Healthy Food Eating Options
Eating for Health and Ideal Weight
It seems like every day there are new weight loss programs, and it can all be confusing. Some are fad diets, and some have stuck around. Not all of them include healthy food eating or encourage you to eat for health.
This trend to eat for health and healthy food eating has fortunately created some of the best diets to follow. When following any diet program, we have to consider healthy food eating so we can thrive with vitality and health.
You may lose the weight you want with certain fad diets, but can you keep it off and is it supporting health? Considering all the chronic diseases that we face today like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. That’s when healthy food eating becomes even more vital when we are making a choice of the best diet to follow.
After going to school to get my Holistic Health Coaching Certification through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I realized that it is not about “What is the best diet to follow?”, but more a lifestyle practice that supports vitality and longevity. Following lifestyle practices that incorporate healthy food options sets you up for success in the long run.
When we eat for health, our body loves us back and gravitates to its ideal weight. Our ideal body weight may not be what we think it should be since the messages and images in magazines and media are unrealistic and in many cases are unhealthy. Weight loss programs often do not work because they are not sustainable in the long run. Although we may follow a weight loss program for a period of time and we lose weight, in the long run, we gain it back because we are not able to maintain those eating habits.
There are a few weight loss programs out there today that are not just weight loss programs, but they are the best diet to follow because they incorporate healthy food eating. Below you will find a summary of a few of them that you may want to investigate further to improve your health and longevity.
Created by Dr. Sears, a biochemist, roughly thirty years ago, is designed to reduce inflammation. Since many chronic diseases are created by or fed by inflammation, it may be worth investing. Dr. Sears says "Food is like a drug, you have to take the right dose at the right time." If you are looking for weight loss programs that include healthy food eating, this may be the best diet to follow.
Achieving correct hormone balance and stabilizing your blood sugar is key when it comes to weight loss. According to Dr. Sears, elevated levels of insulin, and release of alternative hormones promote inflammation. Insulin, a hormone, helps our bodies control blood sugar. His Zone-Based Diet supports the hormone release in the body to stay "in the zone" minimizing the fluctuation. Based on healthy food eating and proper proportions, he believes that this formula of nutrients will support us in staying healthy, slim, and will maintain our peak performance. His magic formula is 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat.
The Zone-Based Diet is a life-long lifestyle and is based on strong science to help reduce food-invoked inflammation. The Zone Food Pyramid has a base of primarily vegetables and fruits, then low fat protein (fish and chicken), monosaturated fats (nuts, seeds, coconut, and avocado), and then grains and starches at the top.
This diet can be good to help those that are dealing with a cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes. We would consider it diabetic friendly since it emphasizes how much insulin your body is producing and managing the amount of sugar and carbohydrate intake. Of course as with anything else we recommend you speak to your medical team if you have any of these medical conditions and make sure they give you the stamp of approval.
A challenge many people commonly find in many different weight loss programs is their implementation, so we have to be open to trying different methods until we find what works best for us. Sometimes even when you discover the "best diet to follow," if it is not sustainable then it no longer remains the best choice. As we eat for health, our choices begin to change, and it is something we must practice.
The theory behind the paleo diet is to emulate eating habits of a caveman and watch the weight fall off. Loren Cordain, Ph.D., author of The Paleo Diet claims that by mimicking the eating habits of our prehistoric ancestors, we will become less susceptible to getting diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health problems. In summary, this is an eating method of high protein and high fiber incorporating lean meats and fish, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
Similar to the zone diet this protocol also encourage you to eat for health, and for some is the best diet to follow. The healthy food eating protocol with this weight loss program encourages the dieter to stay away from any processed foods, dairy, refined sugars, potatoes, salt, refined oil, legumes, and wheat.
As with anything, each one of these weight loss programs has their pros and cons. The implementation of this way of eating into your life takes some practice and getting used to. It's always best to ease into your weight loss programs. As you being to follow healthy food eating, you will find yourself spending more time at the grocery store shopping to eat for health, and in the kitchen preparing your meals and not eating out as often.
When you begin to eat for health, the sacrifices you make have greater rewards. Not only will you lose weight, but you will feel better, think more clearly, and have more energy. One of the pros of the Paleo Diet is there is no calorie counting which can put a damper on things and also makes it hard to maintain for the long run. As long as you are maintaining healthy food eating and following the program, you can eat as much as your heart desires. You may find however that you consume less naturally as you nourish each cell in your body.
Vegan & Vegetarian:
There are a variety of reasons why people choose to follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, and optimal health is one of them. In both cases, neither a vegan nor a vegetarian eat meat. Vegetarians consume dairy and eggs, and a vegan avoids all forms of animal products. Vegans do not eat animal-based foods, but this lifestyle practice also trickles into clothing and other consumer goods that may use animal derived ingredients.
Healthy food eating is not always the basis to become vegan or vegetarian, in fact, many vegans and vegetarians may follow a diet that is not healthy. They may fill their caloric intake with processed foods, fast foods, and eating out. If you are thinking about this way of eating or lifestyle, we encourage you to create a strong foundation to eat for health as well. It may not be the best diet to follow unless you are incorporating healthy food eating.
Since many vegans and vegetarians practice compassion for animals by not consuming them, they must be diligent about making sure that their nutritional needs are still met when it comes to getting the proper amounts of proteins and certain vitamins and minerals. There are also many vegans and vegetarians that eat for health by following more of a plant based diet. Many vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains offer the body exactly what it needs to feel healthy and perform. Several vegans and vegetarians also rely on nuts and seeds as a way to ensure they are getting the nutrition their bodies need.
With all three of these various weight loss programs, it is important to listen to your body. What may be the best diet to follow for one person may not be for another. Our bodies are brilliant, and by giving ourselves about 3-4 weeks following one of these lifestyles we can discover what the best diet to follow is for us. In today's world it is easy to be disconnected to our bodies, and when we try a new eating plan and observe how our bodies respond, we can learn what the body is saying.
As you can see in all three of these options above, one common thread is that we can obtain an abundance of fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein, and mono saturated fats by incorporating more Nature's Eats Nuts and Seeds into our lives. The benefits are multidimensional. Learn more by reading some of our blogs that get into those nutty details.