We all know that eating a healthy and balanced diet is a good idea. When we eat foods that are good for our bodies we not only look better and feel better, but we have more energy and drive to pursue what is important in our lives. Whether you want to go after your dreams, chase your kids, or go for that ultimate career, eating right is an integral part of doing just that.
But how do you tell what healthy eating actually is? For better or worse, we live in a world where information is only a few keyboard strokes away- and not all of it is good, complete or accurate. So how does a person tell the good information from the bad? Here are a few tips and tools to keep in mind.
Be wary of glorious claims. I see it every day. A nutritional “guru” that claims that some “newly discovered herb” or “wonder tonic” or essential oil can cure everything from male pattern baldness to diabetes. While there are a number of very nutritious foods that pack a great punch for your calorie intake- avocados and bananas come to mind- there are still more that make the claim but fail to deliver. Keep in mind the old adage: “extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.”
Listen to friendly experience. One of the most under utilized resources when it comes to nutrition is friends and family. They know you; they understand your quirks, your dislikes and your cravings. Chances are they’ve also dealt with some of the very same issues with eating that you do. Why not talk with them? They might have a few experiences to share- ones that can save you a lot of time and energy.
The Internet can help. Although the internet is filled with bogus information, every once in a while good information makes its way into the masses. There are plenty of respectable websites with good, verifiable information about nutrition, health tips, what foods to eat, and which ones to avoid. Websites like Mayo Clinic, Evidence Based Fitness by Dr. Chung, and The Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center all provide evidence based, easy to understand, and easy to implement information on nutrition and changing your eating habits.
Listen to you. When it is all said and done however, the best resource you have to understanding what your body needs is your body itself. Learn to listen to it, and soon you’ll discover that there are many subtle ways that your body will tell you what it needs. From the feeling of a dry throat telling you that water is needed, to the sense of anticipation when you see a basket of nice, ripe strawberries, your body can let you know exactly what it needs.