The Ways To Build Healthy Eating Habit

April 17, 2012 8:04 PM EDT
food diary
food diary (Photo: Flickr)

“Apprentices have asked me, what is the most exalted peak of cuisine? Is it the freshest ingredients, the most complex flavors? Is is the rustic, or rare? It is none of these. The peak is neither eating nor cooking, but the giving and sharing of food.” – Nicole Mones, The Last Chinese Chef

Food is information

What we eat not only gives our body energy but also becomes us. Elizabeth Lipski, the author of “Digestive Wellness” wrote “food is our most intimate contact with our external environment. What we eat, diget, absorb, assimilate, and excrete becomes us.” What we eat make our body.

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When we read books, we consider what and how these books affect us. When we listen to the ambient music, we expect our mood to become calm. Like these, foods also affect not only our physical health but also our mental health.

Elizabeth Lipski said, “Food is information. Food interacts with our genes, regulating or disrupting normal biological pathways.” Because food is not just food, our brain and taste are prune to adhere what we have eaten for ages long. And the junk foods, that contain chemicals, pesticides, ad synthesized ingredients, disturb our digestive system. So if you want to adjust your wrong eating habit, you need to be used to nutritious natural food. If you do, you will feel natural foods more delicious than processed foods which are rich in artificial addictives.

Let’s begin with talking about what we eat wrong. According to Elizabeth Lipski, we consume refined flour and cereal product, which comprise 23 percent of our calories and lack most of their vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. And refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup which are very low in nutritional value take up 17 percent of our daily calories. And 24 percent of our calories come from deleterious fats. On the other hand, we eat only 5 percent of calories from fruits and vegetables which protect us against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and most other illnesses. And the level of nut intake is also low, though they support heart and brain health.

Keeping a food diary

Let’s get back to starting point. Elizabeth Lipski suggested keeping a food diary for at least 7 to 14 days. Through it, you will be able to find your eating habit. And during this, you can to find the answers about those questions. (Questions from “Digestive wellness”)

- Do you eat breakfast regularly?
- When is your digestion better or worse?
- How often do you eat?
- What food provoke symptom?
- Are your mealtimes relaxed or rushed?
- Do you eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day?
- How much refined sugar, low fiber, or highly processed food do you eat?
- How often and how much do you drink water?

If you check your eating habit, how about think about healthful eating habit.

▶ First, planning a diet and buying food according to the plan are great tools for healthful eating. And carrying a lunch bag –like sandwiches, piece of fruit - has benefits on your health.
▶ Second, eat small and frequently. It will boost and sustain your energy all through the daytime. But you should not choose fatty foods and sweets like commercially baked goods, donuts, fatty foods, potato chips, French fries, pie, cookies, hot dog. Instead of them, you can provide fruits, nuts, yogurt, a piece of chicken.
▶ Third, eat only when you hungry. Sometimes we try to relieve and satisfy ourselves by foods. When we feel hollow, we tend to turn to foods. We can substitute exercising, playing, and so on for food. But you should not wait until you are too hungry to control your appetite.
▶ Forth, relax when you eat. When you have no room to enjoy your meal leisurely, you can eat fast. Eating fast make you eat more because it takes time to know your brain your stomach full. Rather than hurrying up, relax and thank the people who produced the foods.
▶ Fifth, top your sandwiches with veggies such as onions, lettuce, and tomatoes instead of red meat or extra cheese.
▶ Sixth, don’t buy foods labeled deep-fried, pan-fried, creamy or crispy because they are mostly high in fats and sodium.
▶Seventh, eat local food in season. Local foods are fresher and have higher level of nutrition than imported foods. And if you eat foods in season, it reduces the intakes of pesticide and herbicide.
▶Eighth, consume as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Eating them has many benefits. They are good source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that protect us from heart disease, cancer, and other common health problems.
▶Ninth, chose high-quality protein. As you know, most poultry and animals for foods are raised in concentrated agricultural feeding operations. Some of foods that they eat are inappropriate and unnatural, including genetically engineered corn and soy products. (Some of them are fed up even meat.) It can affect their body cell and change their genes. And it can also affect people who eat them. And actually, the most farm- raised fish has less omega-3 fatty acid than wild-caught fish. To avoid foods resource from unnatural factory farming, you need to check where these meats come from and maybe you can purchase them at your local farmer’s markets.
▶Tenth, try to use less salt in your diet. If you do, you can enjoy original taste of foods and your taste will be adjusted to the taste. It will help your healthy diet.
▶ Eleventh, eat high-fiber foods like whole grain. Do not think multi-grains as a good source of whole-grain because some of them also made with highly processed grains. Food labeling Multi-grains doesn’t mean high-fiber. Like eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains have many benefits- like reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, some kinds of cancer, obesity, and diabetes.
▶Twelfth, drink lots of clean water instead of soda rich in sugar or high fructose corn syrup. And drinking water with tea can refresh you.


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