Best Healthy Meals Plan
Food is a double edged sword. It can promote health and cause some of the most dreaded illnesses on earth. Choosing a good meal plan is the key to maximizing the health benefits of food while at the same time minimizing diseases known to be caused by poor eating habits.
Best Healthy Meals to Eat
Healthy meal is considered wholesome. This means you have to eat three times a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. People have been misled to believe that skipping meals can help with weight loss but in actual fact, it can lead to rebound weight gain as your body tries to compensate for the lost reserves. There are so many kinds of food that can make up the recipes for healthy meals.
Some people believe that these food types are usually expensive and people operating on budget may not afford them. While this may be true in some cases, it is possible to find some fine combination of healthy yet affordable recipes to make your meal plan. Such meals need to consist of foods rich in fiber, low in glycemic index, contains low fat and unprocessed.
According to the United States’ Department of Agriculture (USDA) as well as nutrition experts, eating healthy means loading up lots of vegetables, fresh fruits, lean meat and whole grains. This is very true and sounds extremely simple. However, many people who wish to follow healthy meal plans find it difficult to know the particular foods to include in their shopping list. Here are some ideas of foods you can shop for:
- Legumes such as black beans, kidney beans and lentils are very easy to cook and are loaded with tons of health benefits. They are high in protein making them a great alternative to meat especially vegetarians. They also contain a lot of fiber meaning they will stay longer in your stomach and therefore prevent cravings. Other important nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals (powerful antioxidants).
- Leafy vegetables such as kale and other members of the cruciferous family also make good foods. These are known to contain a number of cancer-fighting ingredients. They are also great sources of dietary fiber and have antioxidants. These veggies also contain vitamin K which is vital in blood clotting and cell growth. Other vegetables to consider include pumpkins, broccoli, eggplant, Brussels sprouts and spinach.
- Seafood such as salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. These are vital for proper functioning and health of the heart. Vitamin D also helps with bone development and weight loss. Latest research also indicates that omega-3 fatty acids can protect against premature brain aging as well as memory loss.
- Nuts including walnuts, coconut, almonds and peanuts are high in calorie and fat (monosaturated fat). The monosaturated fat found in nuts is much healthier than the saturated fat found dairy products and meat. Walnuts in particular have been found to contain largest concentration of antioxidants of all the nuts.
- All fruits are healthy and should be part of any healthy meal plan and recipes. Apples are particularly great. They are high in soluble fiber which scavenges for low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol). The skin of apples has high concentration of phytochemicals known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Other great fruits to include are blueberries, bananas, tomatoes, pineapples and all citrus fruits.
- Whole grains such quinoa contain a lot of protein with all the proteins your body needs to build and replenish itself, are rich in fiber and tasty if cooked well. Several mouthwatering recipes can come from whole grains. Other great choices include bulgur, flaxseeds and oatmeal.
- Dairy products have been source of debate whether they are healthy or not. Of late there seems to be consensus that low fat or non-fat dairy products are vital to health. Fat free milk can lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus and with lower blood pressure in adults. Other dairy products to consider include fat free Greek yoghurt and milk chocolate.
Your nutritional habit can have strong influence on your overall health. Poor habits have been blamed for a number of health problems including heart disease, obesity, stroke and diabetes among others. Here are top 5 nutritional habits you should make part of you to be healthy:
- Eat Only Healthy Unprocessed Food
Processed foods may be easy to prepare and therefore convenient but they are not healthy. They often contain high concentration of preservatives, additives, man-made coloring as well as other chemicals that can pose danger to their consumers. They are high is sugar, salt and fat but lack in fiber. Form a habit of eating only unprocessed foods including the ones discussed previously.
- Use Healthy Cooking Methods
Avoid overcooking food. Certain cooking methods such as deep frying meats and over boiling vegetable can destroy the active ingredients in these foods and denature the necessary enzymes. Try better methods such as steaming vegetables, stir-frying meat and vegetables, grilling or barbecuing fish, meat and vegetables and using herbs and spices instead of salt.
- Eat Healthy Portion Sizes
This may be difficult to define because no two people have the exact same size of the stomach and hunger levels. Eat more lunch than dinner but ensure all the means consist only of the healthy foods discussed above. Your aim while eating is to satisfy your hunger. This does not mean you eat until you cannot eat anymore. Ensure you eat three times a day in the right proportions.
- Try Using A Food Diary
By writing down what you eat, you will have a good idea of how healthy your diet is and where you need to make improvements. Keeping a diary of all that you eat and drink on a daily basis will give you a clear picture of how much you are consuming and how healthy it is.
- Drink A Lot Of Water
Water is life as over 70 percent of your body is water. Water is essential for digestion, absorption and transportation of nutrients throughout the body, for elimination of waste and regulation of body temperature. An average adult should take 8-10 cups of water per day.
Is Eating Clean Healthy?
Eating clean means consuming food in its most natural state or as close to this as possible. Some people may have a problem with this as some foods do not taste so good in their natural state. Eating clean is very healthy. This is because foods in their natural state have the highest concentration of the active ingredients as well as enzymes that are beneficial to the body.