The Cost of Healthy Dieting

As a personal trainer I have come across many people who make countless excuses as to why they haven’t, or in their opinion, can not succeed in terms of living a healthy lifestyle. Not enough time to workout, not enough money to afford a gym pass, not enough energy to be active, the list goes on. One of the most common excuses I hear is that related to healthy dieting. When I speak of healthy dieting, be mindful, I am referring to dieting in terms of making healthy eating choices and not starving yourself or getting on a celery diet for a week. Many people say that the reason they can not eat healthier foods is simply because healthier foods is significantly more expensive than unhealthy foods. They claim that the cost of eating healthy is too much, therefore they are forced by finances to eat unhealthy. I decided I would do research on Louisiana State University’s campus in order to see why this may be.

I began my research by creating polls that asked four questions pertaining to what the participants were eating, where they were eating and what they thought about eating healthy. The results of my poll of 100 students showed that 64% of them agreed that healthy foods were significantly more expensive than unhealthy foods. On the other hand 36% disagreed and thought that healthy dieting was not significantly more expensive. This made me realize that according to my sample many people believe this statement to be true that healthy foods are just too much to afford.

Question two asked the participants what played the most important role in their grocery shopping decisions. The results of this showed price to be the biggest role for 45% of people. The taste of the food was the most important for 30% of people. The healthiness of the food was most important for 18% of people and convenience was most important for 7% of people. These results showed that although people believe healthy food is more expensive, they base what they buy on the price and the taste of the food before looking at healthiness. Question three asked the participants how often they ate fast food in a week. The results showed that 40% of people ate fast food 3-5 times per week, 7% of people ate fast food over 6 times per week, and 32% ate fast food 1-2 times per week, and 15% ate fast food less than 1 time per week. This information told me that the majority of people ate 3-5 meals from fast food places per week. The last question I asked played a huge role in my research. I asked participants how often they cooked their meals that didn’t include instant foods. The results of this question showed that an overwhelming 55% of participants only cooked 1-2 meals a week. To add to this 34% of participants only cooked 3-4 times per week, 3% cooked 5-6 times per week, and 11% cooked over 7 times per week. These results showed me that the majority of participants did very little cooking other than instant foods such as Ramen Noodles or Kraft Easy Mac.

From my data I collected I was able to determine that based on my participants, although the majority claimed that healthy food was more expensive, the healthiness of the food came third in the list of importance when grocery shopping. Also I was able to determine that the majority of the participants didn’t cook their own food and ate fast food 3-5 times per week. With the majority of people not cooking and eating fast food 3-5 times per week the cost of eating healthy would be more expensive. If you do not know how to cook trying to find healthy instant food would be a challenge in itself much less trying to find healthy instant food at a good price. On the other hand, if you know how to cook, it is much cheaper to buy grocery and prepare meals that are healthy and save money in the long run with left overs.

Many people get caught up in the gimmick that is Whole Foods and believe that the only place to get healthy foods is a place called Whole Foods. You don’t have to shop at Whole Foods in the organic aisle to be healthy, despite what many people think. Eating healthy is a matter of making good decisions over poor ones. For instance a 21 oz box of Cheerios is $3.98 and a 20.5oz box of Lucky Charms $4.18, one is a healthy choice the other is not. Another example would be Quaker’s Instant Oatmeal over Poptarts. PopTarts are $3.68 for 8 packs of 2 and oatmeal is $3.65 for 22 packets. I could literally do this all do. A McDonald’s Big Mac combo is approximately 7$ while a 4lb bag of chicken breast is the same price. A Hot N’ Ready Little Caesars Pizza is $5.45 but a rotisserie chicken from Walmart is $4.95. We have healthy choices all around is if we are willing to look for them. A bag of frozen vegetables is $1.98 while a bag of chips is $2.00. The only time unhealthy foods are more expensive is when you are eating out and because that seems to be where the majority of people are eating their meals, they blame their poor eating habits on price. You can find healthy foods almost anywhere and you don’t have to be rich to do so. In some instances healthy foods may be more but not as significant as people claim they are.

In conclusion I think that people believe that healthy foods are more expensive because they are not preparing the food themselves. With health not being a top priority when it comes to eating, people probably won’t be inclined to eating healthy. If you enter a grocery store and first look for cheap food, then look for what is good and cheap that you do not have to cook. Chances are you won’t find very healthy foods in that aisle, and you probably won’t throw away your first two criteria for the third which is healthiness. People are buying what is cheap, good, and instant. This is the source of the problem that can only be adjusted by the actions of the consumers.

