Healthy Foods That Don’t Suck

healthy wraps

You know that you should eat healthier and deep down you really want to, but the idea of giving up all that tasty stuff in place of food that’s about as appealing as a piece of cardboard makes you go “blech”, right? That may be your problem— thinking that you need to give up all of the food you love. It’s no wonder that so many people find it hard to eat healthy when they automatically associate healthy eating with deprivation. It’s time to change that.

Take it One Food at a Time

Making the switch to healthier eating is easy when you tackle it one food at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all! Your snacks are always a good place to start. Instead of hitting the vending machine or reaching for a fist full of M&M’s for a snack, pack some fruit instead. Research presented at the 2011 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo showed that American’s are consuming almost 600 calories when they snack, which is the equivalent of eating a full fourth meal every day—a hefty one at that! They also found that a lot of those calories are coming from beverages, so swapping out your pop for water and your mochaccino for a “skinny” version can also make a huge difference.

Eat Healthy, Easy Versions of Your Favorite Foods

The beauty of the internet for those looking to get healthy is the endless amount of recipes for substitutes to your favorite foods. Thankfully there are loads of others out there that love food as much as you do and wanted to find healthier versions of those foods enough to do the legwork and write about it. Take advantage of these do-gooders and what they’re offering and try out recipes that are reasonable facsimiles of your faves but a whole lot healthier. And, make it even easier on yourself but searching for recipes that also contain the words “quick” or “easy” since the easier they are to make, they are more likely that you’ll add them to your repertoire of go-to foods. You can find truly delicious and no-fuss versions of everything from pizza and burgers to the most decadent desserts online.

cooking vegetables frying pan

Change the Way You Cook

You’d be shocked to know just how much extra fat, calories, and even chemicals you take in just by the method you choose for cooking stuff. If you’re using oils and cooking sprays to sauté your foods, then it’s time to try something different, like steaming or roasting. While we do need a certain amount of fat for our bodies to function, you should be getting them from the foods you eat, like nuts and seeds and fatty fishes, like salmon and albacore tuna. Steaming, roasting, and grilling your foods eliminates the need for any kind of oil for cooking. It may not seem like a big deal, but most oils—even the “good ones”—contain well over 100 calories per tablespoon. And if you tend to cook with butter, then it’s not only calories and saturated fat, but high cholesterol you’re taking in too. Skip it entirely or, when it comes to baking, substitute it with applesauce or plain yogurt instead.

Small changes in your diet can have a huge impact on your health and are way easier to start and stick with than a major diet overhaul. Add to that a little effort to eat healthy foods that also taste good and eating healthy will be a breeze.

You can click here to learn more about nutrition and health.

Adrienne is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and fitness for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.

References

  • Snacking Constitutes 25 Percent of Calories Consumed in U.S. (June 2011). Institute of Food Technologists. Retrieved on March 26, 2014, from http://www.ift.org/newsroom/news-releases/2011/june/20/snacking-constitutes-25-percent-of-calories-consumed-in-us.aspx
  • Nelson, Jennifer K. R.D., L.D., Zeratsky, Katherine R.D., L.D. Tips for healthy eating. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on March 26, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/tips-for-healthy-eating/bgp-20056191
  • Nelson, Jennifer K. R.D., L.D. (June 2012). Which spread is better for my heart — butter or margarine?. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on March 26, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/butter-vs-margarine/faq-20058152

 

The Myriad Adverse Effects Of Fast Food

fast food

What is fast food? There are various definitions of fast food and different names given to it as well. Technically, any food that can be quickly prepared, cooked and served can be regarded as fast food. However, time is not the only determining factor. Had that been the case then your fruit juice back home, which takes only a few minutes to make provided your blender or grinder is setup, would have been fast food as well.

What Is Fast Food, Actually?

Fast food is any food that has been cooked quickly but also whose ingredients or all the food items going into the recipe have been precooked, prepared and stored for a while prior to the actual cooking. Another piece of detail that has become significantly relevant in today’s context is the processed and ready to cook foods.

When any food is not cooked in its traditional way, it falls under the definition of what is fast food. For instance, take the example of soup. If you make soup the traditional way by cooking the broth, boiling the vegetables or chicken and any other ingredient that you want, use salts and everything else from your kitchen, then it is not fast food. However, if you were to buy a ready to cook soup, bring it home and add the mix to water and get your soup, without doing anything else, then it is fast food.

Fast food typically applies to what you get at restaurants and takeaways where the foods are prepared long before they are cooked, the foods are processed heavily and they are mostly fried or quickly cooked in high heat ovens. Burgers, pizzas, fish and chips, sandwiches (unless using all fresh ingredients which are completely unprocessed) and even sushi and pasta are fast foods.

fast food top

Effects Of Fast Foods

Fast foods are not good for us. There can be no debate on that. Doctors, dietitians, nutritionists and scientists from every nook and corner of the world have reiterated time and again, published numerous studies and results of researches that fast foods are one of the worst curses of the modern world. If there is something that you should quit right today, then it has to be fast foods.

There are numerous effects of fast foods. First, fast foods lead to obesity. In the US and most developed countries, obesity has become the greatest health challenge today. Everywhere you look and anyone you meet, you are more likely to meet an obese child or adult and rarely would you get to see a man or woman with a healthy body, one who is fit and agile. From the perspective of obesity and fitness, you would not be able to lose belly fat if you keep eating fast foods. Fast foods do nothing positive to your energy level. Fast foods cannot be classified as healthy eating. Thus, if you want to fight obesity or weight gain, if you intend to lose weight and enjoy optimum energy level and if you wish to indulge in healthy eating then you have to quit fast foods. Obesity is one of the unavoidable fast food effects.

What Else?

Among the other effects of fast foods, a significant one is its impacts on health of the heart. Most junk or fast foods increase the cholesterol and glucose levels in our blood. Higher cholesterol is not good for your heart. Higher blood sugar levels will cause diabetes. There are millions of people living with diabetes in the US which is one of the direct effects of fast foods. Fast foods increase the blood pressure which again directly impacts your heart. If you want to avoid cardiac problems then apart from exercising, you should avoid fast foods.

Fast foods interfere with everything that is natural in our body. It hinders the natural biological growth of a child. They do not have any nutrition that the body desires. Instead, they are rich in toxins. Artificial flavors, chemicals, colors and all types of synthesized ingredients have very little nutrition to offer. They would only harm your health, in the short term and in the long term.

Once in a while indulging in fast foods can be acceptable but making it a part of your daily or even weekly diet is against the very principles of healthy eating. You would not only fail to lose belly fat if you eat fast foods, you would also fail to live a healthy life.

The effects of fast foods are not noticeable instantly. They feel good to taste and are also filling on most occasions. It is only after months of gorging on them that you would notice the first mild effects of fast foods. Most people do not pay heed to such minor fast food effects and soon enough they become a health concern.

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