Eating healthy is way overlooked, and only an extreme few percentages of the population worldwide even eat healthily. I’ve been to many parts of Asia and lived in a few states in America for 20 years. I can say for certain that humans prefer delicious food over healthy foods even if it kills them, literally!
It doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s boiled rat skin or pig’s feet and it tastes good, then it’s going into someone’s mouth. You literally are what you put into your body. How you feel, look, think, and live as an individual really does have a whole lot to do with what you eat.
Most of us today (those who can) live to eat, not eat to live, which we have been doing for ages.
Today is the best time of our lives. Eating and preparing food is pretty much instantaneous. It doesn’t take the whole day to hunt, gather, fish, or farm for our food anymore.
One hour of work can pretty much pay for 3 square meals a day. However, in this hot and freshly served article, we want to get into the deepest levels of how and exactly what you need to do to eat healthy meals.
From when to eat, how much to eat, what dishes go with what because eating is a part of life and there’s more to it than you think. We are only going to break down the most crucial aspect of each option since it will be easier for you to remember and retain this information. It’s better to feed the brain with useful info rather than excessive info.
Ellie Betzen, a health writer from fromscratchmostly.com, states that the best time to eat fruits is in the morning, because of the high amount of sugar. It is easier to absorbed, especially in the morning on an empty stomach and quickly digested compare to meats and carbohydrates. Eating fruit in the morning wakes you up, provides good energy, and no crash (limit to 2–3 servings in the morning).
1.1 Eat Before or After Meals
You should eat fruits always before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. Do try to eat fruits with your healthy meals. Macrobiotic Coach and Nutritionist, Shilpa Arora ND tells us that fruits are actually meals. The sugar in fruits gets fermented if they are digested with heavy proteins that usually take time in digestive processes. Eating fruit 15–60 minutes before meals is always the best option because on an empty stomach it digests better and sometimes the bacteria from other foods and fruits do not mix well.
Don’t eat fruits at dinner time or before bed since it can keep you up and most people prioritize dinner as the biggest meal; it may not be digested probably. Also, some fruits have high fiber content which is excellent but eating them for dinner or before bed may cause some sleep problems although some fruits like bananas are ok before bed.
Remember you want your body to absorb as much nutrient from fruit since they are packed with vitamins and good stuff and are one of the healthiest food groups. If you eat fruits just after a meal, it won’t be digested probably, and you may not get all the nutrient it provides, that would be should a waste of time, money, and health. It will be sitting on the top of your other foods, after 20 minutes the stomach acid will have already dissolved most of the nutrient instead of digesting it which is pointless.
Although there are a few articles and sources that say eating fruits whenever is ok, however, there are even more sources stating that eating fruits on an empty stomach in the morning is the best time, so it is best if we stick to that method.
2. Main Meals (Non-Vegetarians)
2.1 Red Meats
If you want to eat meat, limit your intake to a few 2–3.5 ounces a day.
Laura Donnelly, a Health Correspondent, suggest that there may be a correlation between high consumption of red meat and cancer. People eat almost 8 ounces of red meat a day, which is almost 300% more than the daily suggested serving! Don’t salt, smoke, cure, or burn your red meat since that is unhealthy.
Tammy Dray, a health writer for Livestrong.com, explains that eating raw red meat may have some benefits as compare to cooking red meat. Raw meats contain no heterocyclic amines (HCAs), but cooked red meat does. Any potential cancer risk is gone. Cooked meat is harder to digest than red meat.
Of course, eat organic, ranged, grass-fed, and cage-free cows or bison. A lot of red meat today is cheap and filled with cheap crap.
Cows are injected with extra HGH(human growth hormones), chemicals and fillers that we have no idea about, extra ingredient and god knows what to fatten the cows for maximum profit. Same goes for chicken! That’s not the worst part; the worst part is how they treat, raise, and kill the animals. It’s absolutely sickening and disgusting.
It is recommended you eat less than 6 ounces of chicken a dayor less by the American Heart Association. Again, organic, cage-free, cruelty-free, humanely raised and killed chickens. Grilling chicken WAS my absolutely favorite but put a cooking mat or aluminum foil on top of the grill, so you don’t burn the chicken.
Bazian, a writer for NHS Website, says that studies have shown that burnt meat is, in fact, carcinogenic and millions of us eat burnt meat daily without realizing its danger. Make sure chicken is fully cooked with no pink or red spots left. Uncooked chicken can cause death because of the E. coli!
