Perhaps you are in a state of general good health, and you are not overweight. If so, then you may be thinking that there is no need for you to go on a healthy eating plan. Hey, you feel great! Right? So it stands to reason that you should be able to eat whatever you want without having to worry about it. While it may seem that way, the truth is that healthy eating is a smart choice for everyone, regardless of their current state of health. On the other hand, you may be like a large portion of the population and already have some weight or health issues. Either way, here are some things for you to consider.
First, let’s talk about all of the confusion that’s out there. It seems as though there are new diets and news stories coming out every day that tell us about what foods are healthy and which ones aren’t. This would be great if they could agree on anything. Instead, it seems as though all if this information is contradictory. That wouldn’t be that big of a problem if people didn’t use it as an excuse to eat whatever they want. So, just because there is conflicting information, doesn’t give you free license to eat anything, any time.
A good example of this is the fat in our diets. There was a time, not all that long ago, that fat was food enemy #1. Food makers were quick to roll out low-fat versions of some of their more popular foods, and people gobbled them up (figuratively and literally). So, what happened to people’s waistlines? Well, they sure didn’t shrink. In fact, the population kept getting heavier. Clearly there was something else going on. What it comes down to is that we need fat to be healthy, but there are different types of fats. Trans fats and saturated fat should be avoided (though some saturated is acceptable, trans fats should be eliminated entirely), but monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can be enjoyed in moderation and actually impart some health benefits.
The next thing to watch out for is refined foods. In other words, do your best to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. You can take this a step further by passing any foods which contain ingredients that sound like they are the result of a chemical experiment. White flour, sugar and other simple carbohydrates are some of the more common examples of refined foods that don’t belong in a healthy eating plan.
Finally, while all of the advice above is good, it’s okay to “slip” once in a while. If possible, try to find healthy alternatives for the junk foods you feel you must have. But other than that, the occasional cheeseburger or handful of chips won’t hurt you as long as you don’t make a habit of eating them, and eat are eating well otherwise. The key is to make changes that you can stick to and to take smaller steps so you can get used to a healthier lifestyle.