People have this huge misconception that dieting means eating green, grassy, tasteless food. They couldn’t be more wrong! A person’s diet is simply what they eat. So, if you think about what you eat on a daily basis it’s probably yummy and delicious, right? Well, why can’t healthy food be yummy, delicious, and part of your daily diet? It can!
Here are the top two meals to a healthier you:
Most Important Start to Your Day: Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It can set the tone for your mood throughout the rest of the day, so it’s a good idea to start it off right! A great recipe for this meal is the Portobello Mushroom Benedict with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. First, bake mushroom caps on an oiled baking sheet for 10-12 minutes on 425 degrees.
Meanwhile, sauté garlic and spinach in olive oil for 3-5 minutes, then add lemon juice, lemon zest, and nutmeg. In a blender combine roasted red peppers (finely chopped), capers, parsley, and reduced fat mayonnaise (optional). Distribute the spinach onto the mushrooms, then a poached egg, the roasted red pepper sauce, and finally some Parmesan cheese. While calories are not important, this sums up at about 253, not bad for a filling meal!
Lunch and dinner are two meals that people expect to be big and filling. If you want something to fill you up, be sure to try this healthy version of a classic Chinese food, Sesame Peanut Noodles.
Use whole wheat spaghetti as the pasta and cook according to package instructions. For dressing, combine rice vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, peanut butter, grated ginger, dark sesame oil, brown juice, lime, and hot water in a bowl and whisk. Stir in noodles, and then add coleslaw mix, rep pepper, cilantro, apple, jicama, sesame seeds, scallions, and mix. Refrigerate for one hour. This delicious meal can serve as either a lunch or dinner, and weighs in at just 308 calories per serving.
Other than cooking healthy you must remember to always follow portion sizes given on recipes. For example, a serving size of pasta for the Sesame Peanut Noodles is ½ cup. This may seem like a small amount to you, but it’s just the right amount of pasta your body needs. If you cook healthy meals but consume more than necessary, you will not be making any major differences to your health.
The trend for high fiber diets has steadily increased over the last few years. The health benefits include increasing the bulk in the colon so that excretion passes smoothly. However, the other health benefit is that dietary fiber, the part of the plant that goes undigested in the stomach and small intestine, provides nourishment to the good bacteria found in the colon. Due to its health benefits, it is important to consume a diet high in fiber. Generally, 23-35 grams, is considered an adequate daily consumption of dietary fiber.
So why is fiber so important to the colon? Well, the colon functions to complete the digestive process. One way it accomplishes this is by removing excess water that was not absorbed in the small intestine. Thus, it helps prevent diarrhea. The bacteria found in the colon is responsible for helping prevent this as well as producing vitamins and enzymes, enhancing the immune system, controlling cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and preventing certain cancers. The bacteria in the colon also produce a preventative effect to the development of colon cancer. Thus, it follows that by consuming good dietary fiber and increasing the number of good bacteria in the colon, you can decrease your risk for colon cancer.
The Atkins diet offers a different approach to weight loss, limiting certain carbohydrates from one’s diet in an effort to improve metabolism and minimize fat storage.
The way that the Atkins diet is set up, is that it reduces the number of carbohydrates that you intake as carbohydrates are often converted into fat storage. When simple carbohydrates-cakes, biscuits, candy, soft drinks, etc.-are consumed, they release an insulin response that converts calories to fat more quickly. The plan requires that simple carbohydrates be eliminated from a diet to reduce fat gain. Instead of focusing on carbohydrates and grains as a source of vitamins and minerals, the diet focuses on meat protein and vitamin supplementation.
The best diet possible is a lifestyle change that will last forever and not just for a certain period. It is recommended to consume 60% of calories as carbohydrates, optimally grains, 25% from protein, and 15% from fat. Maintaining a well-balanced diet is crucial to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Regardless of the diet plan you chose, you need to ensure that it is the right diet plan for you and your lifestyle. The best way to ensure that you engage in the right diet is to discuss your plans with a health professional.