It seems that every nutritional expert these days is contradicting his or her colleague in regards to what is nutritious and what is not. If you are anything like me, this makes determining how to eat nutritiously quite a chore. There are a few things that most experts seem to agree on though that can lead to a more nutritious diet and a healthier overall life style. Diet is arguably the single most important factor in determining ones overall life long health.
The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
–Hippocrates (father of modern medicine)
Below are my 5 keys to eating nutritiously:
To live a healthy nutritious life, the first step is to make a lifestyle change in regards to nutrition. Do not start a diet that has an end date to it, at best your results would only last the duration of the diet. Not to mention it is widely accepted that 95% of diets fail before completion. Do not begin a fad starvation diet but instead follow the keys below to lead a nutritious life. Implement a “Cheat Meal” once a week, cheat meals can help maintain our healthy lifestyle without giving up and one unhealthy mean a week will have minimal effect on our overall health.
2) Whole Food Plant Based
Quite possibly the most important key to nutrition is to eat whole food plant based meals. This includes plenty of vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts and fat-free or low-fat milk products. A whole food plant based diet will naturally be low in fats (both trans fats and saturated fats), cholesterol, sodium and sugars and will provide a good or source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Try to implement whole grain foods, substitute your red meats in for chicken or fish and eat plenty of vegetables.
Your body is said to consist of about 60% water and thus proper hydration is essential for your well being. Proper hydration can help with transportation and absorption of nutrients, digestion, circulation and more. According to the Mayo Clinic the Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The adequate intake for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.
Vary the foods that you eat. The more of a variety of colors and textures the better. This will ensure that you are consuming a wide range of different nutrients and vitamins. When shopping for produce at the store try to pick a variety of different brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
Go out and eat some vegetables and leave a comment below if you know another key to proper nutrition that is not on the list.