You can cook chicken however you want, but women’s health magazine recommendspoaching because it is the healthiest way to cook chicken. Basically, you bring the water to a boil in a pan, then put the chicken into the boiling water and lower the heat. Simmer until it is fully cooked. (Add oils and spices, mentioned down below)
Healthy meals should include fish since they are extremely good for us.
Make sure it is wild caught and NOT farmed raised!
A study published in the Journal of the American Medicine Association Internal Medicine showed an association between a vegetarian diet and lower mortality rates.
Pescetarian vegetarians have a 19% lower risk of death than all other food group eaters.
Tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, rainbow trout, tuna, etc. have good amounts of omega-3’s. Taking omega’3 pills is good but you need a high dosage, eating fish is the healthiest and best way to get your omega-3’s so don’t waste your money on omega-3 pills.
So, what’s all this good stuff you’ve heard about omega-3’s?
- Good for your heart.
- Helps with mental disorder.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Lowers some cancer risk.
- Can help with bones and joint.
- Improve acne and skin condition.
- Can help make you look younger.
If that doesn’t give you a reason to eat omega-3 fish, then I don’t know what will. There has been a debate about raw vs. cooked fish, here are some opinions that you can decide for yourself. I say that for the most part, raw fish is healthier than cooked fish.
Most fish you can eat raw and here’s a list, but always be careful, it is best to eat at a restaurant or somewhere you know it is safe and has been checked by the FDA or food commissioner:
- sea bass
- blue marlin
- certain types of tuna, including yellowfin, southern bluefin, northern bluefin, Thunnus alalunga, Thunnus atlanticus, and Thunnus obesus
Also, some fish have high levels of mercury which is very toxic for humans (assuming you eat these fish every day).
Here’s a list of fish with high mercury content that you should eat less than 6 ounces a week.
Consumer reports suggest that fish without high mercury levels can be eaten 2–3 times a week at 4–6 ounces or less per serving.
Pregnant women should avoid fish with mercury at all cost!
Eat more omega-3’s fish, some chicken, and less red meat. If possible eat less than the recommended amount since vegetarians live longer than meat eaters except for pesco vegetarians who are the healthiest people on earth.
3. Oils and Butters
Most meals today are cooked with oil or butter. Why? Here is why fatty and fried food tastes sooo good.
When cooking with oil, the temperature is almost twice as much as the boiling point. Some oils have the ability to change the food’s flavor by entering directly into the food itself. The surface of the food is dehydrated which allows the oils and crispiness to take shape. Water molecules escape and leave gaps that allow the oil molecules to enter the food.
Therefore you are tasting the cooked oil along with the main dish as opposed to just the main dish itself with water. Many healthy meals are cooked with oils but not healthy oils which can make healthy meals become unhealthy!
The healthiest oils you should cook with based on this source is:
- Canola oil (I don’t agree though, made from genetically modified rapeseed oil)
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Rice bran oil
Now, how you cook oil can also affect their nutrients. Here is a fantastic summary by chowhound.comabout cooking with oil.
“Oil gets heated up to different temperatures during a cooking process. It is heated almost up to its smoking point for deep-frying and to lower temperatures for other types of cooking process. Oil starts to smoke when it is over-heated and starts to form aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, dienes, and acids. As a result, if you continue to cook something in the same oil, the food product will taste poorly. More importantly, the smoke of rapeseed, soybean, peanut oil and lard can cause serious mutagenicity and genetic toxicity.
A few culprits to consider are an aldehyde called acrolein, as well as alkenals and alkadienals (unsaturated aldehydes) — they are formed during the burning/smoking process of the above-mentioned oil. There are quite a few fast food restaurants that use peanut oil to deep-fry their fries. Lard is widely used in pie crusts, and soybean is popular is households. Acrolien in very toxic to our cells and genes — they degrade our cells and genes; they also generate free radicals.
Free radicals are responsible for cell aging. Recent studies have shown an increased amount of acrolein in Alzheimer’s disease patients’ brains. In a nutshell, oils with low smoking point (rapeseed, soybean, peanut oil, and lard) ⇒ acrolein ⇒ free radical ⇒ Alzheimer’s disease + premature aging.”