The Benefits of Eating Healthy Are Endless

We live in a world of preservatives; a big percentage in our diet consists of processed foods and is most unhealthy. More than 3,000 food additives, preservatives, flavorings, color and other ingredients are added to our foods. This has ramifications for our health which in turn can bring on many illnesses. The right choice and eating healthy is now more important than in the past when food quality was better than to what it is today.

More and more of us, it seems, are negatively affected by the food we eat, therefore it has become more crucial and beneficial of eating healthy. With the many pressures and lifestyle changes over the last decade or so people are so busy these days they forget the benefits of eating healthy. For the quickest way to have a meal, fast food and take away is often chosen over cocking or preparing meals at home. So, we don’t think about the healthy diet any more. We prefer to consume fast foods instead of healthy diets because we don’t take the time to prepare the healthy diet.

The unfortunate part of all this, our health will suffer; maybe not now, but in years to come. However, this is subject to change for anyone who is willing because there are many benefits of eating healthy. This information will show some of the health benefits offered by eating healthy. Change of lifestyle and diet to improve your overall health is worth the investment for the dividend you will receive in years to come, and much safer than the stock market.

Maintain Healthy Weight

It is important to keep your weight within the healthy standard. This is not hard to do. When changing your diet to healthy food the weight will automatically adjust over time and stay at a healthy level. Try to consume healthy foods, for instance: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, or other natural proteins. This will start to stabilize the weight. The benefits will start to show when processed fatty and sugary foods are replaced for nutritious ones. There are many benefits of eating healthy and weight control is one of them.

A Noticeable Difference in Feeling Better

Consuming healthy food is important to make you feel better every day. The natural vegetables and fruits are effective in providing lots of energy levels throughout the day because they contain many compounds that are helpful to improve your overall health. As well it builds your muscle tone and improves your confidence. Studies have shown and many experts believe that the healthy diet can improve some ones confidence and social skills. It means, a proper diet is able to improve your overall mood and confidence level during the day.

Strong Immune System

The immune system in your body is the protector of your organs from any illness or disease, providing the immune system is strong. This has many functions, such as detoxification, anti inflammatory and its antioxidant system. If imbalance occurs in any of those systems by not getting the right nutrients this will increase the risk for illnesses to take hold. Eating enough healthy food everyday is beneficial because it keeps your immune system strong, which comes from the nutrients contained in raw vegetables.

There are many good nutrients that can prevent disease and strengthen the immune system. Try to consume foods with high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which is the miracle worker when it comes to health. It is also known that the body cannot make its own omega 3, so it has to come from food we eat. It is important to include such foods in to your diet: any meat from grass-fed animals if possible, organic milk, fish, olive oil, krill oil, calamari (or squid), salmon, scallops, mussels, some dairy products, nuts and more.

How much do you need? Healthy adults (and pregnant women) should aim for 500 mg of omega 3 a day; if you have or are at risk of heart disease, a higher quantity may be taken. A variety and mixture of foods are important with all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins to include in to your daily diet for optimal health. Because there are times when it is not always possible to follow a strict diet plan every day, in its place a specific natural supplement is able to take care of any shortfall.

Helps to Build a Healthy Mind

Building a healthy mind is one of the benefits of eating better. Healthy foods are important to keep your brain and mind sharp. There are many essential nutrients, such as the omega 3 fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, tryptophan, DHA, and many more, which are important for our brain and body functioning normally. Those nutrients really improve your brain function, you can always have a positive mind when you consume healthy foods regularly. The benefits of eating healthy are endless and there are many more options you choose from

Promote a Healthy Diet for Your Children at Home and at School

hildren are likely to eat the same as their parents. As parents, you can be a positive role model for healthy eating. By purchasing and preparing nutritious balanced meals, you can establish a healthy diet at home.

A healthy environment at home is a good start, but the kids take most of their meals at school. By sending your kids to school with nutritious lunches and encouraging healthy choices for school events, you can also help to create a healthy nutritional environment in schools.

