HEALTHY has many variations in meaning but the goal is the same. It means being healthy in all aspects of life. Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of illness and disease. Many definitions have been used for various purposes over the years.
The HEALTHY lifestyle is about eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, and choosing the right portion size. Eating a well balanced diet that includes these foods is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. The term HEALTHY is sometimes associated with weight loss, which is certainly possible. In the book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Health”, Michael Allen and Lori Allen offer practical advice on how to set goals, motivate people, develop positive images and change behaviors. This book offers guidelines on how to set and reach health goals as well as how to keep the motivation going. People who read the book often find that they start eating better, exercising more and are more productive at work and at home.
Eating healthy is about more than just portion sizes. By eating a balance diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein, you can be healthier. HEALTHY is also about eating real, nutritional foods from each food group as well as including fats, protein and whole grain carbohydrates in the diet. Many people are unaware of the amount of fat and cholesterol that is present in fattening, fried foods, chips and other packaged or processed foods. These foods are typically very high in calories and should be eaten in moderation if you want to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy body.
The book, “HEALTHY plates”, by Marilyn W. Allen, provides a solution to portion control by suggesting that you use portions to encourage good nutrition while still leaving room for variety and a wide range of tasty foods. Each week, create a plate from one of the healthy foods recommended in the book, such as avocados, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, beans, peas, spinach, turnips, tomatoes, berries and eggs. Include at least one of these choices with at least one slice of whole-grain bread or one small piece of fruit.
The second half of this book focuses on habits that lead people to eat unhealthy foods and then become frustrated when they do not see the desired weight loss. One of the problems that many women face is not being able to eat enough fruits and vegetables. The book advises women to include four servings of fruits and vegetables per day, which translates to at least six servings of fruits and vegetables per week. Include one to two cups of beans per meal. Keep the same amount of fat in the diet, but increase the servings of nuts and seeds. These foods are high in fiber is a natural source of energy, so adding nuts and seeds will help with hunger pangs.
By including at least four servings of fruits and vegetables per day and increasing the amounts of nuts and seeds, eating healthier can result in a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases. A healthy diet can be achieved by substituting fatty fast foods and other snacks with fruits and vegetables. Include protein-rich meats, poultry and fish in the diet as well as legumes and grains.