Nowadays, the internet looks something like this: eggs are bad for you, you need to cut dairy out, oh wait, eggs are fine, salmon is even better, you need to eat more veggies, you need to cut carbs, etc. It’s easy to get lost in a pile of ever-changing information, often citing sources that are difficult to track down let alone fully understand due to complex scientific jargon. Plus, who has the time to actually go through research when someone else has done that for you, supposedly so? It’s time to take a much more holistic approach!
Nutrition is in essence so simple, but we’ve made it unnecessarily complicated. It’s true that our needs differ because of our health conditions, activity levels, preexisting problems, and risk of different diseases. Taking all that into account, some golden rules of healthy eating still stand.
Here we take a more holistic approach to help you manoeuvre through the conflicting data and steer your eating habits in the right, wholesome direction.
Focus On Nutrients
Counting calories has become quite a trend in recent years, especially since more people have become interested in getting a slimmer figure. As healthy as this pursuit may be, it can be a misguided one if you don’t have a diet that provides your body with all the nutrients it needs to function properly. So, by focusing only on calories, too many people leave out the nutrient content of the ingredients they choose to fill their plates with.
Let health be your primary goal, and focus on nutrient density. If you do need to limit your caloric intake without intuitive eating but by using a kitchen scale, so be it, but make sure you choose versatile, fresh ingredients that suit your health. Vitamins, minerals, and your macros are more important than restricting calories!
Infuse Your Diet With Superfoods
Superfoods are the perfect example of how a little can really go a long way in transforming your health one day at a time. Whether you’re on a caloric-restrictive diet or you simply have a nutrient deficiency, or you’re on the verge of one, introducing a superfood that’s easy to consume as a supplement is a perfect solution to establishing balance in your eating habits.
For example, adding nutrient-rich pine pollen powder into your daily smoothies is an easy way to keep your immune system resilient and infuse your diet with micronutrients that are otherwise difficult to come by in food. Wholesome superfoods such as that are indeed a great way to balance our modern diets.
When Less Is Really More – Say No To Processed
Too many nutrients in our food are eliminated by various processing steps, whether it’s by cooking, baking, frying, or other more complex steps that give you those ready-to-eat meals you can purchase in a store. Not to mention the candy bars and snacks that are loaded with preservatives and chemicals that prolong their shelf life.
A wholesome diet is one based on whole foods, preferably ones that are less processed. Eating your vegetables and fruits raw is a great example, adding more nuts and seeds into the mix, as well. Minimal processing such as steaming for veggies is also fine, while cooking and baking is better than frying for meat. When you feel the need to snack, at least choose something nutritious, such as a handful of almonds or an apple – it will not just keep you full, but healthy, too.
Pick Seasonal And local
Another golden rule to live by in your diet is choosing seasonal and local foods. In addition to the many environmental benefits of this decision, you’ll also choose the foods that are packed with nutrients, since they are grown in natural conditions and picked in the right time.
Of course, you can take your efforts a step further and opt for organic as well, so as to avoid pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
Listen To Your Body
Finally, we’ve already established that your body and your lifestyle is different from anyone else’s. As such, you need to keep your personal needs in mind when you devise your eating plan and when you choose those ingredients.
If your body doesn’t respond well to dairy, maybe you’re intolerant to lactose, or perhaps certain grains aren’t the finest choice for your digestive health. It takes time to create the perfect plan, so you need to stay inquisitive and listen to those subtle signals your body is sending to make the right changes in time.
It’s true that you are what you eat. By taking a holistic approach, you start understanding the bigger picture of your health without focusing solely on calories, single ingredients, or ascribing amazing powers to a single meal over consistent healthy choices. Use these tips to make those choices with greater ease and to truly embrace the beauty of healthy eating.
Stella is a graphic designer and illustrator, a lifestyle and beauty blogger and a food enthusiast. She is very passionate about the environment and her hobbies center around her love for nature, yoga and living in balance. Stella loves giving tips about healthy lifestyle and self-development. She is a contributor to several health and lifestyle blogs. You can find more about her writing by following her on Twitter.