4 Simple Tips for a Healthier Diet
Guest writer Joan Lara explores what makes a healthier diet and gives her tips to achieve a balanced outlook towards our lifestyle and what we eat…
Considered the “Healthiest Country in the World” in the Bloomberg Global Health Index, Spain’s relatively high life expectancy and lower health risks are largely credited to a good lifestyle. For the longest time, this was believed to include the much raved about Mediterranean Diet of healthy fats, veggies, legumes, and fish. However, new evidence on El Pais shows that today, only 45% of Spanish people follow this diet. What’s more, the younger millennial and Gen-Z population are not even fully aware of what constitutes a healthy diet. So what does one actually look like? And what are sustainable and accessible ways to achieve this diet?
1. Stop judging food as good or bad for a Healthier Diet
First of all, forget about gauging your dietary options based on what is deemed ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ by society. This only causes many to be confused, feel unmotivated, or equate themselves with whatever they just consumed. But labelling food this way is a complicated waste of time. Instead, simplify your view of food by practising food freedom. A concept also discussed in Food Freedom Forever, this approach encourages people to interact with food in a way that isn’t all-consuming. Meaning, if on initial analysis it looks like it’s prepared with good ingredients and will satiate your craving, then you should enjoy it. There’s no need to get too caught up in the micros and macros of it all. This way you’re less likely to burn out and more likely to develop a positive relationship with food.
2. Don’t forget hydration for a Healthier Diet
When one thinks of diet, food comes to mind before fluids. But proper hydration is essential to overall wellness and the efficacy of your healthy diet. In fact, considering that our bodies are made of 60% water, hydration is the key to keeping things running. In nutritionist Darien Olien’s book SuperLife, he even counts hydration as one of the five major life forces. Specifically, in terms of diet, when you’ve properly hydrated your metabolism is faster, your body absorbs vitamins and nutrients more efficiently, and you’re also less likely to get hunger pangs. To properly hydrate, Olien suggests drinking filtered water with a teaspoon of Himalayan Crystal salt per gallon. Not only is this free from sugar and additives, but it is also safe from pollutants. This is a great way to also cut out empty calories that often sneak into our diets via sodas or juices.
3. Cook your food more often
According to studies, food rich in saturated fat, sugar, and salt now makes up over 20% of the average Spanish person’s daily diet. Researchers say that this comes as a direct result of consuming more pre-packaged meals or fast food. In these cases, plenty of artificial flavouring and seasonings are used. While this may improve taste, it takes its toll on our bodies. Thus, it’s significantly better to just cook your own food, when possible. In your kitchen, you can control the amount of sugar and salt. Plus, when you’re cooking your meals, you can ensure that the ingredients are the best in season. Nutritionists suggest trying to cook your family’s traditional festive recipes since these are still comparatively healthier than contemporary fast food.
4. Incorporate some detoxification for a Healthier Diet
Many people get discouraged in trying to stick to a healthy diet because they say they don’t feel or see the positive effects. However, this could be because their bodies are already overwhelmed and need to detox first. Detoxification allows the body to “clean and reset.” With a health detox programme like we offer here at Shanti-som, your body can be relieved of pent-up toxins, making way for the absorption of nutrients. In the long run, detoxification can even promote sustainable weight loss, manage energy levels, boost metabolism, and reduce bloating. Plus, regular detoxification makes it easier to stick to a proper diet because your body will respond better and faster to the benefits of healthy eating.
Following a healthy diet is a long-term journey that does get easier over time. Although there are certain reminders on what is better done and better left out, a healthy diet that satisfies your body and mind is possible for everyone.
Written by Guest Author: Joan Lara