This Article is About
healthiest foods
heart disease and diabetes
unhealthy lifestyles
self denial
healthy lifestyles
downward spiral
guilt and shame
self discipline
diet programs
busyness
How To Sneak The Healthiest Foods Into Your Regular Fare – Lasting Lifestyle Changes
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How to Sneak the Healthiest Foods into Your Regular Fare – Lasting Lifestyle Changes

Many of us live in modern industrialized cultures where it is very easy to be lulled into unhealthy lifestyles. The two biggest culprits in this descent are the busyness we are so caught up in and the power of the media (advertizing)! Although one would think that the vast knowledge available about healthy living should bring about change, the dramatic rise in the number of people who are overweight and obese dispels this theory.

As much as there is a rise in weight gain problems and linked diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, there is a similar very encouraging increase in the number of people escaping this downward spiral. Why is that? How are these seemingly healthy, robust, happy people escaping former lifestyles marked by weight problems and disease, yes, even guilt and shame?

An ever increasing number of people are seeing through the advertizing hype about diet programs, that do not work and of convenient quick to prepare foods, which rob us of vitality. Yes, I believe that it is that simple, many mind boggling problems are!

It is widely accepted that attempts to lose weight through dieting not only fail miserably, but actually do more harm than good as they are so injurious to self-esteem. Even those with the incredible self-discipline required to shed pounds through diets, either eventually put the weight back on or live lives that are marred by the continuous stress of that kind of self-denial. If you have ever lived around one, you know what I mean.

The majority of shoppers, homemakers looking for easy, quick to prepare meals for their families, have no idea how unhealthy highly processed food is. I will give you a little example, which ties together the absurdity of dietary trends coupled with common supermarket products. This idea is so pervasive that I have caught very knowledgeable people, who live exceptionally healthy lifestyles, in a thought process tantamount to irrational.

Let me explain. It goes something like this. Now, I believe that most of us would agree that vegetables and fruit are generally good for you. Yet one of the very popular trends these days is low-carbohydrate diets. OK, what are carbohydrates? Take away the scientific jargon in the dictionary definition and one is left with “plants that are important food for animals and people.” Read “vegetables and fruit.”

Herein lays both the problem and the confusion. To reduce the preparation time and texture of the finished products in order to increase marketability for most grains, the food industry has stripped them of essential components, mainly the fiber. When we consume whole grains our bodies have to work to digest them and, as it takes time to break them down the sugar and starch, which we need for energy is slowly released into our bodies. This does not dramatically increase our blood-sugar level.On the other hand, when we consume highly processed grains our bodies break them down to starch and sugar very rapidly dramatically increasing our blood-sugar level. This makes us feel great for a short period of time, but soon wears off leaving us lethargic. By the way, if you look into the majority of big supermarkets you will find that the vast majority of their grains are highly processed. This is also a major cause of unwanted weight gain.

So, if you want to talk about a low-carb diet and make any sense whatsoever and, especially, not mislead so many people, you must qualify it to “low processed carbohydrate” diet. Then I will agree with you. As a matter of fact I avoid processed foods of any type or description. But if you tell me I should cut down on my carbohydrate intake I will point to the massive population of fit, trim and healthy vegetarians and say “huh”?

Hence, the first step to escaping the downward spiral of unhealthy living is to ignore the hype and trends. Vegetables and fruit are not only very good for your health they are absolutely necessary for life. Increase your intake, especially of the broad leafed green variety like kale, collards and Swiss chard for example.

But, keep in mind that change takes time, especially if it is to be lasting. This is one of the more substantial arguments against any kind of enforced diet. You cannot change a lifestyle that may have been years or even decades in the making, overnight. I don’t know about you, but I not only really enjoy eating, I actually do it every day and, several times a day! It would be no surprise to me at all if, after radically changing all that beginning right now, a part of me went into total rebellion.

The ultimate goal with grains, hence cereals and breads and related foods, is to go “whole.” Again, take your time. If you attempt to do it overnight I can guarantee that your body is going to let you know, in no uncertain terms, that it wants its sugar rush back! The best way is to make your own breads and cereals and slowly increase the whole grains while diminishing the processed ones. The same thing can be accomplished in stores and bakeries by closely observing the ingredients.

In summary the essentials to making lasting, healthy lifestyle changes include:

• Religiously avoiding the hype and advertizing out there on both how to eat healthy and on how to lose weigh, especially through dieting.

• Gradually sneak new healthy foods like leafy green veggies and whole grain cereals and breads into your diet.

• Give yourself a break and realize that change takes time and determination so approach the whole process with an air of healthy anticipation and look forward to and note small, steady improvements.


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