Today, we are continuing our look at 6 easy principles of healthy eating. If you missed the first 3 principles, use the links at the bottom to read those first and then meet us back here for the second half.
4-Use food to fuel your body.
You wouldn’t pour high fructose corn syrup into your car and expect it to keep running for very long, would you? It would destroy your engine. Well, guess what. It does nothing to fuel your body either yet many Americans practically drink it by the gallon because it’s in so many of the foods we like to eat.
Instead of thinking, “What do I want to eat?” let’s ask ourselves, “What would give me the most healthy energy?“. Because you know if I’m going to have any hope of keeping up with my husband and 8 children I NEED energy!
Instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t or can’t eat, focus on eating what builds your strength, charges your energy, fuels your drive, nourishes your life, and feeds your health.
5-God created food.
If God said it’s good, don’t call it bad. Now a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this point, but I’m going to say it anyway. I don’t recommend you follow a plan that eliminates entire food groups. God made them for a reason. Even if we don’t know what that reason is, it’s still a good reason.
I am personally very wary of food plans that eliminate entire food groups. I’ve seen plans that cut out meat, or milk, or carbs, or anything white. (I haven’t found one yet that cuts out veggies. Bummer.) Most information about eating seems to be all about labeling a bunch of foods that particular author thinks are evil. There are several extreme diets that encourage us to eat like a caveman or a rabbit. Newsflash. We are neither. God gave us plants and animals to eat, we just need to be smart about what and how much.
(Obviously, if you are allergic to or intolerant of certain foods, then by all means, avoid what doesn’t work well with your body. Listening to your body is part of making good food choices.)
6-Food is usually best when it is as close as possible to the way God made it.
These days, we are taught to think of sugar as the ultimate junk food. If we’re talking about the white powdery stuff we can buy in a bag, then that’s not far from the truth. But here’s the amazing part. Sugar cane in its natural state is actually healthy for you! Yep, it’s full of vitamins and nutrients and it even has a high ratio of polyphenols which help slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
If we ate sugar cane the way God made it, it would be sweet AND healthy! By sucking out all the nutrients and fiber and then bleaching the result, we take a marvelously created yummy healthy food and turn it into a slow death machine.
In Singapore, they have vendors on the street who press fresh sugar cane to make a refreshing sweet drink. It’s way better than lemonade! (And better for you too.)
Generally speaking, the more humans “process” food, the more we jack it all up.
I estimate that a good percentage of what we find today in most American grocery stores intended for human consumption cannot legitimately be called food.
Here are two guidelines I try to follow:
- Choose foods from the perimeter of the grocery store. This is usually where the fresh (or frozen) fruits and veggies, dairy, and meats are. A lot of the junk in the middle of the store is just chemicals in a box, bag, or can.
- When you get something from the middle of the store, read the BACK label. If it has a short list of ingredients that you recognize, put it in the cart. If it has a long list that sounds like a chemistry experiment, leave it on the shelf and walk away.
Ignore the front label entirely. That label is designed to make you want to buy the product, not to provide information about what you’re really getting. The front packing is often misleading. Words like “all natural”, “low-fat”, and “reduced fat” don’t necessarily mean what you think they do and a green label doesn’t make what’s inside any better for you.
Poison ivy is all natural, but I’m going to eat it. Often things that are marked “low-fat” or “sugar-free” are filled instead with chemicals that are much worse for your body than fat or sugar ever was. Your body has ways of dealing with fat and sugar (as long as you don’t overload your system), but it wasn’t designed to digest much of the engineered fabricated nonsense that we use to replace the fat and sugar.
I always chuckle when I see the huge plastic barrel of cheese balls that says “now made with real cheese” as if that’s supposed improve the quality somehow. And what on earth did they put in cheeseballs before they decided to actually use cheese? I don’t even want to think about that.
Obviously, let’s use reason here and cook the food that should be cooked. We do not have the stomach of a tiger. But fruits and vegetable are best when they are fresh and raw and organic (or least washed well). If we eat our veggies, but they always have the life cooked out of them, they won’t nourish or fuel our
If we eat our veggies, but they always have the life cooked out of them, they won’t nourish or fuel our bodies as well as they could have if we had left them alone. Besides, soggy vegetables are gross. No wonder we don’t want to eat them.
So there are the 6 principles I try to follow (most of the time) to make healthy food choices. What are yours?
Click the image below to find the links to all the posts in this series.
Which principle of healthy eating will you focus on this week?
What principle would you add to the list?
Next post in this series:
Week Three: Hydrate Frequently
Part 1: Are You Drinking Enough Water?