Author Topic: Healthy eating?  (Read 2087 times)

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Redsoil

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Healthy eating?
« on: September 28, 2013, 09:22:43 AM »
After reading posts in the "Get fit E-Hell" thread, I'm interested in what others consider to be appropriately healthy foods.  Should be obvious, I guess, but I thought it may be interesting to see what others eat and possibly expand my own range of foods. 

I've recently "discovered" sweet potato and absolutely love it roasted (cut into slices and sprinkled with herbs).  Also, I know there are foods commonly considered "healthy" which actually have a lot of sugar or additives (many yoghurts for instance).

So what foods do others consider healthy?
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veronaz

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 09:55:36 AM »
I tend to think of fresh fruits and green, leafy vegetables as being healthy.  However, I think “healthy” has a lot to do with preparation.  For example, I prefer to avoid fried foods or foods with a lot of coating.  A potato is a vegetable, but if it’s mashed and smothered with butter and gravy it’s not healthy.  I know someone who thinks she eats healthy because she eats lots of salads, but she literally drowns her salads with creamy dressings (ranch, etc.).  Chicken and fish can be healthy, but not when fried or with the skin on.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 11:38:56 AM by veronaz »

Carotte

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 10:05:43 AM »
I mostly think the less processed or changed the more healthy , and like Veronaz said, it's mostly a matter of preparation.
And a good healthy diet doesn't mean you won't see the sight of a cake for the rest of you life, it means you'll only have one piece every once in a while, and if you can favour something made with healthier ingredients it's even better (no trans-fat, no 5 types of sugar...).
Weird ingredients lurk in even the most innocuous food, here a major brand of canned vegetables (Green Giant) boast that one of their type of canned corn doesn't have sugar added   :o ::), duh, and also  >:(, because for them, unless they tell you there's no sugar, you can bet there's sugar (other brands at least don't do that and don't put sugar to start with).

camlan

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 10:08:49 AM »
What I've sorted out for myself:

Eat a variety of colors in a day. If I have carrot sticks (orange) for lunch, I'll have broccoli (green) or eggplant (purple) for dinner.

Try to have a raw vegetable daily.

Try to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, but don't worry too much about how many of each.

Vary the starches. Bread for lunch? Then rice or potatoes for dinner.

Vary the protein. Beef one day, chicken the next, legumes the following day.

Eat the least processed ingredients possible. In my area, that means canned tomatoes and some frozen vegetables in the winter, but that's still better than Ramen noodles or Hot Pockets.

There are no good foods or bad foods. But there are "daily foods" and "treats." Cookies, cake, fried foods=treats. I try to limit treats to 2-3 times a week.

Chocolate is good for you. One small piece of dark chocolate a day keeps the blues away.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn

BigBadBetty

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 10:42:26 AM »
I think in general it means eating food close to how it is found in nature.

I think it varies for different people. What I is healthy for me, may not be work for everyone. I ate vegan, whole food, low fat diet for about a month. My skin looked so much better, but I really missed cheese. I am now trying to figure out what my dairy limit is for my skin. I have no problem with wheat, but I know a lot of people have troubles.

Hillia

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 10:55:10 AM »
I've struggled with this for years.  I know what's healthy as far as ingredients and preparation, but my palate is conditioned to find those things less appealing and to really enjoy the worst of the worst: big hunks of fatty beef, fried food, creamy sauces, tons of melted cheese, etc.  DH has the same thing only worse; his mom's default preparation method involves a big spoonful of leftover bacon grease, even for vegetables.  We're trying to follow the Mediterranean Diet guideliness: red med no more than once a week, fish at least once a week (this is really tough because neither of us really likes fish other than deep fried with tartar sauce, and I can't seem to cook fresh fish to save my life), more of the meal's bulk coming from vegetables and beans.

My personal discovery is egg whites.  I was trying to find a low carb breakfast alternative to cereal.  I don't like eggs, and I don't feel satisfied with smoothies, yogurt, etc.  I tried making an egg white omelet and now I'm hooked.  I dump in a ton of chopped spinach and tomatoes, garlic and onions, and a little feta cheese - yum.  Or some picante sauce and cojito cheese.  I'm also exploring vegetarian options and found a Mediterranean seasoned veggie burger that's pretty tasty served with a salad.


