There is so much information out there these days about new diet plans and specific nutrition efforts that you can fall into a pattern of always feeling like you’re doing something wrong. While there’s plenty of nutritional data and information that’s universally valuable, a lot of the specific plans out there are in competition with each other at least in some ways. So, particularly as we head into the holiday season when many of us lapse on our diets anyway, I wanted to take a step back and point to some very general tips to keep in mind for good, healthy nutrition.
These might seem fairly straightforward – but taken as broad reminders, they can certainly be valuable to your wellness effort.
1. Trendy Health Foods Are Usually Healthy
Trendy health foods can get a little bit annoying. A few years ago you could hardly go online without seeing an article about the various health benefits of quinoa for instance, and currently recipes for “green smoothies” seem to be falling out of the sky. As annoying as these trends can get, however, they’re usually built on foundations of truth. All this is to say, don’t get caught in the pattern of adopting and dropping super foods according to the internet’s mood in a given year. Earlier this year I saw a headline suggesting that kale isn’t really that great for you, attempting to bring down perhaps the trendiest food of the last three years. You can read the article and understand its points, but if you’ve made a point of eating more kale of late, don’t stop! It’s still a very healthy food – as are most that become trendy as “super foods,” even if they ultimately go
out of vogue.
2. Don’t Let Fruit Become Silly
Somehow I can’t shake the notion that fruit has become a “silly” food to a lot of people. I think this might have happened because we think of kids carrying apples to school lunch. It may have happened when fruit became a popular alternative dessert for people who don’t want to eat sweets. It might even be because fruit suddenly occupies a large space in the gaming business – and it’s not just via Fruit Ninja! A game packed with fruit icons is among some of the more popular slot reels circulating online as well (and involves mashing up fruit into jam). It’s not “silly,” but I also think fruit might have lost a bit of its shine when it became public knowledge that a mostly-fruit diet may have contributed to the poor health of Steve Jobs in the years before his passing. But as far as your own diet goes, try to push all of this aside and remember that fruits are about as packed with nutrients as any foods you c
an eat. You shouldn’t go nuts, but a bit of healthy fruit every day will only help your health.
3. Always Hydrate Adequately
I know – this isn’t exactly a scientific breakthrough. The idea that you should drink more water is about as basic as health advice gets. However, it’s something a lot of us ignore over the course of the average busy day, so it really bears repeating: eight full cups of water every day should be the minimum you consume. My advice is to find a water bottle you really like and are comfortable carrying with you all day. Getting used to having a bottle with you will keep you drinking almost without realizing it throughout the day.
4. Portions Are As Important As Substance
Lastly, just remember your portion control. It would be wrong to say it’s definitively more important than diet and nutrition decisions – but it’s probably not less important either. You can find all kinds of helpful tips for portion control out there, and they should be as much of a focal point as dietary restrictions and things of that nature. Many of us in modern society have a tendency to overeat, and this tends to be responsible for just as many health issues as actually eating the wrong foods.