When the scale tips to a weight you never thought you’d see or you have multiple health symptoms popping up that you’ve never had before, one of the first things many people turn to is a change in their diet.
This is for good reason. Diet has a strong correlation to your health and your waistline. The more unnatural, unhealthy, processed food that is consumed, the worse the results will be. Here are a few guidelines to help you choose the healthiest foods to eat to stay fit.
Keep It Natural
Natural foods, those that grow in nature and through agriculture are the best choices. Stick with foods that have minimal processing and offer high nutrition. Anything that is grown on trees, vines, plant from the ground, or roots are all unprocessed natural foods that will give you the nutrients you need.
Ideally, you should stick with organic produce as studies have shown them to be free of artificial chemical pesticides and fertilizers, which can be harmful to your health in the long run. If you can’t afford organic food (or can’t afford to eat 100% organic), at least try to buy organic for those foods that are considered the most pesticide-laden.
Keep It Balanced
Avoid the trendy fad diets or food trends that tell you an entire food group is bad. The low fat movement has made people afraid of healthy fats like avocado, which are beneficial for brain function, while the gluten free movement has made many people (who don’t have Celiac or other gluten-intolerant diseases) shy away from essential grains that provide fiber and complex carbohydrates.
Instead, eat a healthy, balanced diet. Keep your lean meat portions to no bigger than the size of your palm, eat a modest amount of grains at meals (rather than taking up an enormous portion of your plate), and consider soaking or sprouting your grains before using them to remove phytates that may cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
Keep It Green
Too many people today eat highly processed foods with little to no fruits or vegetables – especially vegetables. When vegetables are eaten, they are often overcooked and either fried in grease or drowned in fattening sauces.
Instead, try to slowly add more and more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Cut back on the amount of fats and sauces used, avoid transfats, and turn to spices to help give the vegetables a flavor boost until you get used to the veggies.
Keep It Raw
As you get accustomed to eating more fruits and veggies, try to incorporate more raw produce rather than cooking it. Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds contain live enzymes that help you digest the food better and also, contain far more nutrients than their cooked counterparts. If you start each day with a big green smoothie and end it with a big raw salad that makes up at least half of your dinner, you are sure to start seeing revolutionary effects in your life.
By making these changes in your diet, you will slowly eliminate all the processed foods that have given you trouble in the past, and make the shift to lean meats, sprouted grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables, which are the healthiest foods to eat, and will give you the energy and mental clarity to improve all areas of your life and your health.