There’s plenty of information about eating to support a healthy, active lifestyle. It can be hard to sort through all of the claims and suggestions while trying to put together an eating plan for your family, especially as you travel from one country to another. Experts represent all points of view, including Nina Teicholz who supports a low-carb, high-fat diet, Hannah Howlett who backs a high-starch diet, and Garth Davis who lectures on the value of a plant-based, vegan diet.
When it comes down to it, you are the best judge of which eating plan you can maintain for your specific lifestyle. However, here are some tips that most “experts” agree upon that should help.
1. Begin Your Day With Breakfast
Just about every nutritionist agrees, breakfast is important. It provides your fuel for the day and jumpstarts your metabolism. People who eat breakfast tend to have more energy, perform better at work or school, and better maintain their healthy eating habits throughout the day. Nutritionists are backed in this claim by the medical professionals behind WebMD, the scientists and professionals responsible for the UPMC Health Plan, and researchers from many areas of study.
2. Eat Food With Minimal Processing
Pick up just about any box, bag, or can in the grocery store and you’re likely to read a list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Of course, just become ingredients are written in scientific nomenclature doesn’t mean you should avoid them. After all, dihydrogen monoxide by any other name is still water. However, if there are more food additives than actual food, you should probably move on to something else. Make your own trail mix rather than buying a pre-packed mix, for example. Of course, this also means avoiding soft drinks and fast food.
3. Eat More Vegetables
Even Nina Teicholz would have to agree that colorful veggies belong in a healthy diet. An eating plan rich in plenty of vegetables and fruit can reduce the risk of diseases, such as high blood pressure and cancer, help you feel energized, and support your active lifestyle. Feed yourself vitamins, minerals, fiber, and even protein by adding fruits and veggies to every meal.
4. Drink More Water
The human body is about 60% water and proper hydration aids digestion, circulation, and maintenance of body temperature. Scientists from medical, fitness, and nutrition backgrounds agree that the proper intake of water is necessary for your body’s health. If you’re not a fan of drinking water, there are several options for making it more palatable, such as adding fruit for a quick flavor boost.
5. Add Fasting to Your Schedule
There are many studies that support the benefits of fasting. This doesn’t mean skipping breakfast or any other meal every day. What it does mean is setting aside a specific time frame, intermittently, for fasting and doing so regularly. The benefits include sustained weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, increased metabolism, and improved brain function. This habit is supported by numerous studies.
Research Various Perspectives
In her book, The Big Fat Surprise, Nina Teicholz acknowledges the bias behind much of the research and studies regarding healthy eating. As you work to put together your own healthy eating plan, it is helpful to understand all the claims. This way you can make educated decisions for your family, and you’ll have plenty of science to back up your choices at family reunions.
The next time you come across the newest superfood craze, don’t throw these healthy eating tips out the window. Instead, take your time to research beyond the internet articles. Compare what you already know with those happy testimonials and take untested claims with a figurative grain of salt.