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lilfox

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 03:52:45 PM »
Moving away from processed foods is a trick I'm still learning, but i think of that as being a step in a healthier direction.  Ideally I would have a big salad for lunch, snack on granola or fruit, and have steamed fresh fish or broiled chicken breast and veggies for dinner all the time, but I'm just not that virtuous.   :). I like all those things sometimes, but cannot maintain it on a daily basis.

One suggestion is to find the equivalent recipe to something you love (e.g. Hamburger Helper seasoning) and make it yourself using off the shelf spices.  Most likely you will be cutting down on the sodium and chemicals that shelf stable foods rely on and it doesn't really add to the cooking time.

Grated real cheese melted over whole wheat pasta doesn't take much longer than boxed Mac and cheese and it's gotta be better for you, right?

Baking from scratch rather than boxed Hostess snack cakes.  Sure it takes longer, but you control what goes into them and can even make some healthier substitutions with practice and tweaking the recipe (no sugar added "pure" applesauce in lieu of some oil, brown sugar or whole wheat flour instead of the more processed white kinds, that sort of thing).  I've found the results aren't as satisfying to me personally, but the taste is still good and if it helps DD avoid discovering junk food until she's older and her tastes are more set towards healthy, all the better.

DollyPond

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 03:59:50 PM »
I recently looked over Dean Ornish's Spectrum diet for heart disease prevention and (presumably) reversal.  I did not buy his book but looked at what was available on the web.

He divides foods into 5 categories with lower numbers being healthier.  His advice is that you should try to shift your eating into the lower number categories without being too obsessive over calories, etc.  I can do that.

I do disagree with some of his recommendations though.  One is fat-free products.  Many fat-free salad dressings, mayo, ice cream, etc contain a lot of chemical additives that can't be good for you.  I like Michael Pollan's advice that if you don't recognize the ingredients in a product you probably shouldn't be eating it.  I say that a little real mayo is better than more of the fake stuff.

Another disagreement is on high fructose corn syrup.  Ornish says it's OK.  I'm not so sure.  i've made a concerted effort to avoid it.  I think there's more than just coincidence between it's introduction as a mainstream sweetener and the rise in obesity.

The last disagreement is on eggs.  Ornish considers them to be death bombs.  Yes, they do have cholesterol but if you eat one egg a day you probably won't collapse with a heart attack if you are also eating a good amount of fiber, fruits and veggies.

Just my 2 cents.

that_one_girl

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2013, 04:14:17 PM »
I've been using buffalo sauce or oil and vinegar for my salads and sprinkling a little cheese (usually Bleu or Feta) on top.   I think this dresses the salad nicely without using too much dairy like with a creamy dressing.

I also love my mom's favorite summer dish on a hot day.  It has chopped green bell pepper, canned corn, chopped purple onion mixed with a dressing of plain Greek yogurt and cracked pepper.

For breakfast, I like Greek yogurt because it is easy and creates minimal dishes for me to wash.  Slightly off topic, Yoplait has taken high fructose corn syrup out of their yogurt, and I think the new product tastes so much better.

If I have the time to cook, I like to use egg whites instead of eggs ... but that is because just don't like the yolks.  When I make eggs for more than one person, the other person gets my yolks in their omelette.

flickan

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2013, 04:20:58 PM »
For veg and meat I think it's mostly about the processing and preservation method; fresh is best, frozen is fine, canned is just okay for veg, unhealthy for fruit and meat.  I've tried to cut back on the amount of canned goods we eat.  I don't like food that's processed for instant microwaving either; it's hard to find microwave meals that are actually healthy and not just healthy in comparison to other microwave meals.

I also cut back significantly on starches, soda, white flour and sugar.  I try to use fruit (natural juice or bananas) or honey or molasses as sweetener.  I don't drink fruit juice because I think it's pointless to consume most kinds of fruit sugar without the fiber benefit of the fruit.  I bake with chickpea flour as much as possible.  I'm not sold on low-carb/keto as a full time diet but I can't deny the results so I try to strike a happy medium with carbs; quinoa, couscous, whole wheat pasta when possible, beans are okay too.  Chickpeas are great.

No margarine ever; only butter, olive oil, grapeseed oil, and coconut oil.

I eat a lot of dark chocolate.  I eat a lot of cheese.  I save my bacon fat for frying.  Bacon and sausage and tuna are probably the only heavily processed meats that I eat.  I don't do cold cuts anymore, much as I miss them.  Too much salt.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if all the good I was doing with my diet was balanced out by some of the bad.  For every ten kale, pear, and craisin salads there's a bacon and cheese sandwich fried in fat.

