When it comes to choosing what you eat, there are so many options it can make your head spin. Information about what we should eat comes to us from all directions and it can often become difficult to know what constitutes good advice and what is merely advertising to get us to buy a certain food product.
This makes the process of deciding what foods are right for us in terms of health promotion, weight management and general preference more difficult than it needs to be. So what can we do to simplify the process of choosing the right diet that is both healthy and nutritious and not prone to cause us to gain weight?
Common Sense Eating
For many of us, simple common sense comes into play here. In the main, it is easy enough to figure out if a food product is going to be a healthy diet choice or a bad diet choice. For instance, it is pretty hard to go wrong with some fresh vegetables that you have to peel or wash, prepare and cook your self to go with a healthy main meal.
Similarly, if you eat meat then a trip to a respected butcher will result in a fine cut of meat that is fresh and generally low in fat as long as you have the butcher cut off all the excess fatty parts that you don't want. If you prefer to eat fish, then a visit to a good fishmonger will provide you with some fresh fish of your choice that will make a healthy and tasty centerpiece to your meal.
This all makes for a lot more work when it comes to food than many people really care for. This is a shame, because it is a sad reflection of our modern, fast food society that we have forsaken traditional home cooking for processed, ready to eat junk food. Far too many people prefer to choose the easy, convenient option of meal, but unfortunately, in most cases and despite what it may tell you on the packaging, this kind of food is far from healthy and unlikely to help you to keep a slim figure for very long.
Doing Some Research
There is a growing number of people who are dissatisfied with the way that the food industry seems to be trying to attract us to eating packaged, processed, convenient meals in preference to healthy home cooked meals made from fresh ingredients. The numbers are still far too small to make much of a difference to the way the population eats in general, but it's a start. These are people who choose to research what they eat before they eat it!
In the stores, you will sometimes see a person pick up a can of food or packet of something and stop to read the label in more detail than just a cursory glance at the pretty picture on the front and the title that aims to get you to put the item in your basket. Of course the majority of shoppers do not bother to read the nutritional information on labels and many think that the people that do are strange!
But I'd rather be thought of as strange and know what it is that I'm contemplating putting in my shopping basket, then blindly grab a bunch of items on the strength of pretty pictures to feed myself and my family with!
Those labels tell you a lot about what is lurking inside that packet of food. Many of the additives are given "E" numbers to make it easy for the manufacturer to compile and classify its ingredients while making it more difficult for "ordinary" shoppers to decipher what these additives are. Of course, giving the correct chemical names for these additives would probably defeat most shoppers too.
This is why it is necessary to do some homework before you even go shopping to find out what these "E" numbers represent and what the chemicals that they refer to actually are and what their properties are. Most of them are present to stabilize the food in some way, be they preservative, taste or texture enhancing, sweetening, colorizing or in some way making the food in the packet more appetizing, appealing and most importantly, creating a sense of wanting to buy the product again.
The long and short of all of this is that having prior knowledge of what these additives are and more importantly what they are capable of doing to your health is vital if you intend making an informed decision whether to buy an item or put it back on the shelf. Failure to know what it is you could be buying and eating is not very sensible, to say the least.
Of course, the easiest way to avoid eating foods that are unhealthy and liable to cause weight gain is to avoid as much packaged or canned foods as you possibly can. This means opting for a predominance of fresh ingredients which you will have to prepare and cook yourself. But this is a small price to pay to insuring the health of your self and your family who rely on you to provide them with nutritious food that also tastes good.
Sure, it meals you have to spend time in the kitchen preparing things, like peeling and washing vegetables, maybe slicing and cooking meats or fish and of course that means knowing how to cook! Ever increasing numbers of people these days simply do not know how to do any more than make toast, so it's little wonder that here are so many overweight, unhealthy people walking around.
They simply don't feed themselves properly or healthily. In many cases it is not the fault of the consumer. The advertisers bombard us with so many great looking foods and tell us they are healthy that we forget the basic due diligence and simply grab these items because the people who sell them to us tell us they are good to eat!
No food company or manufacturer is interested in selling you a bunch of carrots or some apples because there is simply not much profit in those items and there is no appeal to the convenience addicted modern eaters who shudder at the thought of actually getting their hands dirty and preparing real food!
In the end, it is all down to personal choice. You get to choose whether you will do something positive about eating more healthily or whether you want to continue being the slave of the advertisers and eat what you're told to eat by an industry that is only interested in your money, not your health.
Just remember you are a human being and that means you are the highest form of life on this planet. You are blessed with intelligence and a brain that allows you to think and to make choices. That means you do have a choice and the ability to exercise that choice as you please.
Do not make the mistake of choosing the easy way out every time, because that's a waste of your brain power and a poor choice. Make your choices about what you eat good choices and aim for health over distracting ads for this or that shiny object in a packet. It's your health and it's your duty to maintain it by eating healthily. Make the right choice.