Many of the foods we all eat are processed. Although most of us know these can contain chemicals that are not good for us, they can be very tasty and convenient. However, there is a trend moving towards eating fresh foods as these processed ones get worse and worse publicity. Even governments are saying they should alter ingredients to make them healthier, the UK for instance, insisting that the amounts of sugar and salt in processed foods is reduced by half. It’s becoming more common to clean up your diet.
Eating fresher foods can help you to lose weight, but even more importantly, they reduce the risk of you developing diabetes, cancer or heart problems, so that you can live your healthiest possible life. It can be difficult to suddenly change your diet totally and often is not sustainable., However, you can change a few things at a time, and if you aim for a diet that is 80% better than you are currently eating, you will still have room for the occasional treat. Balance, right?!
Start With The Easy Things
Some things are easier than others to replace. You could begin by replacing soda drinks such as coke with water. If you need flavor, add a few slices of a citrus fruit such as lemon, orange or lime or even better, buy cucumber flavored water that’s ready whenever you need it. You will find this just a refreshing and the extra water in your diet is very good for you. Soda drinks have a lot of preservatives and sugar in them, and they are best avoided. Achieving this is a huge step towards making your diet healthier.
Another easy thing to swap is white processed bread for wholegrain brown bread. This is tastier and much better for you. The same applies if you buy pasta. The whole grains ones are more natural and better for you.
Consider Your Favorite Foods
If you’re a meat eater, avoid processed meats such as burgers and sausages. Often, these do not have much actual meat in them at all and are filled out with other things to give them a longer shelf life. If you want meat, find a local butcher and buy it fresh. This does not mean you can never have a burger again. You can make your own and then you will know exactly what is in them.
Buy fresh whole chicken rather than portions that have been skinned, as the chicken breasts or legs you buy often have chemicals added to them to bulk them out, and these are not good for you.
If you are vegetarian or vegan, find the organic fruit and vegetables, so that you are not digesting the pesticides used on these things. In fact, we should all do that.
Read The Labels
Manufacturers have to put the ingredients of food on the labels and make sure you read these before you buy. If they do not show the actual amount of each ingredient, they have to list them in the order of the largest first. If you read the label and there are a dozen or more ingredients, there’s a good chance that they include some of the things that should be avoided, such as artificial flavors, colors, stabilizers, preservatives, and excessive amounts of fat, salt, and sugar. They may give them a fancy name, but that does not change what they are.
If you want to purchase some processed, opt for the things that have the fewest ingredients, five or less if possible. The likelihood of the toxins reduces greatly when there are not so many ingredients in the food.
Allow Yourself The Time
If you’re used to eating a lot of salty or sugary foods, a sudden change can be too drastic. This means you’ll probably revert to your old ways. Do it gradually, for example, by mixing white and brown rice together until you become accustomed to the taste. Over a few weeks, decrease the amount of white rice and you will find your taste buds will adjust. You can do this with lots of foods, and research has shown it can take up to 12 weeks for your tastes to alter.
Allow yourself the time, and do not give up if it takes a little longer than you hoped.
Discover The Pleasure Of Fresh Foods
You only have to go back a couple of generations to find the time when foods were fresh, and you could only get some of them when they were in season. In those days, processed probably meant it was frozen or in a can, and nothing much was added. There were more local shops. You went to the butchers for your meat, the greengrocers for your fruit and veg and the bakery for your bread. Foods did not have ‘use by’ dates because everyone knew you had to use them as soon as you could.
Clean Up Your Diet
More people are turning back the clock where their diet is concerned. As a result, they’re feeling healthier and more alert because of it. If you want to clean up your diet, making these simple changes can make all the difference.
If you’re ready to clean up your diet and need coaching towards a healthier lifestyle, I’d love to chat and see how I can help you reach your goals. Fill out this quick form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.