The Surprising Truth about Eating a Diverse Diet
For years nutritionists recommended eating a diverse diet, but it turns out that advice may be outdated. A recent study by the American Heart Association found that a varied diet can actually increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Before the twentieth century, it made sense to try to eat a lot of different foods because malnutrition was widespread.
Today, many adults are consuming too much food, including both healthy and unhealthy choices
If you’re looking for simple strategies for healthier eating, consider switching to a less diverse diet. Learn more about the benefits and how to get started.
Eating Fewer Foods
The American Heart Association suggests sticking with a certain number of healthy foods you like. If you're used to following each new internet food trend, this may be challenging, but you can make it appealing.
Try these ideas to eat fewer foods:
1. Save time.
In addition to the health benefits, think about the time you’ll save. Grocery shopping and cooking will be quicker when you’re following a familiar routine.
2. Maintain weight loss.
Many adults gain back all the weight they lose and more. Eating fewer foods is a long-term strategy that can help you stay slim.
3. Find other outlets.
Free yourself from emotional eating by finding more constructive ways to manage stress, socialize, and entertain yourself. Call a friend or take a walk instead of using candy or chips to deal with your feelings.
4. Avoid buffets.
You’ve probably noticed that having plenty of options can tempt you into eating more. Be especially vigilant with holiday dinners and tasting menus.
5. Sleep well.
Being sleepy also contributes to overeating. Getting eight hours of sleep each night will help you stay on track with your new habits.
6. Drink water.
Our bodies sometimes confuse thirst with hunger, so remaining hydrated will boost your willpower, too. Drink water or tea before, during, and after meals.
7. Be flexible.
At the same time, a diet that is too restrictive can backfire. Leave room for an occasional treat.
Eating Higher Quality Food
When nutritionists talk about diversity, they usually mean eating red vegetables as well as green ones.
Unfortunately, the public is more likely to be thinking about adding junk food and desserts on top of their sensible meals and snacks.
Remember that the quality of your diet is just as important as the number of calories.
Try these tips:
1. Eat more produce.
Aim for at least 6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Most are low in calories and high in vitamins and fiber.
2. Choose whole grains.
Get most of your carbohydrate calories from whole grains.
Good choices include brown rice, rolled oats, and whole wheat bread and pasta.
3. Evaluate proteins and fats.
Some proteins and fats are superior to others. Replace hamburgers and fried chicken with leaner sources like beans and fish.
Cut back on saturated fat from animal sources and use olive oil and nuts for flavor.
4. Limit empty calories.
Keep processed food and refined carbohydrates to a minimum. That includes beverages, too, like soft drinks and any kind of alcohol.
As a bonus, you’ll also be eliminating the main sources of excess sugar and salt.
5. Balance your nutrients.
Design each meal and snack to include a mix of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Energize in the mid afternoon with a handful of almonds and baby carrots.
Enjoy a green salad tossed with salmon and yogurt dressing for dinner.
Eating a more uniform diet can help you to manage your weight and reduce your risk for many chronic conditions.
Find some healthy foods you love and plan your meals and snacks around them.
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A Gradual Approach to Healthy Eating
A healthy diet is the most important component of overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, changing your diet can be extremely challenging.
It’s very rewarding in the short-term to eat unhealthy foods. It feels good to eat chips or a chocolate bar.
Broccoli feels good, but only when you look at yourself in the mirror six months in the future.
Change your diet and change your health for the better with these strategies: 1. Start with the end in mind.
What is your ideal diet? This is important to figure out before going to the next step.
Moving from your current diet to a ketogenic diet is very different than moving to a vegan diet.
◦ Do some research regarding which diets are healthy for someone with your current health status.
◦ Also, consider your food preferences. For example, if you love meat, a vegan diet would be quite challenging.
◦ See your doctor for advice. 2. Break the diet change into steps.
Start slowly. Massive change is usually too challenging to maintain. Give yourself several months, if necessary, to completely change your diet.
If you’re feeling even moderately uncomfortable, you’re going too fast.
◦ Start with small changes. For instance, you might decide to cut back on processed carbohydrates and replace those calories with beans or lentils. Keep moving the ratios in a positive direction until you’ve reached your goals. 3. Cut back on unhealthy foods.
You can’t just add in healthy foods. It’s important to limit the unhealthy foods, too. Good foods add to your health, and unhealthy food steal it away.
◦ Imagine you eat three candy bars each day, but you only want to eat one. You could have 2.5 candy bars each day this week.
Eat two the following week, and so on, until you’re not eating any at all. It’s slower than you might like, but it works.
◦ Make a list of all the unhealthy foods you regularly consume. Create a plan for minimizing their presence in your diet. 4. Consider your beverages, too.
Beverages can be loaded with calories and unhealthy chemicals. They’re easy to consume and don’t take up a lot of room in your stomach.
Drink a lot of water and satisfy your thirst that way. Wean yourself off unhealthy beverages slowly. 5. Find foods you enjoy.
If your new diet calls for nuts, find some nuts that you enjoy. If you hate cashews, don’t eat them.
If you love apples, but don’t like bananas, then don’t eat bananas. Look for options that fit your diet that appeal to you. 6. Understand that perfection isn’t necessary.
Is a couple of candy bars each week going to be a problem? Of course not.
It’s not important to be 100% perfect to gain all the health benefits a diet has to offer.
If 90% of your meals conform to your diet, you’re doing extremely well. 80% is decent. 70% isn’t good enough.
Avoid beating yourself up because you had an error in judgement or a weak moment.
What type of diet do you want to adopt? This is the important first step. Slowly adapt your current diet to match your new diet. This can take several months to do effectively.
While it’s tempting to make rapid changes, they simply don’t work for the vast majority of the population.
Find foods you enjoy that support good health and keep your calories under control. That’s really the primary goal regardless of the specific diet.
If you would like to know more, visit us here at our guide to how to start raw food diet
If you found this page helpful to you please share it, and leave a comment below! Thanks - Helene