How to choose healthy foods
Confused about how to maintain a healthy diet? Medicine and science make it as easy as one, two, three:
The best way to ensure that you are eating good quality foods is to look for whole foods that are different colors. Eat a minimum of five different colored foods each day. (Preferably seven, but five is the starting point.)
Foods that are a richer color have a deeper level of antioxidants, and these are vital to augment your fight against the effects of aging.
You may be eating good quality food, but may be just eating too much of it! To control quantity, you must read food labels to understand portions and serving sizes. For example, oatmeal is a wonderful whole grain, but a serving size is just one half cup, uncooked. Add blueberries or other fruit to a serving, and you have a fabulous breakfast.
And speaking of breakfast, research shows that if you don't start your day with a wholesome breakfast, you won't be able to achieve --- or maintain --- optimal body composition for health and fitness.
Your body works best when you eat every three to four hours. Too much time between meals or snacks causes your insulin levels to be too high, then too low, and then too high again. That sparks that horrible, almost insatiable appetite that causes us to eat too much of the wrong foods.
An ideal day would consist of:
- Breakfast: Fruit and whole grains.
- Snacks: yogurt, cottage cheese, maybe a small amount of granola for crunch. A wonderful blend of carbohydrates, high quality protein and fat.
- Lunch or dinner: Lots of greens and vegetables -- remember your five colors -- and lean fish or poultry protein. Maybe a veggie burger on whole grain bread.
Eating healthy foods will help you feel better, improve your energy during the day, and help you maintain both good body composition and your ideal weight.