Generally, everybody would opt for a healthier diet if possible. However, just how do we know if our diet is healthy enough? There are several factors to consider what goes into creating a healthy diet. It is thus worthwhile to take a look at your current diet before drawing up plans for healthier eating.
Below are some of the questions you can ask yourself when performing evaluation on the healthiness of your current eating plan.
Am I a picky eater and only eat certain type of food?
In order to achieve a balanced diet, variety is one of the most important hallmarks of a healthy diet. Your body needs different types of nutrients and you have to include different types of food where such nutrients can be found.
Therefore, it is vital to include foods from all the major food groups(fats, carbohydrates and protein) including grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy products and milk, fish, meats and poultry. For instance, if you find yourself always going for a particular food group or omitting some food groups such as vegetables, this may be a signal that you need a healthier diet.
Do I know the value of cereals and other grain products?
You need to choose whole grain products wherever possible as whole grain products are a good source of vitamin B, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber. Therefore, if you are eating cereal, it is a good idea to choose whole grain varieties or those that are enriched with vitamins and minerals.
Am I a 100% meat lover?
Most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Wherever possible, it is recommended that you consume 2 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday to ensure you get enough fiber and vitamins. You may also like to note that it is important to choose a variety of dark red, dark green, yellow and orange varieties. The reason being different colored fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients, like beta carotene (found commonly in carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin) vitamin C, vitamin A.
Do I skip breakfast every morning?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and yet most people prefer to skip breakfast and snooze for another 15mins in bed. Your body needs energy at the start of the day and you are probably going to feel tired at work when your body runs low on energy level.
By mid-morning, you might experience hunger pangs and most of us would probably head to the pantry and grab a cup of coffee or wolf down a sugary candy bar or whatever snacks you have stored in the drawer or can lay your hands upon. You munch on food to ease those hunger pangs and also to keep yourself awake. This might work for a few minutes but by lunch time you will be too hungry and end up starving yourself which may make you more prone to make unhealthy choices at lunch.
Many people though that skipping breakfast or skipping meals is a good strategy to lose weight. Unfortunately, they did not know that this just isn’t true. They need to realise that their bodies have to be refueled a few times each day. As mentioned earlier, skipping meals will lead to starvation and result in over-eating at your next meal which does nothing to help you control or lose weight.
Do I make mindful choices to always go for low fat foods?
This is an important thing that I have emphasized time and time again. Substitution is the key to control excessive fats intake. In order to ensure that you are eating a healthy diet, try to choose low fat options wherever possible. Also try to avoid processed food as these foods tend to have higher amounts of fat and sodium as compared to fresh foods.
Additional flavoring like sauces, sour cream or butter is definitely a fat trap as you will be loading extra fats to an otherwise healthy meal.
Do I favor flavored water over plain water?
It is important you ensure enough intake of water as being adequately hydrated will help in regulating your metabolism, temperature and also alleviate constipation to name a few. Flavored drinks like soft drink contain a lot of sugar which translates into calories. It possible, choose water over soft drinks and coffee.
Am I in the healthy BMI range?
Gaining weight without trying to is often a sign of a poor diet. The only way to lose weight permanently is to switch to a healthy diet, and also getting plenty of regular exercise..
Am I consuming too much sugar, caffeine or alcohol?
Excessive amount of any of these may indicate that your diet may have deviated from a healthy one. It is thus important to practice moderation.