The offering healthy foods at school improves student learning. Research shows that children who have a healthy diet are:

• more willing to learn;
• more likely to achieve better results at school;
• less likely to have chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

The government is working with schools, educators and parents to encourage healthy eating at school. In April 2008, the Act on Healthy Food for Healthy Schools was passed to make schools healthier learning environments. By working together and making all our part, we can help our children to make healthier choices.

Create a healthier school environment

The idea supporting the Act on Healthy Food for Healthy Schools is to help children make healthier food choices. This means that healthy and tasty foods should be made available to children in schools.

In September 2011, the Ontario schools will implement the policy on food and beverages in schools. It provides guidance on the types of foods that can be sold in school cafeterias, vending machines and at school events. Policy helps schools determine which foods they can or can not sell.

Your children need YOU

Wherever possible, try to participate in the school life of your child, making sure that the foods offered in the school are healthy. Make your voice heard. Here are some ideas:

• Talk to your child and tell him why healthy foods are important in school and why some food he could buy during the previous school year are no longer available.
• Prepare lunches and healthy snacks to school with your child.
• Join a parent / teacher committee to help make good decisions on proposed school food.
• Opt for healthy recipes at bake sales and fundraisers with the proposed ideas Bake it Up!(English only).

What can you do to encourage healthy eating?

The Policy on food and beverages in schools covers only food sold at school. It does not apply to meals from home. Does this mean that you should not put anything in any lunch box for your child? No, especially if you encourage healthy eating! It is important to be consistent and to provide healthy meals for your children at home and at school. This will allow them to learn to make healthy choices for food.

At the grocery store:

Choose products from the four food groups of Canada’s Food Guide.

Go shopping with your children to teach them to make good choices. They can learn the value of food, provenance and revenue opportunities.

Teach your children to read food labels. Watch these videos on nutrition labeling with your children.

During the preparation of lunch:

Involve your children in the selection and preparation of food. When children are involved in meal preparation, they are more likely to consume.

Get creative! Use cookie cutters to make sandwiches fun shapes, make fruit kebabs and pastries offer whole grain low fat. Read the FAQ Prepare lunches and healthy snacks for students for more ideas.

During the meal:

Eat together as often as possible. Children who eat with their parents (at least four times per week) tend to eat more fruits and vegetables, have a higher fiber intake, eat less fried foods and drink less soda.

They are also less prone to being overweight or obese.

Be a good role model. When you make healthy food choices for yourself, you teach your children to eat healthily.

In conclusion:

Promote healthy eating by helping to feed your children at school and at home. Bring the kids to the grocery store, prepare healthy meals and encourage healthy activities in school. As a model for your children, you must teach them healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

A Short Healthy Eating Guide For A Healthier Life

Eating healthy foods can help lengthen lifespans, decrease risk of chronic diseases and increase physical and mental well-being. Foods for healthy eating can be really delicious, and there are plenty of simple food recipes out there for a good, healthy diet. If you’ve got specific dietary condition, you should see a doctor for a healthy food list tailored to your needs. This healthy eating guide presumes no special dietary requirements.

Try to match your calorific intake to the energy you use. While the odd exception won’t be problematic, you can’t eat Christmas recipes every day. Normally women use about 2000 calories a day and men use 2500.

Healthy recipes use less saturated fats and more unsaturated fats. Roughly speaking, saturated fats are fairly solid at room temperature and unsaturated fats are liquid. Seeds and nuts are great for healthy nutrition party because they contain healthy oils: similarly oily fish can be a starting point for healthy, easy recipes.

For a good healthy diet try to eat complete proteins. Animal proteins are usually complete, but also contain a lot of saturated fats which people keeping healthy foods diets should avoid. To get complete proteins from plant sources pair a grain (such as rice, wheat or oats) with a pulse (such as beans, lentils or chickpeas). A more comprehensive healthy food list for pairing can easily be found in an online or print healthy food guide. This combo is so good it’s used in simple food recipes around the world, like Jamaican rice ‘n’ beans and Indian dal with rice. There are Middle Eastern healthy, easy recipes combining wheat (in couscous, bulgur and bread) and chickpeas (e.g. houmous, falafel) which make great diet foods for healthy eating.

A healthy foods diet avoids sugary foods and drinks. Even too much 100% fruit juice can be bad for you, because simple sugars are less healthy than carbohydrates like starch. Diet foods and healthy snacks tend to be low in sugar, so that can be a safer bet. Instead of processed foods, eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, which can be used in healthy, easy recipes from any good healthy food guide.

