How do you feel about chocolate? Pretty good, right?
Well what if I asked the same question while you were buried under enough chocolate to almost crush you?
Everything is relative to the context and situation in which it is presented, and healthy foods are no different. “Too much of a good thing” really does exist. Our lives and our bodies function best on balance.
For optimum digestion you need a certain amount of fibre – too much and you may find yourself a little ‘stopped up!’ For optimum weight loss you need to eat a certain number of calories. Too little and you’ll end up putting your body in ‘storage mode’. Too many calories will obviously not help your weight loss at all.
When it comes to healthy eating, and choosing healthy foods for your diet, it’s all about balance again.
Here are some common mistakes made by well-meaning dieters that can have a serious impact on weight-loss results.
1. Green veggies
Green veggies are seriously good for you. Spinach, kale, broccoli, cucumber, the list goes on.
But if you are prone to kidney stones, you may need to moderate your intake of these wonder-foods. They contain a high level of oxalate, which can cause kidney stones. You can still eat the greens, but don’t fill your morning smoothie with spinach every single day in addition to your meals.
A serving or two of green veggies per day is good for health, and should see you ‘stone free’.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is the new ‘best oil to cook with’, and dieters are using it for anything and everything.
While is does contain some healthy fats, it is loaded with saturated fats. And while there is a huge craze around these not being harmful, the (actual, science-based) jury is still out on the truth here. Try to limit your intake to a moderate amount, and don’t be taken in by pseudo-science.
Overdoing fats of all kinds is bad for your health. Exercise moderation and you’ll be fine.
3. Olive oil
Yes, olive oil is a lovely, healthy condiment to use on salads and other cold applications. Yes, the people around the Mediterranean use it and they are healthy.
But no, they don’t pour a cup full of olive oil onto a salad and live for 100 years. Olive oil is very high in calories and saturated fat, so you want to drizzle a little onto your salad, not drown your food in it.
4. Red wine
Red wine is often touted as being healthy, with one article last year saying that a glass of red is the same as an hour in the gym. Sound suspicious?
Red wine is the least unhealthy alcoholic drink, if consumed in moderation (one small glass per day). It may even have some health benefits.
But no alcohol is 100% healthy, and drinking too much is decidedly unhealthy and unsafe. So be very moderate, or don’t drink at all.
5. Fad foods
There is always a food in the news that is being celebrated as the new miracle food that will help us all lose weight and cure our diseases, almost by magic. Unfortunately this is just not the case.
There are foods that are more healthy and those that are less healthy, but there are no magic foods. Don’t be fooled by what really amounts to giant marketing efforts engineered by the food industry to up its profits. Don’t spend your hard-earned cash on tons of “miracle” food that will only lead to disappointment.
The only true way to diet successfully and to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to eat a varied, balanced diet.
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