The Art of Healthy Eating

healthy eatingObesity among adults and teenagers is considered to be one of the most common and disturbing problems globally, at least in economically prospering countries. Though food manufacturers notify customers about the nutritional value and the amounts of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates contained in most products, this does not contribute to decreasing the scope of the obesity issue. Nutritionists say that the origins of the problem lay not only in what people eat, but actually in how they eat. Consequently, it is essential to have knowledge about the most common eating habits and offer alternatives to each of them.

The general population’s consensus in developed countries is that if they consume larger portions or high-calorie food, they will feel full longer; accordingly, during their lunch breaks, they eat as much as they can, and then return to their offices. While those who have active professions, such as construction workers or woodsmen, burn calories faster and thus are less exposed to obesity, many office workers can be categorized as being connected to risk, as they sit down at a desk for many hours after eating. Eating at night is even worse, as a person does not simply lie in bed, but processes in their body, including food digestion, slows down. An effective alternative is to eat more often, but in smaller portions, and to chew food thoroughly–in this case, satiety will occur sooner, and last longer, than if you were swallowing big bites.

Opposed to popular opinion, fats are actually useful and beneficial for the human body. At the same time, this does not mean that you can eat all fatty food without limitation. So called trans fats and saturated fats, taken excessively, increases the risk of heart disease and obesity, because one gram of fat has about twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates and proteins (Web MD). On the other hand, a healthy diet should include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are contained in such products as oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts, and seeds. Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines (Helpguide). One should also try different types of protein, simultaneously moving away from making it the center of your daily meals.

Many people who try to lose weight make excessive efforts involving personal will power, forbidding themselves from products that they want. When you recognize certain foods as prohibited, your body will start to want more of it. In this case, if you fall into temptation, you will most likely experience a strong feeling of guilt or failure. In most cases, reducing portions of “banned” products and eating them rarely rather than usually is a more effective measure: you do not feel like you have to sacrifice your favorite food in favor of healthy nutrition. And as time goes on, you will discover that your craving for such food decreases.

Though many people share the myth that healthy nutrition means counting calories and panicking about every sip of beer or chocolate, it is not true. The secret is not what people eat, but how they eat. Most often what they need is not a diet, but a revision of their eating habits. This includes split meals in smaller portions, a more balanced combination of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and reducing, not giving up, food which is favored but not exactly healthy.

References

Paul, Maya W., Melinda Smith, and Jeanne Segal. “Healthy Eating: Easy Tips for Planning a Healthy Diet & Sticking to It.” Helpguide. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2013.

“Healthy Eating for Weight Loss.” Web MD. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2013.

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