Healthy Eating for great health, detoxification and weight loss diets does not have to be a painful experience. In terms of weight management, it is not the amount of food we eat but rather the amount of calories and the nutritional quality of what we eat that matters.
There are two simple reasons why people become obese:
- their calorie intake far outweighs their calorie burn
- the quality of their food is poor: high in fat, additives, preservatives, artificial flavorings, colorings, loads of chemicals and low in essential nutrients
Following that logic, there are two simple solutions to obesity:
- decrease our calorie intake and increase our calorie burn
- eat higher quality food that is high in essential nutrients and low in calories, fat, additives, preservatives, artificial flavorings, colorings and chemicals.
You do not necessarily have to eat less food to lose weight but rather eat less processed, junky food with empty calories. If you maintain a diet of high quality food, you can actually eat in terms of bulk. Below is a list of low quality foods that we should avoid and high quality foods that we should increase in our diet.
Low Quality Foods
- Fast Foods in General
- Fried food
- Processed Deli Meats
- Pastries with high sugar and butter content
- White bread made with bleached, refined flour
- Anything you buy in a package
- Anything you buy with artificial ingredients
- Most frozen dinners
- Candies, cookies, and other sugary foods
- Potato chips and most other packaged snacks
High Quality Foods
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh vegetables
- Brown Rice
- Basmati Rice
- Whole wheat bread
- Organic Eggs
- Organic Fish
- Organic Chicken and Poultry
- Organic Lean meat
- Beans and Legumes
- Cheese in modest amounts
- Nuts and seeds
Contains plant compounds known as caffeoylquinic acids, which increase the flow of bile and help to digest fats.
Beets contain betaine, which promotes the regeneration of liver cells and the flow of bile. It also has a beneficial effect on fat metabolism. It is included in many detox diets for its cleansing abilities.
Broccoli and other members of the brassica family (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kholrabi) support liver detoxification enzymes. Vegetables in this family are also high in vitamins and boost immune functions.
Onions and Garlic
Rich in sulfur-containing compounds. Involved in sulfation, the main detox pathway for environmental toxins and certain drugs and food additives. Helps with the elimination of harmful heavy metals from the body.
Increases the flow of bile. Can be taken as a tea.
Tips On How To Make Healthier Meals
Courtesy of the National Heart and Lung Institute. You can visit their website here for more information on heart healthy diets.
Begin by choosing foods low in saturated fat, low in sodium and low in calories:
- Try fat free (skim) milk or lowfat (1%) milk
- Only buy cheeses marked “lowfat” or “fat free” on the package
- Choose to eat fruits and vegetables without butter or sauce
- Serve rice, beans, cereals, pasta, whole grains (e.g., couscous, barley, bulgar, etc.)
- Choose lean cuts of meat, fish, and skinless turkey and chicken
- When available, buy low– or reduced–sodium or no–salt–added versions of foods
Use these recipe substitutions:
- Use two egg whites for each whole egg and margarine or oil instead of butter
- Use light mayonnaise instead of the regular variety
- Use nonfat yogurt instead of sour cream
- Use lowfat cheese instead of regular cheese
- Use 1 percent or skim milk instead of whole milk
- Use fresh poultry, fish and lean meat rather than canned or processed types
Try these meal tips:
- Make a meatloaf with lean ground turkey
- Make tacos with skinless chicken breast
- Cool soups and gravies and skim off fat before reheating them
- Try adding salsa on a baked potato instead of butter
- Make a spicy baked fish — season with green pepper, onion, garlic, oregano, lemon, or cilantro
- Eat fruit for dessert, instead of pie or cake
Healthy Dietary Substitutions
We suggest that you analyze your eating habits. Figure out the ones you’re the LEAST attached to and start working on those first. The idea is to make as many improvements that aren’t TOO hard, so that the dreaded feeling of deprivation doesn’t set in before you start to actually feel and look better. Substitute wherever you can.
Here are some ways to begin substituting.
- Instead of frying (unless it’s stir-frying), eat foods that are baked, broiled or steamed.
- Eat an apple instead of a candy bar or pastry in the late morning or afternoon.
- Instead of ice cream, try frozen yogurt or sherbet.
- Instead of half and half or non-dairy creamer, use low-fat milk or creamy soy milk in coffee and tea.
- Instead of gravy, salsa! This is shorthand for suggesting you increase spice to make up the loss of flavor from fat content in food. If spicy food doesn’t agree with you, go at it slowly.
- While cooking: Halve the amount of oil suggested. (This won’t work in baking, but it will in most everything else.)
- Instead of whole eggs, use an egg white with a tablespoon of fresh vegetable oil.
In conclusion, the path to healthy eating starts with choosing high quality and nutrient rich ingredients for your diet. This is especially important if you are on or plan to start a detox program. Remember to make the changes in your diet gradual so your body does not go into shock and begins to crave the junk food you are eliminating. Follow up the healthy eating with ample exercise and you are on your way to good health and longevity.