Eating healthy is easier than people think, and there are a lot of ways to do it. I understand sometimes it might not seem like that. There are so many contradictory messages, so many lists of foods you must eat and must avoid, of when you should and shouldn’t eat, of what’s good and what’s bad… They’re all different, they change on a daily basis, and they claim that, unless you follow them to the letter, you won’t be a healthy person.
That’s why I want to offer in this post 10 clear and simple guidelines, that you can apply starting today to your lifestyle to lead a healthy diet without having to spend too much money, time and energy in search of the “formula” gurus promise. You can eat healthy, enjoying it and feeling better than ever. Here are the keys:
1. Eat real food
Prioritize real over ultra-processed foods, that is, those which long lists of ingredients, controversial additives and lots of added sugars. Basically, most —although not all— breakfast cereals, pre-cooked or ready-to-eat meals, cold meats, sliced breads, pastries and sweets.
Don’t trust whatever it says on the front of the package! The fact that it says in big letters that a product it’s healthy, good for you or whatever means nothing. Even less if it says it’s light or if it’s promoted as a diet product.
The only way to check whether some food is real food is by reading the labels that tell you the ingredients and the nutritional information. How much added sugar does it have? Does it have added vegetable oils such as sunflower or palm? Is the first ingredient of the list (if you’re buying cereal) whole-grain flour, or refined? Do additives include nitrites and nitrates? If you want, you may use food scanning apps to help you become familiar with the labels of different processed and ultra-processed foods. But please, use them for informational and educational purposes only, not as a tool for making actual decisions about your diet.
If real food becomes the basis of your diet, you’ll have taken a huge step towards a healthy diet, since the greatest problem of most people who suffer nutritional deficiencies or imbalances, type 2 diabetes, are overweight, etc., is the massive consumption of ultra-processed food.
This point might seem complicated, but once you’ve doing it for a while it becomes natural, and in the end you’ll appreciate much more the flavors of food 🙂