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Organising a Healthy Diet

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 24 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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If we're honest, most of us will admit that when we hear the word "diet" we equate it with trying to lose weight. In reality our diets are simply the foods we choose to eat.

Modern diets tend to stray away from the wide variety of healthy, fresh, natural foods that are in season and rely on old favourites instead. Unfortunately, many of these favourites are pre-packaged, full of preservatives and high in added sugars, salts, and fats. Rather than letting your diet fall to chance and descend into a buffet of convenience foods, organise a healthy diet starting today!

What is a Healthy Diet?

Every few months a new fad diet comes along that promises weight loss, a halt to the aging process, and even "optimal health" if you just follow its rules and purchase its ready made meals. Don't get hooked on these impostors.

According the British Nutrition Foundation, the basis of a healthy diet is:

  • A third of your daily food intake to be bread, cereal or potatoes.
  • Eating 5 different fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Consuming 2 - 3 servings of milk or dairy per day.
  • Sensible portions of meat, fish or alternatives, including 2 servings of fish per week.
  • A serving or less of fatty or sugary foods per day, including sugary drinks.
  • Drinking at least six glasses of water per day, and more when you are active.

Is a Healthy Diet Boring?

One of the most common barriers that prevent people from embarking upon a healthy diet is the idea that it is bland, boring or just plain bad, yet nothing could be further from the truth! When you sample the robust flavours of fresh foods you'll wonder how you ever survived on anything else. Keep your healthy diet exciting by:

  • Aiming for five different fruits and vegetables each day and outlawing repeats until you've sampled a variety.
  • Mixing up your breads and cereals. Try whole grains, multi-grains, oatmeal, seeded, and with nuts before you declare a favourite.
  • Snacking on a different cheese each day. It will take you a while to get through them all since there are literally hundreds of different varieties.
  • Branching out at the butchers and fishmongers. Most of us are guilty of sticking to what we know, but take a risk to re-energise the taste buds.
  • Trying your hand at several new cooking techniques. While steaming vegetables may be healthy, it certainly doesn't give the same variety as what you can produce if you also grill, roast and sauté.
  • Investing in a cookbook or two. Begin by poaching others' recipes before trying your hand at your own.

But is a Healthy Diet Really Convenient?

A lot of people will talk themselves out of a healthy diet by saying that it just isn't convenient. Don't get sucked into this lie. Grabbing an apple is just as convenient as grabbing a chocolate bar - it's even got its own wrapper! Munching your way through a bag of nuts is just as convenient as a bag of sweets at the cinema. Heating up some fresh soup is just as convenient as heating up a ready meal. While it may take a little bit of planning, eating a healthy diet is neither inconvenient nor impossible, so don't try to make it that way!

Eating healthfully is one of the most important steps you can take to ensuring that you live a long, healthy life. In the short term, a healthy diet contributes to clear skin, strong hair and nails, an increase of energy, a decrease of the waistline and helps fight off heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers. So what are you waiting for? Organise your healthy diet today!

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