and herbs to give a rich aroma and flavour.

All too often healthy low fat food can seem tasteless but with a little know how it can be turned into a vibrant and delicious feast. A cheap and easy way of adding taste is by using peppers to make a meal hot and spicy. Tone it down a little and add sweetness by using a little sugar.

Texture

Unfortunately this is often missed in the cooking and preparation of meals. Just as important as taste and smell, if it isn’t feeling good to chew then you’re most likely going to want to spit it out! Don’t burn or over cook your food. Blanch your veg to keep it crisp – nothings worse than soggy vegetables! Don’t turn your meals into dull, tasteless experiences – keep everything as good on the eye and taste buds as they were before they were cooked.

Organise the food on your plate so it looks appealing and attractive as well. Make your meal look larger by using a smaller plate. Don’t just dump the food on your plate – arrange everything out nicely and spread it out well covering the whole plate. Add aroma to mealtimes by burning scented candles or incense while you eat. Be aware though that the fruit scented ones may increase your appetite! An appealing fragrance in the air will make you forget about your hunger.

Don’t forget to take in plenty of liquids with your meal. It’s not a good idea to wait until after eating to have your drink, take it whilst you eat as this makes your stomach feel fuller and aids digestion.

The key to a successful diet is not to have the brain thinking its being denied all the food it enjoys. Make all your meals exciting to the senses. Try new ideas and experiment with recipes. Achieving this will help your goal of a successful diet.

6 Negative Effects Of Eating Fast Food

1. Fast food has a very high energy density. About 65 percent higher than a typical diet and twice as high as recommended healthy diets which makes us eat more than we otherwise would. Energy density refers to the amount of calories an item of food contains in relation to its weight. Foods with a high energy density confuse the brain’s control systems for appetite, which are based solely on portion size.

2. British researchers from the Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Center and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have determined that repeated eating at McDonald’s or KFC or Burger King, people are more likely to gain weight and become obese. This is because fast food not only contains many more calories than traditional food, but also is more likely to undermine normal appetite control systems.

3. By eating a Big Mac and fries, the body consumes almost twice as many calories as you would if you ate the same weight of pasta and salad. Fast Food restaurants feed the obesity epidemic by getting people to eat many more calories than they need through persistent advertising.

4. McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King menu items using nutritional data from the fast food restaurants’ Web sites, found that when we eat high energy density foods, we don’t reduce the portion size so we get a lot more calories than we need. Our current society possesses a weak innate ability to recognize foods with a high energy density. Food intake is assessed by the size of the portion, yet a fast food meal contains many more calories than a similar sized portion of a healthy meal. The conclusion is we are all being fooled into eating too much food.

5. People get fat eating regular portion sizes, but since the food has a high energy density, people gain weight. In evolutionary terms, the human appetite was designed for low energy density foods. In other parts of the world where these foods are still the dietary staples, obesity is virtually non existent. Our bodies were never designed to cope with the high energy dense foods consumed in the West. That is a major reason why fast food in contributing to the major rise in obesity.

6. Another fact is that fast food may speed up people’s risk of clogged arteries that can lead to heart attacks. Researchers at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in San Francisco have demonstrated that a certain type of fat, called oxidized fat, can accelerate the buildup of plaque in arteries. And many types of fast food such as hamburgers, pizza and French fries are loaded with oxidized fat. The conclusion is fast food meals are high in saturated fat and low quality carbohydrates, white bread and lots of soda. Our bodies require fiber and more healthful types of fats. Fast food represents a dietary pattern that is the opposite of what is recommended for a healthy body.