Cooking a healthy meal day after day, night after night is not at all easy. However, if you want to start eating healthy, you need to pay close attention to the foods that you buy and serve on the dinner table. Be aware that eating health foods (and vitamins) involves knowing what the right foods are and making a conscious effort to consume more of them.
* Potatoes are good, as long as they are eaten in moderate amounts.
* Ideally, no more than five ounces of meat, beans and other sources of proteins (e.g., peas, nuts and fish) should be consumed per day to ensure that your diet has sufficient amount of protein. Bake, grill or broil meat instead of frying it.
* Consuming six ounces of grain each day is ideal. You can do this by consuming 3 ounces of whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, rice, pasta or crackers every day. A slice of bread and a cup of cereal roughly contain about one ounce of grain each.
* A nutritious meal consists of health foods rich in vitamins and other nutrients, which is why it is important to incorporate fruits and vegetables in your meals. Eat more of dark vegetables (e.g., broccoli and spinach). Sweet potatoes and carrots are rich sources of vitamins and nutrients too, and so are dry beans (e.g., peas, kidney beans and pinto beans. Instead of eating ice cream for dessert, try eating fruits, at least two cups per day. Eat a variety of fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits.
* Fats, in reality, are essential to our health. Fats adversely affect the body and our health if they are consumed in excessive quantities. Among the adverse affects are high cholesterol levels, weight gain, cancer and heart disease. When cooking, avoid using solid fats (e.g., butter, margarine, shortening and lard). Use olive oil or canola oil instead. Learn to read food labels and check how much saturated fat and trans fat, as well as sodium, canned goods contain.
* Pay attention to serving sizes. A lot of people eat more than they actually need. Avoid making the same mistake; eat in accordance to your daily activities. For instance, reduce your serving size on days when you aren’t doing any type of physical activity. You can increase meal portions when your schedule includes doing physical activities, as you will need the energy. Take also into consideration the particular needs of your family members when cooking a meal.
If you decide to follow the advice above, you’ll discover that cooking healthy meals is, in fact, extremely easy. Here’s an example of a healthy, well balanced meal (one serving):
* grilled or barbecued chicken breast (5-oz. per person)
* 1/2 baked potato
* mixed green salad
* fruits and frozen yogurt for dessert
With a little bit of will, consuming the right health food, vitamins and minerals your body requires is not going to be too hard at all.
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