— ALL CREDITS GOES TO CHOWHOUND.COM
If that doesn’t change your mind, then I don’t know what will.
Avoid margarine, they are unhealthy, high in all kinds of fat, and contain salt and other crap you don’t need. There are so many butter brands in the supermarket today. Even organic, vegan butter can contain unhealthy ingredients.
- Trans-fat free
- Low content of salt
- Saturated fat is good for you, but too much is bad. So look for less than 3 grams per serving if possible.
- 6 grams of total fat or less including saturated fat per serving
- No hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils
- If you are watching your weight, then look for the least caloric butter
Remember that butter and oils have a high amount of calories in a tiny serving. Don’t overdo it. You will pay the price as you get older.
Most healthy meals taste bland without oils or butter. Do not fry oils or butter if you can avoid it and only consume healthy oils since most oils used in restaurants are unhealthy and cheap.
4. Side Dishes
All healthy meals MUST include vegetables which are without a doubt the healthiest food in the world.
Here are some of thehealthiest veggies on this planet back by study and research, eat 5–7 servings of veggies a day to reap their benefits, live longer, and healthier:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green Peas
- Swiss Chard
- Sweet Potatoes
- Collard Greens
Eat them with any meal and not too late since the fiber can keep you up at night. I do not suggest that you eat them in the morning. Simmer your vegetables for maximum nutrients. Eat them raw for even more nutrients.
Some vegetables provide more nutrient raw than cooked, these include:
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
Here are just a few benefits of vegetablesback research and well-known companies:
- Boost brain power
- Can help maintain a healthy sight
- Gives you energy
- Fiber to do “it”
- Helps fight immunity
- Hydration for your entire body
- Healthy skin and glowing skin
- Supports bone and joint
Regular potatoes and corn are good once in a while, but they aren’t even close to the healthiest veggies. Corn is super genetically modified, so be very careful!
This one is extremely hard to back up with proof since there are so many contradicting studies. Some citation says that almonds are bad for you while others say it is good for you. To be safe, everything in moderation.
Let’s start with the healthiest nuts and their benefits (this website allows you to pick which nut and it provides you all the information about vitamins and minerals for each nut!) Actually; there really is no “healthiest nut.” That website allows you to select the option that you need.
For example best nut to lose weight, best nut for cholesterol, etc. It caters to your problem and tells you which nut is the best based on nutritional content, how awesome is that. Each person has different individual needs, so it is best if you look at their chart and see which nut is the best one for you.
Everyone eats bread, noodles, and carbs. Here are some dangers associated with simple carbohydrate foods.
- Eating high amounts of simple carbs daily can lead to weight gain.
- Is not filling so your body requires you to eat more to get the full feeling.
- Contains little to no fiber so good luck trying to eliminate them out of your body.
- You build a tolerance for simple carbs like sugar. The more you eat them, the more you are accustomed to their taste. So 600 grams of carbs a day becomes 700 grams and so on.
- If you’re not burning those carbs, your body will convert it and store it as body fats for later use. If you’re a pro athlete or exercise regularly, then this isn’t really an issue.
- Junk food, processed food, and carbs are engineered to be addictive. It’s a business strategy, money talks, and walks. They have to compete with the other food giants to sell as much as possible. And whole foods are just simply not nearly as profitable as processed foods.
If you prefer to cut back on carbohydrates, eliminate simple carbohydrates such as sucrose and lactose. This version of carbohydrates breaks down rapidly and is absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. It provides energy that lasts only a short time.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take a longer time to digest, which slowly raises your blood glucose and gives you longer-lasting energy. Pasta and bread, on the other hand, contain little nutritional value for our body.
Another really hard food group that is like nuts but even more controversial. Just type “are legumes good for you” on google and you will see mix results. To be honest, when I ate them I didn’t feel any better than when I didn’t eat them.
Legumes are high in these nutrients:
Fiber, iron, protein, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and vitamins B1, B3, and B5.
They are quite low in calories, and actually, keep you feeling full longer. Now the good part (the cons of legumes). Some are toxic, but not dangerous. Soak the beans overnight and then boil them for 10 minutes at 212 F to reduce or eliminate lectins.
Extreme bloating and gas when overeating legumes. Chipotle may not seem like an ideal date dinner. They contain so many nutrients, all of it may not be absorbed by the body, in fact maybe only a tiny bit, so it is dead nutrient.
