Healthy Food Guide

These days, simply the act of eating healthy can be mind boggling. Scanning the supermarket aisles you’ll find eye-catching slogans reading things like “fat free, sugar free, gluten free, low calorie, no salt, no added flavours, all natural”, the list is endless. Saying it’s occasionally confusing would be an understatement, however, it doesn’t have to be. Most people are left guessing after reading food labels, when all they really lack is information. I’m going to give you a breakdown of the most important information you need to know to not only improve your health, but you’ll probably lose some belly fat at the same time!

What is healthy food?

In its simplest form, healthy food is anything originally found in nature. A quote that can be easily understood, but very effective is: “If you can grow it or kill it, eat it”. Single ingredient foods in their purest form, unprocessed and free of preservatives. Following a healthy diet is essential in maintaining a good quality of life. If your body feels bad or off its rhythm it is usually due to built up toxins. Everything we consume must be assessed, and processed by our bodies. If you want your body to feel and function at its best, make it easier on your kidneys, liver, and intestines by choosing less-toxic foods. If the product saw its first days in a factory then it might be a good idea to leave it on the shelf.

Sugar Addiction?

Addiction in any form can be dangerous. Normally we associate addiction with drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol, but is refined sugar really any different? Highly addictive and fairly destructive. Commonly found in soft drinks, sweets, many cereals, and far too many other modern products, sugar can without a doubt control one’s life. On a cellular level, the consumption of high GI sugars spikes insulin while simultaneously signalling one’s brain to release dopamine. Whenever dopamine is involved, addiction can follow. Most people do not register this feeling as a “high”, but that is exactly what it is.

Nutrient Density

There is only a limited amount of food you can eat in a single day. In order to maximize the amount of nutrients you take in, it makes sense to spend your “calorie budget” wisely. The best way to do that is to simply eat the foods that carry the greatest amount and variety of nutrients. Consuming vegetables, fruits, seafood & lean meats will provide essential nutrients, but with less calories, therefore, filling more of your stomach and keeping hunger at bay with protein and fibre. Here’s a list of 5 of my favourite nutrient dense foods:

  1. Salmon is loaded with beneficial fatty acids, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is a good idea to eat fatty fish every week.
  2. Whole Eggs are so nutritious that they’re often called “nature’s multivitamin.” The yolk is where almost all of the nutrients are found, just eating the whites is a terrible idea.
  3. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you can eat, with large amounts of vitamins, minerals and cancer-fighting compounds.
  4. Liver is the most nutritious parts of the animal with more vitamins and minerals than anywhere else.
  5. Blueberries are very nutritious compared to most fruits and are loaded with powerful antioxidants that have protective effects on the brain.

And the benefits of healthy eating?

Clean eating may seem like a full time job, but for the average person, shifting into a state of nutritional awareness is not as difficult as it may seem. Everything in moderation may be the most important phrase to keep in mind when thinking about your daily diet. Crash dieting and self starvation will get you no healthier than frequent binge eating.

As we now know, we are composed of what we eat, and in its simplest form, this is easy to see in most people. Vegans and vegetarians survive off of a strictly plant based diet, and vegans especially, tend to resemble their eating profile, thin and lithe with normally a lower amount of muscle mass. However an omnivore that maintains a decent level of nutritional awareness will eat a variety of foods from meat, fish, dairy as well as plant based, will have a fuller form with more muscle mass. Finally, we have those that give little thought to their food choices and either fall in the category of unhealthy eaters. When nutrition is a failed aspect in your life, normally exercise is forgotten as well, for most the two go hand in hand. Take control of your health today and fill your body with nutrients and energy it needs to thrive. You wouldn’t put lawnmower petrol in your Ferrari and expect it to perform optimally – you’re body is no different!