by Daisy Dao
It may seem redundant but eating a healthy diet is very important to have good health and avoid diseases. On the one hand, a healthy diet allows our organism to function normally, to cover basic physiological needs and, on the other hand, reduces the risk of suffering short and long-term diseases.
With clever food packaging, endless grocery options, and plenty of contradicting “research,” it can be incredibly difficult and overwhelming to figure out what foods are actually healthy. Start improving your health with the basic tips below. A Paleo Diet also provides a great foundation.
Animal Products: local, fresh or frozen, organic, pastured, grass-fed, wild, hormone & antibiotic-free. Visit seafoodwatch.org for sustainable, low-mercury fish and seafood.
Beverages: water, mineral water, unsweetened herbal tea
Natural Fats: avocado, avocado oil, pastured butter/ghee/lard/tallow/bacon/poultry skin, coconut milk/butter/cream/flakes/shredded, unrefined coconut/palm oil, nuts & nut butters, olives, olive oil
Herbs & Spices: all
Produce: local, fresh or frozen, organic (especially cabbage family vegetables & berries)
Sweeteners: cinnamon, stevia
Note: consumption of these foods depends highly on the individual
Beverages: unsweetened tea, coffee, sparkling water, coconut water, kvass, kombucha, Zevia
Dairy: grass-fed, raw, organic, fermented, full-fat, hormone-free, antibiotic free
Grains/Seeds: gluten-free, soaked or sprouted: quinoa, quinoa flakes, rice, tortilla (organic corn/brown rice), bread (Paleo, sprouted, sourdough), oats (steel-cut)
Legumes/Beans: soaked/sprouted legumes such as peanuts, lentils, beans & fermented soy
Sweetener: fresh/frozen fruit, dried fruit (dates, figs, prunes), 100% pure maple syrup, raw honey
Other grey area foods: alcohol, caffeine, nightshades, nuts & seeds
Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid: artificial coloring, artificial sweeteners, canola oil, corn, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate (MSG), refined sugars, modern soy, trans fats, wheat/gluten.
Animal Products: processed lunch meats, hot dogs, canned, breaded, deep-fried
Beverages: energy drinks, sport’s drinks, soda, sweetened teas, juices, pasteurized milk, etc.
Fats: trans fats, hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated (canola, cottonseed, corn, margarine, soybean), polyunsaturated fats high in omega-6s (sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil) & cooking sprays
Grains: refined carbs, including cereal, bread, pasta, waffles, pancakes, baked goods, pretzels, chips,
Legumes/Beans: refined legumes/beans, and unfermented soy (tofu, soy milk)
Produce: canned, processed, packaged with additives
Sweeteners: refined sugars (agave, brown sugar, rice syrup) & artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose)
1. Drinking water . The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends that adult women should drink 2 liters of water per day and men 2.5 liters. These levels can be increased depending on the activity of each one, the environmental and physiological conditions.
2. Shopping list . In addition to streamlining time in the establishment, this methodology allows us to keep track of the products we need and avoid buying food that we do not need.
3. Have breakfast like a king, eat like a prince and dine like a beggar . It is considered one of the proverbs for excellence in food. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Murcia and Harvard have determined that the key to maintaining a balanced weight is not the food that is eaten, but the time in which it is taken. So it is best to start the day with energy with a good breakfast and reduce the amount of meals throughout the day to finish with a light dinner.
4. Make 5 meals a day, 3 main meals and 2 snacks . Eat more times, but less quantity. It is the main premise to activate the metabolism to burn more calories and control weight, as this prevents snacking and reduces anxiety. The performance is also improved as nutrients are provided throughout the day and we get the body to work better and be more active.
5. Consume foods rich in sugar in moderation. Not only does the bakery contain a large amount of sugars, but sugar is consumed all day without being aware. According to the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN), it is advisable not to take more than 25 grams a day of sugar, which is equivalent to 6 lumps. Otherwise, excessive consumption can cause the appearance of decay, weight gain, diabetes, nervousness, hypertension, among other negative health consequences.
6. Avoid fried and breaded . In the same way that excessive consumption of sugar is bad, so is the abuse of frying as a method of preparing food. When fried foods are burned by having reached a high temperature, acrylamide is produced, a harmful substance that can become carcinogenic. Therefore at the time of cooking, especially fried products, is to leave them at their point and avoid cooking them too much.
7. Take 5 servings a day of fruit or vegetables. Three portions of vegetables and two of fruits are the minimum ideal amounts recommended by the scientific community. With these portions we ensure the supply of vitamins and minerals that the body needs throughout the day. In addition, eating fruits and vegetables helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, digestive disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and helps in the fight against overweight and obesity.
8. Enjoy the food and eat slowly . It is one of the healthiest things for the organism, but it is not a practice that can be applied in our day to day, because the rush and the short time for lunch make us finish the dishes quickly. Getting this habit will allow us to taste more food and improve digestion.
9. Try to establish a regular schedule. Keep the weight and metabolism in perfect condition can be achieved by establishing a regularity with meal times. In this way, you can maintain your weight and, at the same time, activate your metabolism.
10. Reduce the use of salt. The high sodium intake (more than 5 grams per day) increases the cases of high blood pressure and risk of heart disease and stroke. At the time of cooking, the species that give flavor such as black pepper, oregano, cumin or garlic are great substitutes.
About Daisy Dao
Daisy grew up on the beautiful Honolulu island where she often found herself spending most of her day enjoying the ocean scent in sea waves. As such, Daisy came to appreciate the art of cooking seafood. She has experimented with baking, roasting, broiling, poaching, grilling (and every other cooking technique you can think of); and with all kinds of spices too. Now she is ready to present her experience: the art of cooking healthy food without any pre-packaged ingredients; food product recommendations for people who need a bit more guidance on what goes into their bodies; how to maintain an active lifestyle without having to give up your favorite foods!