Nuts, legumes, and carbs are great once in a while but vegetables are the best. You really can’t go wrong with eating too many vegetables. Eat more vegetables; I can’t stress how good they are for you.
5. Desserts and Snacks
Most desserts are high in sugar and artificial sugar. They will do more harm than good, and they are expensive especially if you’re going out. I would avoid and only eat them on special occasions since healthy meals do not require this type of food.
Imagine desserts as an expensive car. It looks great on the outside, but how much time and work does it take one to get an expensive car? And then you can only drive them for a few thousand miles a year. Desserts are the same; you should only eat them a few times a month (year).
Snacks are worse than desserts because snacks are meant for everyday eating. Most snacks are filled with garbage and do nothing for you if anything they are bad for you. Snacking is actually bad for you.
Your body is either digesting or repairing. If you are always eating, then it can’t really repair itself. That is why fasting is so good for you because you are literally repairing yourself inside and out.
I strongly recommend you to quit snacking forever; I don’t remember the last time I snack. When I eat my two meals a day, I eat everything there and then. It keeps me healthy, in weight, in focus, work longer, and I feel much better this way.
Avoid, avoid, avoid.
6. Seasoning and Spices
6.1 Tasty and Healthy Spices
India has over 2,000 spices, and many are grown organically and natively there. That’s why every nation wanted to attack and control India. Want to make your healthy meals even healthier?
Here are the best and healthiest spices for you and all of them actually taste good, just remember to buy them fresh and not in plastic containers to get the maximum benefits:
- Turmeric — Has anti-inflammatory properties, and can stop certain cancers.
- Rosemary — Helps the immune system fight of short and long-term flu and diseases.
- Basil — Boost cardiovascular health.
- Cumin — For digestive benefits, and helps avoid diabetes.
- Nutmeg — Aids the liver to expel toxins and helps the kidneys get rid of impurities.
- Saffron extract — Can help with Alzheimer disease.
- Ginseng — Helps with the immune system.
- Cardamon — It can help indigestion, upset stomach, and heartburns.
- Curry — Ma fav. Has anti-inflammatory benefits, and anti-cancer properties.
- Thyme — Abundant in antioxidant.
- Cayenne pepper — Detoxifies and cleansing properties.
- Licorice root — Relaxes the body down and avoid feelings of stress/anxiety.
- Oregano — Contains minerals, fiber, and omega-3.
- Cilantro — Rid the body of toxicity from heavy metals.
- Lavender -Relaxes the mind and change your mood.
- Sage — Reliefs excessive inflammation in the body.
- Ginger — Anti-cancer food.
- Cinnamon — Cleanse the body of bacteria, improve cholesterol levels, anti-inflammatory properties, regulate your blood sugar levels, boost your metabolism.
- Parsley — Rich in Vitamin K and Vitamin C.
- Fennel — Rich in antioxidant.
6.2 Dangers of Salt
Notice how salt and pepper is not anywhere on this list. One should use sea salt or Himalayan salt, not the salt in the grocery store which actually dehydrates your cells and contains no nutritional value. Sea salt actually has mineralsthat your cells and bloodstream will adsorb and so many other good things for your body.
Americans consume about 3200 mg of sodium a day which is 6 times more than the recommended amount.
- can negatively affect the function of the inner lining of the blood vessels
- can lead to heart failure
- high blood pressure
- kidney failure or kidney disease
- affect the brain and can pump out high amount of stress hormones
Ditch the table salt and go for sea salt. Add any spice to your meals for extra flavor and health benefits.
7. Beverages and Water
7.1 Beverages (non-water)
Sodas contain way to much sugar for any individual, so that’s all I’m going to say. 1 or 2 cans a week is ok, but every day is toxic!
Alcohol is actually good for us, 1–2 cans a day for men and one can a day for women. Of course, this all depends on your size and how healthy you are. Exercising, eating healthy, getting good sleep, etc. can affect how much you can detoxify alcohol and how much you can drink. If you sit all day and smoke all day, then you shouldn’t even be drinking alcohol.
You should not drink anything with your meals.
Drink 15–60 minutes before or a few hours after eating is best because the liquid won’t interfere with digestion.
This article provides an extensive in-depth understanding of water.
Sip, again sip some water or beverages with your healthy meals is ok, don’t drink more than 3–4 ounces of liquid with your meals.
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