What Is Healthy Eating, Definition and Habits?
There have been so many theories that have come about concerning healthy eating diets, lifestyles and habits. Much like the best ways to lose weight, there have been hearsies too many "experts", fad diets and all sorts of beliefs on how to go about this. But what really is healthy eating? I would define it as eating nutritious and well-balanced food, making it a habit and ultimately turning it into a lifestyle. By well-balanced we mean that the food that you eat has got to provide your body with the nutrients, minerals and vitamins that it needs in order to be healthy and maintain that state.
However, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot time and again treat yourself and indulge in those "naughty" or "guilt" foods. You may, but moderation is key. So I would further add to the definition of healthy eating that it is eating well-thought out, well-balanced, nutritious foods as well as those foods that you may crave for that aren't necessarily healthy but in moderation. Some have spoken about the 80-20 rule; if 80% of the time you're eating healthy and going out of your way to do so and the other 20% you're on the the not so healthy junk food, etc., you may be able to pull of healthy eating.
One of the main problems in today's world is that most people's eating patterns are unhealthy. A number of people across the globe are consuming high-fat, high-sodium, high-sugar and high-cholesterol foods. These kind of foods pose a serious threat to one's health from hypertension to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even stroke. When one eats healthy, most of the ailments that people are suffering from today will be history! Something that will aid this quest will be cooking at home. Food preparation is very important when you want to lead a healthy eating lifestyle or lose weight. This way you'll be in charge of what's going into your meal. You can ensure that you get the best of ingredients in your meals.
Vegetables can be sauteed or stir-fried. But be careful not to over cook them as you may end up losing the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that your body's supposed to gain from them. Now what is healthy eating when it comes to cooking the meats?
Grilling, boiling, poaching, roasting, broiling and barbecuing are some of the ways in which you may prepare them without having to add any extra fat. when going shopping, as we have already mentioned, buy more of the organic fruits and vegetables and whole grain, whole meal foods.
As you shop, one important thing that you should do is look at the nutrition facts panel of your chosen product. Be it bread, cereal, a bag of chips or your favorite cookies. This will help you to know what exactly is in the food that you're about to consume. In other words, you need to increase your knowledge about food nutrition. One of the things that can set you off on this track is the food pyramid diagram or My Plate. What is healthy eating without talking about these? They were developed to be a guide for healthy eating.
The food pyramid diagram has about 6 food groups. These are the starches, fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy products and fats, oils and sweets. We will now briefly discuss what is healthy eating in the context of the food pyramid diagram. Starches should form the base of all your meals. In other words, you should have a starch in each of your meals. In the starches group we have breads, cereals and grains. Where possible, eat whole grain, whole meal or whole wheat options more often as they will not have been processed and refined and will therefore contain more nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Fruits and vegetables are something that you will definitely hear about when you ask what is healthy eating. This is because fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense foods. Meaning they contain a pack load of nutritional value as compared to the calories they give. What is healthy eating when it comes to the protein group? A few examples of the protein giving foods, include meat, fish, beans, eggs, tofu, etc. When it comes to the meats, it's important to choose lean meat and if it has some visible fat you may trim it off. Variety is important, so eat a lot of the different foods from each food group. That way you will also be getting a variety of minerals, vitamins and nutrients.
The dairy produce is essential in providing our bodies with calcium amongst other things. However, opt for the low-fat products such as low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, cream, etc. Finally, the fats, oils and sweets group should be consumed in serious moderation. You can use these sparingly. One of the absolute necessities when we want to eat and stay healthy is water. Drink as much water as you can as the day progresses. It helps you to stay hydrated, gives you beautiful, healthy, radiant skin, promotes good eye health and assists in the elimination of wastes and toxins from your body amongst many other things. Water is one beverage that will not add unwanted calories. One of the other advantages of water is that it has no added sugars or other additives (unless if it's flavoured water), pure water is the absolute best.
What is healthy eating? We also wouldn't have fully answered this question if we omit advicing you to eat according to your activity levels. A lot of people find themselves eating more than they actually need. By this we mean one consumes more calories than they burn. If your activity levels are low, moderate or high, eat accordingly. That way you'll ensure that you'll burn those calories and avoid heading towards obesity and being overweight. Another important thing to remember when wondering about what is healthy eating is to eat fish, in particular oily fish such as salmon. Oily fish are a great source of essential omega-3-fatty acids, omega-6-fatty-acids, minerals, vitamins and nutrients which are bodies need in order to stay healthy.
One should not undermine the importance of eating a healthy breakfast when discussing about what is healthy eating. The thing is, breakfast sets your body up for the whole day. Your body therefore needs to be well-armed, well-equipped with the righ kind of "armor" if you may!. And the only way you can do that is by eating well. Examples of things to include in your breakfast include whole-grain cereals, eggs, lean steak, tomatoes, baked beans, whole wheat bread, some fruit and 100% fruit juice (without added sugar), just to mention a few things. As we said earlier, go out of your way to ensure that you eat healthy. Let it be a song playing in your head!!
What Is Healthy Eating For Children, For Kids?
Babies, toddlers, kids, children, it's all one in the same thing. These little people also have another thing in common and that is most are fussy eaters. Children can be one of the most difficult diners to please. However, it's first and foremost important to set the children off on the right path. This is of course pertaining to eating healthy. But what is healthy eating for kids? Just what is involved in it? The answer is much like how we defined what helthy eating is in the first heading. Children need a standard to be set for them that they can and should follow (well as long as they are under your roof at least).
When a baby is introduced to soilds, as they progress, if the right kind of foods (the healthy ones) and eating patterns were introduced, it won't be so hard for the them to continue on that track. But when we introduce them to fast food, soda pops and more fast food, it may take a while for them to acquire the taste for healthy food should you decide to change the route on course. When healthy eating is absent in kids, conditions such as childhood obesity can easily creep in. In fact, today, childhood obesity in America has become a matter of concern. With childhood obesity comes other ailements such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension just to name a few. And may I add that these were diseases that were only heard of in adults not too long ago.
This should raise and alarm in any caring parent or guardian. As we have already mentioned, the tips from the first heading (what is healthy eating definition, habits?) can apply to children as well. One thing that we may need to emphasize here is again the importance of having breakfast. Research has shown that children who ate breakfast before they went to school were more alert, attentive and had better grades in class than those who didn't have breakfast. Also, their concentration span was noted to improve greatly. Breakfast, lunch and supper are important, but don't forget those snacks in between the meals.
Give your toddler or child fruit (can be juiced, dried or fresh), vegetables (raw or sauteed, cut them up into fun shapes), whole wheat or whole grain muffins/cookies, sandwiches, energy bars (be sure to check the nutrition facts panel first) and milk as snacks. Have healthy snacks for kids in mind as you do your grocery shopping. Finally, although it's not really about eating, exercising will definitely help you get the results you want from eating healthy. Get the kids, the whole family involved. Don't under-estimate the power of exercise!! Not only will you lose some weight but your body will stay in tip top condition.
What Is Healthy Eating For Teenagers, For Young People?
For teenagers, much of the things that we have discussed in this article apply to them also. In summary: