While eating balanced meals at home may be easy, trying to eat healthy while on the go can be difficult for some. Not everyone diets or tries to eat healthy, but even those who do, often stray from their diets during their lunch break. Unfortunately, this is not always intentional. Nutrition is a deceptively complex subject and people are often in too much of a hurry to realize just how badly they are eating. A little nutritional education can go a long way towards a longer, healthier life, and in all likelihood shedding a few pounds.
Beyond the obvious advice of avoiding fast food as much and as often as possible, there are a few less insidious lunchtime traps that diners need to be aware of. The most basic is serving size. Most people naturally trust their judgment when determining an appropriate serving. This can quickly lead to overeating. A single serving of vegetables is about the size of half a tennis ball and a serving of meat is roughly six ounces or the mass of a pack of playing cards.
For certain this is not to say you cannot enjoy a 12 oz steak, only that you need to be aware that it counts as two daily servings of meat. When it comes to meat, fish provides a healthy alternative to beef, and there are many Spanish and Mediterranean restaurants that offer a number of exciting seafood-based dishes. .
Even diet drinks are less healthy than the average consumer would imagine. Ironically, studies have shown that aspartame causes weight gain and worse in many people. The common artificial sweetener has been shown to produce weight gain, mood swings, depression, migraines, and a host of other neurological complaints. So it is preferable to drink water or unsweetened beverages. That means avoid fruit juices as well.
They are essentially pure sugar and a person is far better off just eating an orange or an apple than flooding their system with sugar. Wines are a different story. In moderation red wine has even been shown to have very beneficial effects on heart health, and given the variety of types, it is hardly difficult to find a wine that suits your particular meal.
All foods are not created equal. Try to get most of your calories from complex carbohydrates. Broccoli, brown rice, beans, and the like are wonderful choices. Complex carbohydrates take longer to impact your blood sugar and as such keep you feeling fuller longer while avoiding the post meal fatigue that refined carbohydrates produce. In addition, most complex carbohydrates come in the form of high fiber foods. Fiber is filling, it contributes nothing to the waistline, has been shown to lower cholesterol, and it is great for digestive health.
When selecting proteins, cheese, legumes, nuts, seeds, lean cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and chicken are all excellent choices. Fish and seafood are equally healthy options. All of these are good sources of quality protein, but fish is leaner and cold water varieties have heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. The concern here isn’t the protein source, but the fat that accompanies it.
Fats should come from monounsaturated sources like olive oil, a common ingredient in Spanish and other Mediterranean cuisine, whenever possible. Monounsaturated fats do not contribute to LDL (bad cholesterol) and studies have shown monounsaturated fats may actually lower LDL levels while raising HDL levels.
Bill Oliveira is the owner of Chateau of Spain Restaurant located in Newark, NJ. The restaurant is conveniently located close to the Prudential Center. This establishment offers a wide variety of food for dine-in, catering, and more.http://www.chateauofspain.com
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