I'm not claiming to be an expert and I know that my diet is not as balanced as it should be. I just want to share some of the healthy eating habits that I have learned throughout the years.
To begin, I have been trying to cook meals based on their glycemic index. We all know that sugar is bad for us. What happens to a child when you give them a bunch of candy? The same thing happens to us when our body receives too much sugar. Our bodies are healthier when our blood sugar is kept constant. When I eat too much sugar and then my blood sugar drops, I begin to feel lightheaded, dizzy, and very hungry. The fastest way to recover and bring my sugar levels back up is by eating a chocolate bar, which we all know is unhealthy therefore causes me to gain weight. So, going back to the glycemic index, the GI uses a scale of 0-100, ranking carbs based on the conversion to glucose in our bodies. Pure sugar is given a 100 in the glycemic index, therefore the smaller the number, the slower your body turns it into sugar.
There are many lists on the web where you can find the GI of foods. I've linked two lists here: High, Medium, and Low GI Foods and Your Low GI Shopping List. What I do is go through those lists and find or create recipes based on the foods that have a low GI. I found that eating using the glycemic index was a good starting point. It's not the entire picture, though. Notice that some foods have a high GI, but are not as unhealthy for you, such as eating a baked potato with its skin. Other foods such as ice cream, have a lower GI rating, but we know that's not a healthy snack due to its calories and fat content. So, when creating my weekly menus, I try to take everything into account.
The GI diet is great for diabetics because it helps control glucose levels. A diabetic can even enjoy a small amount of sugary dessert at the end of a low GI meal because the lower GI of the meal will slow down the conversion of your sugary dessert into glucose.
A Low GI diet and help with weight control because low GI foods help to make you feel full. Many low GI foods also have fewer calories and you eat fewer carbs. Many of the low GI foods are also rich in fiber which always helps with weight control.
We already know most of these facts but sometimes we need to keep reminding ourselves ....
*Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day...eat within the first 30 minutes of getting up and eat a low GI, high protein food such as eggs or grilled chicken.
*Eat fruits and vegetables....Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best, frozen ones are okay but canned vegetables are not the healthiest choice.
*Our bodies need some fats...healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats which are found in olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil, avocados, peanut butter, and many nuts. Also, polyunsaturated fats which are included in fatty fish, walnuts, sunflower seeds, tofu, and soybeans. These fats can also reduce bad cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke!
*Limit your saturated fats..., these are found in meats and dairy products. Only about 5% of your calories should come from saturated fats, so choose lean meats when grocery shopping.
*Avoid trans fats....these are your yummy fats found in all of our favorite foods such as fries, pizza, doughnuts, cookies, cakes, and so much more.
*Sodium is not good for us...avoid canned soups, canned vegetables, frozen dinners, and deli meats.
*Processed food is bad for us....we need to cook our meals from fresh foods. (I'll be sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!)
*Sugar...is found everywhere, even in your salad dressing so check your ingredient list. We make our own salad dressing.
*Eat...starving yourself is not a healthy way of losing weight. I have to remember this myself.
*Drink plain water... if you're not used to it, you will be with time. I still drink sodas every once in a while but I never crave it anymore!
*A glass of red wine at the end of the day is OKAY!!
My goal is to share some recipes with you. I hope you follow my blog and try some of the recipes!