While the weight loss industry continues to make record profits, more and more folks in Western nations are finding themselves overweight or obese – basically, all around unhappy and unhealthy, and completely at as loss as to what is healthy food.
Rather than provide people with the knowledge and weight loss tips that they need to be successful in their efforts to lose weight, the diet industry, and even nutrition science, have more served to confuse and confound people, than to help.
What is healthy food is a question that used to be based in common sense. And the short answer is, well, food. Much of what we consume today would more properly be referred to as “food-like substances”, the term coined by writer Michael Pollan.
This is due to the fact that our foods are so laden with chemicals, preservatives, and additives, that someone from a few generations past might not even recognize it as food.
For those who want to know what is healthy food, and what constitutes a healthy eating plan, there are a few bits of advice that will really help one get started on the path to weight loss success.
Small and Frequent Meals
Part of what makes us reach for that bag of chips or box of cookies is the idea that we need to eat three large meals a day. What this really means is, hours and hours between meals, and our bodies need a fairly regular source of energy, even just to get us through the basic functions of daily living.
Naturally, we get hungry when we grab a bagel or donut at seven in the morning and do not get to eat again until noon.
Smaller, but more frequent meals not only help to reduce between meal hunger pangs – as you are eating more frequently – but is also acts to help keep your metabolism elevated for longer, throughout the day, and this will aid in your weight loss efforts.
The Place of Meat in the Diet
The Standard American Diet, which is, sadly, spreading rapidly around the world, gives one the impression that meat is the point of the meal. What this translates to is over sized portions of protein on a plate, surrounded by a few afterthought carbs and maybe, just maybe, some sort of vegetable.
This is part of the problem with the SAD (which really is pretty sad when you think about it). Meat is the point of the meal, the focus, and the other stuff is just an afterthought.
Meat, and protein in general, should merely be a part of the meal, not the point. When wanting to know “what is healthy food, and what constitutes a healthy meal?” a plate that has about three times as much “other stuff” as meat (in proper proportions of course), is more appropriate than a giant hunk of meat with a few obligatory veggies.
Why Whole Grains?
The reason that whole grains are such an important part of the “what is healthy food” equation, is the ability these foods have to help regulate blood sugar. Foods that act to regulate blood sugar will help to curb hunger, aid in fat burning, and keep you fuller, longer.