So many healthy eaters following so many different diets! Years ago, very few people were on special diets other than to lose weight. Now, it seems like EVERYONE is watching something! Low carb, gluten free, low sodium, KETO, vegetarian, low fat, pescetarian, plant based, Mediterranean, raw food, intermittent fasting, paleo, no flour, no sugar, Mayo, and so many more.
But why are so many people choosing these different alternatives? There are probably as many reasons as there are diets, but maybe one of the biggest is people living longer and wanting to have a healthier lifestyle to feel better. As the baby boomers are aging, they are realizing that good choices can make them more energetic, cut down on health issues (and trips to the doctor!) and be able to do so many more activities with those grandchildren!
Many people are having health issues as they age and trying to fix some of their earlier mistakes. Heart attack, elevated blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugars, pain in joints and even depression can be affected by what you eat. So how do you know what is best for you? First of all, research. Search on the web for what is bothering you and what you should be eating. Make sure you are checking reputable websites. A company that makes salt might tell you how great salt is for you while your doctor says, “No!” Look into research- not Hershey telling you how chocolate has proven to be healthy, but places like Mayo Clinic or doctors who are not affiliated with a company. Also, ask your doctor. While your friends are great for their favorite restaurant, gym or place to shop, they may not know your health issues and what would be best. Some of the old wives tales actually do work, but start with a medical professional. Dieticians and nutritionists are a great source as well.
So what is healthy? You need to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains for fiber, lean proteins and water, water, water. Honestly, the closer a food you eat is to how it is in nature, the better. Now, don’t go out and bite a cow or chicken, but try for less processing. Avoid breaded, fried or frozen meals, when you can. Those fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, so much better than canned or frozen. (Taste and healthwise!)
In addition, portion control is huge (pardon the pun.) In America, a serving from a restaurant is probably enough for two or three meals. Watch your processed foods. Usually, they are just adding sugar, unhealthy fats or salt. When you cook at home, you have a lot more control. YOU control the fat, sugar, sodium, gluten, etc. Grilling is better than sauteing and air fryers might be the best invention yet. They provide the crisp of frying with just a spray of cooking spray instead of deep frying. Home cooking not only is better for you, but it can save you money. A chicken dish at a restaurant can cost $20-$40. While at the grocery, you can buy enough chicken to feed 5 for that much. Yes, you have to make it yourself, but when thinking about the time you spend driving to a restaurant, waiting for a table, waiting for your waiter, waiting for the food- maybe sending it back if something is wrong, waiting for the check to come and get returned and then driving back home, the 30 minutes it takes to make something seems rather inconsequential. Plus, you control the seasoning. Most herbs and spices add flavor without anything bad. Check out the amazing, unique spices at LifiBifi from Burlap and Barrel to really up your game! When you use them, let us know! We’ll post your pictures of your marvelous creations.
Now, even though you can help with your cholesterol, weight, blood pressure, depression, diabetes, some cancers and so much more, there are other factors out of our control. Your genes are probably the biggest thing that influences your health. But, by exercising, eating right, following your medical professional’s advice and drinking lots of water, you can help to counter act bad genes or help bolster those good ones!