Finding healthy food for weight loss is not so difficult, but there are several principles that need to be understood, and some popular misconceptions that need to be explained.
First, terms such as “low-fat”, “low-calorie” or “diet” on product packaging do not automatically mean that it is good for you!
As more and more studies show, we really need a certain amount of healthy fats in our diet. Not only this, but some low-calorie foods replace sugar with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, which can be even worse for you than normal sugar! This includes ‘food’ such as diet soda, dietetic sweets, cookies, and other sweets.
Beware of substitutes
Another area where caution should be exercised is “substitute” type of food, which should taste like other, high-calorie food. The most obvious example here would be margarine, which many people consider, without any real evidence, to be better for you than butter. Margarine contains the worst type of fat, trans fats. The fact is that since the mid-20th century when margarine started to be more popular than butter, heart disease in the Western world has increased rapidly.
The concept that all saturated fats such as those found in butter and other dairy products are bad is, fortunately, coming out of style. In fact, it is questionable that the worst thing about modern dairy products is hormones and antibiotics injected into animals on factory farms. The way to avoid this, however, is not to switch to ‘false’ food products, but to look for all natural or organic dairy products.
Pitfalls of Soy
Another common ‘healthy’ substitute for animal products is soya. If you go to a health food store, quite a lot of packaged food has high soy content. This includes items such as vegetarian hamburgers, tofu hot dogs, soy milk, soy pizza and “soy ice cream”.
This is another area where recent research has shown that consuming large amounts of soya is not a good thing. There are several reasons for this, one of the main ones is that soya is rich in phytic acid, which makes it difficult for the body to absorb the necessary nutrients.
Soya products are also associated with many health problems, including some types of cancer. Most soybeans have also been genetically modified. If you want to find out more about this, you should carry out further research into the dangers of soya.
Soybean products that are fermented, such as miso and tempeh, are good for you because fermentation blocks the harmful effects of phytic acid. However, most soybean-containing products such as soy nuts, most soy milk, and tofu are not fermented.
Fruit juice and fruit juice
As long as we gather in shops with healthy food, let’s take care of another favorite, that such shops usually devote the entire corridor to fruit juices. While fresh fruit is very nutritious, the same cannot be said for most juices. The reason for this is that juices contain much more concentrated amounts of sugar. In short, you would have to eat a lot of fruit – more than in one place – to match what you would get in a glass of juice.
Does this mean that you should give up “healthy food” and a ravine on butter, cheese, and meat? Of course not. While natural saturated fats can be healthy in moderate amounts, if you try to lose weight, you should certainly limit their intake. The point is rather to discourage you from thinking that popular substitutes for such foods can be eaten safely.
If you want to move towards a healthier diet that is also less calorific, you should focus less on protein and more on vegetables and whole grains. This is little original advice, but it is something that many people have a difficult time to do.
While many of us have an appetite for carbohydrates, meat, sweets, and fats, it is rare that someone wants an apple, sunflower, carrot or broccoli. When we eat these things, it’s usually because we know they’re healthy and they’re often chosen as appetizers, toppings or snacks.
Even if it can be difficult, the best way to switch to a healthy diet, which is also helpful when losing weight, is to start with foods that you know are good for you. This should be done both when shopping and when cooking (or ordering food in a restaurant or choosing drinks on delicatessen). In other words, don’t even think of protein, starch carbohydrates or dessert until you choose salads, vegetables, and whole grains.