I like to think that we all know roughly what we should be eating. More whole foods, less red meat. I am not going to get into specifically what diet is best for health (mediterranean is my favorite), but want to help with shaping YOUR diet so it is healthier.
First of all, here in America, we eat way too much sugar and salt. Mostly this is in the form of processed foods. Food doesn’t tend to taste very good if it frozen for a long time, canned, or packaged. To make it still taste ok, food processors usually add sodium (salt) and sugar (usually high fructose corn syrup) which is cheap and makes food affordable. Well, at least in the short term. We know that extra sugar usually leads to obesity which leads to diabetes and more expensive health conditions. Extra sodium is a big reason many people develop heart disease and high blood pressure.
What’s an easy way to work on your diet? I would suggest doing a pantry cleanout and pitch anything that is processed—or donate it to a food bank. I’d rather you give them healthy food, but any calories are good if your alternative is to go hungry. If this is too extreme, start with foods with added sugar. Once you get off the sugar, you will be AMAZED at how sweet things like raisins taste. I would suggest taking the first 2 weeks of the month and really stop adding sugar to your diet. By the way, this does include artificial sweeteners as well.
The second thing to try is adding in more fresh or frozen vegetables. You are supposed to eat 9 different kinds of vegetables a day. Most raw vegetables serving size is about a cup, but feel free to look the up on government website. If you don’t like vegetables, try to ask your friends for recipes they like, or check out youtube for ideas on how to cook them. You can also try soups, salads, smoothies, pasta dishes as a way to sneak in more vegetables. Please try to buy them plain- not with the sauces in the frozen section. Why? Just look on the back of the ingredients list.
If you start slowly with the veggies, your body will have time to adapt to digesting them. Studies are showing that plant fiber acts as a nice PRE biotic for the bacteria that live in your gut and help you not only digest your food but make it easier to absorb the nutrients. A healthy gut microbiome (the mixture of a lot of different good bacteria) helps your body function much better. From everything to lower rates of depression, to a better immune system a good gut microbiome is what you are aiming for when you eat healthy!