By Emma Walshaw
If you can implement some or all of these points, you will reap the benefits. I have to admit, it is very difficult to change the way you eat, shop and think so dramatically, but even taking on a couple of these tips is a step in the good direction!
Avoid processed foods
Try to avoid processed foods and opt for natural whole foods instead. Generally, processed foods are more energy dense than fresh, natural foods. They tend to contain less water and fibre, and more added fat and sugar which makes them less filling and more fattening. The more processed the food, the less nutritious it typically is.
If you can maintain a diet of mainly unprocessed food, with a good variety of all the major food groups, you are pretty much on the track to eating well.
Learn to cook
The probability of eating well is greatly increased by having basic skills in cooking. You don't need to be a Heston Blumenthal or a Nigella Lawson but just brushing up on some key skills means you can avoid the microwave meals and convenience food and generally gain much more control over your health. You will also find you will get much more satisfaction out of eating, if you have planned and prepared your meal. Keep an eye out for future posts on great tips for new cooks.
Go mad for vegetables!
Well, why not? Vegetables are great, they taste amazing, there are so many varieties and they are cheaper than a diet heavy in meat and fish. Why not try starting with a 'Meat Free Monday' and building from there. The money you save from cutting down on your meat intake can be put towards better quality organic meat for the days when you do have meat.
In the autumn and winter enjoy root vegetables, hearty soups and stews, squashes and hardy greens. When spring and summer grace us with their company, go mad on asparagus, beautiful ripe tomatoes, salads and fruits. It makes us enjoy the seasons more, by looking forward to the favourite fruit or vegetable that is soon to be coming into season and dreaming up all the different ways you want to eat it! (or is that just me?).
Eat locally and avoid the supermarket
Did you know that supermarkets are not always the cheapest option? They may be when it comes to convenience foods but if you are looking for fresh foods it is sometimes best to look elsewhere. Get to your local market, butcher, greengrocer and fishmonger for more competitive prices and also the knowledge of where your food has come from, along with the interaction and expertise of the good people who run these shops. By doing this you are supporting your local community and economy, and not putting more money back into the monster supermarkets. This is sometimes easier said than done. I have been trying for some time to avoid the supermarket, but looking for alternatives is very time consuming. It is very dependent on the quality of local shops and markets in your area, and what is available to you. Its all about finding the right balance that works for you.
Avoid food with ingredients you either don't recognise or have no idea what they actually are
Xanthan gum, ammonium sulfate, ethoxylaated diglycerides - what are these things? And why do food manufacturers insist on trying to make us eat them! Whether or not they are actually bad for you, who knows, but we certainly don't NEED them in our lives!
Reduce your sugars
Try to cut back on sugar, sweeteners and refined carbohydrates. Sugar is everywhere, particularly in processed foods and drinks, and even in the 'low fat' processed products. The problem with sugar is that we seem to be able to consume large quantities of it, without really noticing. Research suggests that high-fructose corn syrup, an ingredient that is now very common in our soft drinks, savory and sweet processed foods is even more damaging to our health than refined cane sugar and is considered a major factor in the rise in obesity in the US. Fructose corn syrup - AVOID!
Artificial sweeteners aren't much better. It has been suggested that they encourage weight gain, not discourage it! The sensible option, if you need to add sugar to something, just have normal sugar, but try to cut down your intake. Even better, use honey or maple syrup as a more natural sweetener.
And finally, beyond all these rules - enjoy food. Don't go crazy and cut out any food that has had to travel more than five miles to reach your plate! Some fish stocks are in danger but don't avoid eating fish altogether. Its all about moderation and balance, and if we all become more thoughtful eaters and adapt to new ideas, its a good move in the sustainable direction. And after all of this is said and done - just remember, keep a good balance in your diet... its all about the balance.
Come and see us now at http://www.sustainablefoodrevolution.com for more great ideas for eating well, and making healthy and sustainable food choices.
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?7-Great-Tips-to-Improve-the-Way-You-Eat&id=7231489] 7 Great Tips to Improve the Way You Eat