How To Make Healthy Food Choices Everyday

Food-related choices are a daily occurrence, every day we need to eat (obviously, LOL!) and so everyday we need to decide WHAT we are going to eat. Our choices are much more complex in our modern world of processed foods… we have grocery store aisles full of man-made foods and we also have grocery store aisles full of un-processed whole foods.

It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that daily food choices don’t really matter– and many people make their food decisions based on taste instead of health. Processed foods are full of chemicals, additives and preservatives that make them taste good, and those added ingredients can be very addicting.

But, those additives can also be very damaging to your health! Our bodies function best when they are consuming whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, healthy fats, and minimal amounts of lean animal protein. These foods provide the nutrients that your body needs to be well, they provide the building blocks so that your body can heal and be strong.

When we get caught in the trap of eating processed foods all the time, our bodies are actually “starving” because those foods are lacking in the essentials vitamins and nutrients that you need. Even though you are eating calories to fill your stomach, the body still may be lacking because many of the processed foods have been completely stripped of the life-giving nutrients that you need.

Eating those processed foods will cause you to feel sluggish and tired.

Processed foods will also cause your body to crave more food, because you are needing more nutrients. So, you may continue to feel hunger even after you have eaten.

Another side effect of eating unhealthy foods is sickness, over time many people begin to experience things such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and even cancer (just to name a few). Research has shown that many diseases are linked to eating habits, so we actually have the power to improve our health through our food choices!

Choosing to eat healthy, whole foods will help your body to heal and be well. These good food choices can actually help to prevent the diseases listed above!

Because we are constantly making food choices, you can decide at any point to change your eating habits. Begin to choose healthy foods, and cut back on the unhealthy processed foods. Take it one step and one choice at time. It will be hard to completely re-model your eating habits overnight, but over time you can make small steps to get you closer to your ultimate goal of health.

I know how hard it can be to change your eating habits… believe me, I have been there! The food addictions are hard to break, it is difficult to learn to prepare and enjoy healthy foods, and there is temptation everywhere you go.

But, you can set yourself up for success by learning about how healthy foods affect your body, and make a commitment to focus on health when you are choosing your food. Focus on health when you are grocery shopping and preparing meals, and learn how to cook healthy foods.

Slowly add in larger quantities of fruits and vegetables, and begin to decrease the amounts of processed foods that you are eating. As you make these changes, you will find that your palette will begin to adjust and you will start to love to eat healthy foods. Your body will recognize the good food, and you will feel great when you eat well!

My last piece of advice is this: don’t beat yourself up if you are not perfect in your eating. We all make mistakes, and the good thing is that there is always an opportunity to start fresh and begin to make healthy eating choices again. It is common to start out with good intentions in the beginning, only to find that you have failed because you spent the weekend away on vacation or found yourself at a fast food restaurant with friends for lunch.

If you make an unhealthy food choice, simple decide to do better next time and focus on the fact that you have plenty of opportunities to choose to eat healthy. As you take it 1 step at a time, you will find that over time your healthy choices will increase and your unhealthy choices will decrease.

If you want more information about recommended eating habits, do some research and read the suggested eating guidelines on some of the bigger disease prevention sites. You will see that they all recommend focusing your eating on whole foods. Here are a few great links to check out:
The American Cancer Societies guidelines for a healthy diet.

The American Cancer Society website about healthy living.

The American Heart Association’s guidelines to healthy eating.

The American Diabetes Associate’s guidelines to healthy eating.

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