It doesn’t matter how many meals you eat a day: this differs between cultures and time periods. However, consistency is important to avoid feeling hungry and if hungry between meals eat healthy snacks. Avoid missing breakfast too, because slow-release energy helps get you through work or school.

Football – Healthy Eating

You Can Use a Healthy Recipe and Make Healthy Meals.

Football season is in full swing and so are all of the parties. Not everybody is a football fan, but almost everyone, likes the parties that surround this time of year. With all of the parties there is also a whole lot of eating going on. You can use a healthy recipe and prepare healthy meals for your friends and family to eat healthy or put out the traditional snacks and prepared food that sends healthy eating right to the sidelines where you usually find the players sitting on the bench. If you’re not active the last thing you need is some of the bad snacks and meals that don’t promote healthy eating and proper weight management.

It is possible to enjoy all of the parties and still eat healthy. You don’t have to allow your eating at these parties to turn you into one of the tackles on the field that everyone is talking about. So let’s think about the alternative healthy meals and snacks we can prepare to turn Sunday Football parties into a great day of fun and activity to promote good health not more fat.

Barbeques are a great way to prepare healthy meals. Change your way of thinking about the foods you usually make on the grill and check for a healthy recipe to make chicken or veggie burgers, fish or vegetables. If you’re doing hot dogs for instance, they don’t have to be so bad. Look to make sure they aren’t packed full of all the bad preservatives, nitrates and sodium. Most people can’t tell the difference between beef and turkey dogs and don’t care. If you use whole grain mustard and Sauerkraut on your dogs, you have used a healthy recipe to let your friends and family eat healthy and they probably will never know it unless you tell them.

A lot of people don’t want to spend their day at home, they would rather go to a club or bar. Just because you go out, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthy. You may have to read the menu more carefully or ask about what they have to offer for alternatives, if you take the time, you can find healthy meals at your favorite clubs and bars. When you go to your favorite club or bar with a food menu they almost always have the traditional foods, finger foods and snacks. Stay away from the fried foods, avoid Wings drenched in sauces and dunked in blue cheese. Sad as it is chicken tenders are a better choice and use the sauce lightly. If you just have to have a snack, ask if they have veggies or tortilla chips, they’re usually made with whole grain wheat or corn and if you combine them with bean dips or hummus, you’ve used a healthy recipe to eat healthy. Stay away from French fries and opt for a baked potato instead.

It’s Your Turn to have the Party at your House on Game Day.

Why not take the time and use a healthy recipe that let’s all of your family and friends eat healthy. Healthy meals don’t take any more time than unhealthy meals to prepare. Stay away from fried potato chips and corn puffs with powdered who knows what on them. Instead use the baked version of these snacks. Potato skins stuffed with veggies covered whit fresh salsa or guacamole. Whole grain chips with bean dip or hummus, fresh salsa is full of vegetables packed with antioxidants. Put out fresh salad instead of fried finger foods Coleslaw or Macaroni salad are great and go heavy on the vegetables. My buddy makes a great chili using turkey instead of hamburger meat, pack it with beans and onions, bell pepper and throw in some carrots and chili peppers. This is a healthy recipe full of foods packed with anti-oxidants and energy to burn. Your guest will eat healthy and not even recognize the healthy meals you’ve provided for them.

So it’s someone Else Who has to throw the Party

You’re going to your friends house, it’s their turn to clean up the mess and make sure everyone has what they need to watch the game. When it’s your turn, I hope the teams playing, don’t mean much to you. Because everyone knows when you’re throwing the party you don’t have time to enjoy it yourself. By the way, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Believe me people recognize the quality of your preparations even if they don’t say it to you. Comments between husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend abound about how great or bad the snacks and food were. If you have given the party first, you will be surprised how much people recognized the quality of what you did and remember to be copied is the highest form of flattery one can receive. When you go to someone else’s house, take your own snacks with you. Fruit or nuts, almonds in particular are great for you and make a very good snack. Take some vegetables celery and carrots, olives if you set the example they will follow. When you think about the drinks beer, mixers, soda, juices and the all new and improved energy drink of the month, well you get the idea. Think water, the more water you drink and less of everything else, the better your choices will be about the rest of your diet and you will be more likely to eat healthy.