But we do hold flavor in high regard, I won't eat anything that doesn't taste good.  Lucky for me, most everything tastes good.


siamesecat2965

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 07:54:52 PM »
for me, its eating more unprocessed things, and making more from scratch. As others have said, you can control what you eat, if you make it, rather than opening a box or other package.

that being said, I'm doing WW at work, and there really are no foods that are "off limits" you can eat whatever you want, as long as you stay within your points. they do emphasize fruits and veggies and other things over say donuts, cake, etc. but if you wnat some of that, you can have it, in moderation.

so when I want french fries; i reach for the bag of frozen waffle fries and will make 4-5. that's it, enough, but not overkill.

EllenS

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2013, 08:16:34 PM »
My perspective is, "healthy" does not necessarily mean "lower calorie".  It means "dense with nutrients" and "minimally processed".
It is also a spectrum, where A may be a better choice than B, but there is probably also something better than A and something worse than B, you make the best choices you can with what you have access to.

Real butter is better than artificial butter-flavored spread. Organic butter from all-grassfed cows is better than regular butter.  Olive oil may be even better than that (depending on what you are going for) but they all have the same # of calories.

I try to eat only things that were recently alive, or made in a kitchen, not a laboratory.  Things that were never alive or do not exist in nature are not food.  Things that have been treated so that they will never go bad, are not food.

I like Michael Pollan's quote: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Jones

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2013, 08:25:50 PM »
There is such a range of opinions on "healthy". There is a woman in my mom's group who doesn't eat much fruit due to the sugar, for example. Others consume giant scoops of processed whey powder to get extra protein.

Me? Well I count my calories in a day (most days), and look at certain vitamins, make sure I get my fiber and a reasonable amount of carbs. I eat processed foods regularly (foods I have eaten all my life and with which I am comfortable) but my breakfast/snacks are usually raw fruits and vegetables. I use butcher shop meat. I buy things like juices that don't have any added sugar or HFCS, just because I see no reason to add more sweetener to something already sweet. I cut back on the sugar when I'm following a recipe, and often cut back on fat additives too. I still use fat, as it's necessary to life, but watch the amount of it.

Total personal choices, based on my own experiments of my own physiology.

Library Dragon

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2013, 08:40:29 PM »
Moving away from processed foods is a trick I'm still learning, but i think of that as being a step in a healthier direction.  Ideally I would have a big salad for lunch, snack on granola or fruit, and have steamed fresh fish or broiled chicken breast and veggies for dinner all the time, but I'm just not that virtuous.   :). I like all those things sometimes, but cannot maintain it on a daily basis.

One suggestion is to find the equivalent recipe to something you love (e.g. Hamburger Helper seasoning) and make it yourself using off the shelf spices.  Most likely you will be cutting down on the sodium and chemicals that shelf stable foods rely on and it doesn't really add to the cooking time.

Grated real cheese melted over whole wheat pasta doesn't take much longer than boxed Mac and cheese and it's gotta be better for you, right?

Baking from scratch rather than boxed Hostess snack cakes.  Sure it takes longer, but you control what goes into them and can even make some healthier substitutions with practice and tweaking the recipe (no sugar added "pure" applesauce in lieu of some oil, brown sugar or whole wheat flour instead of the more processed white kinds, that sort of thing).  I've found the results aren't as satisfying to me personally, but the taste is still good and if it helps DD avoid discovering junk food until she's older and her tastes are more set towards healthy, all the better.

This is what I'm working on.  Cutting down on processed food with the extra sodium and other additives.  Rather than thinking of any food as "bad" I'm looking at what's better.  Then I don't feel deprived and want to eat EVERYTHING.

Sometimes it's just not possible to make fresh.  I like Timothy Harlan's Just Tell Me What To Eat.  He was a chef before going to medical school so he understands that if something tastes bad it doesn't matter if it's good for us, most people aren't going to eat it.  He includes frozen meal options that are good for take to work meals.

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Yvaine

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Re: Healthy eating?
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 09:30:06 PM »
There is such a range of opinions on "healthy". There is a woman in my mom's group who doesn't eat much fruit due to the sugar, for example. Others consume giant scoops of processed whey powder to get extra protein.

This. What works for one body might not work for someone else's body for various reasons, and the prevailing definition of "healthy" is also subject to fads and fashions.