When did eating become so confusing? Tips to simplify your diet

22 May
Meg is epicurious and has a strong passion for cooking healthy meals on a budget. Her passion for food and nutrition stems from a young age with exposure to cuisine from various cultures. Originally from New York, she moved to Tallahassee, Florida to receive a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics at the Florida State University. Upon graduating, She took one step further to become a nutrition blogger in the dietetics field. She is currently a graduate student studying Clinical Nutrition at the Florida State University with the intent of becoming a Registered Dietitian post-grad. She believes that food has a unique ability to bond people from around the world, to create new relationships, and to cement old friendships. She aims to share her nutrition knowledge with others and to encourage healthy lifestyles through fitness and nutrition.

Meg is an epicure who has a strong passion for cooking healthy meals on a budget. Her passion for food and nutrition stems from a young age with exposure to cuisine from various cultures. Originally from New York, she moved to Tallahassee, Florida to receive a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics at the Florida State University. Upon graduating, She took one step further to become a nutrition blogger in the dietetics field. She is currently a graduate student studying Clinical Nutrition at the Florida State University with the intent of becoming a Registered Dietitian post-grad. She believes that food has a unique ability to bond people from around the world, to create new relationships, and to cement old friendships. She aims to share her nutrition knowledge with others and to encourage healthy lifestyles through fitness and nutrition.

Meg Khan-Karen is a guest blogger for Layman’s Terms Media. Periodically she will post thoughtful articles about leading a healthy lifestyle on a budget. Check out her Facebook page Daily Fit Dish by MegKKFit  for nutritious recipes at a reasonable price. 

By: Meg Khan-Karen, Nutrition blogger

Eat Real Food: The Road to a Healthier You

There are hundreds of diets that are said to make you healthier than you have ever been, rejuvenate your body, avoid certain cancers, help you fit in your high school jeans and the list goes on. From the Atkins diet to the current “juicing” craze, we are fed heaps of “truths” about certain diets that are usually based on a tiny kernel of truth and a whole lot of anecdotal “evidence.”

So how do we know what nutrition advice to subscribe to and what will be most beneficial for our bodies?

Well, nutritionists and doctors have been supporting one simple doctrine for years. Though, in spite of the public’s hunt for what they believe is the secret key to being healthy and fit. We search far and wide for that special pill, the magic juice, the newest antidote to help us on our healthy journey, only to come full circle to what we have been taught from day one:  practice moderation and eat a variety of wholesome foods. Balance is the real key to living a healthy lifestyle.

Starting in childhood, we are bombarded with processed foods lining the aisles of our warehouse-sized grocery stores and clever marketing schemes aimed at specific groups. It’s no surprise we are confused about what to eat. According to Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., an independent research firm, the weight loss industry had revenues of $60.9 billion in 2010.1

So, we would rather purchase a bottle of fat burners than get some exercise each day. We seek out products promoted with empty promises of weight loss and a smaller waist line rather than make healthier choices in the market place and in our daily lives. We are fooling ourselves into thinking this is a way of getting healthy.

When did we become so confused about something so natural as eating food to become healthier? We no longer visit farmer’s markets and roadside stands with the fresh produce, let alone tend our own gardens with the freshest fruits and vegetables possible. Instead, we flock to processed products with mile-long ingredient lists making the product no longer identifiable as a real, wholesome food.

We are told that to lose weight we have to stay away from carbohydrates. To prevent cancer, we must juice every vegetable known to man and pop Vitamin C like its our job. And let us not forget, we must NEVER consume animal products ever again because our tens of thousand year old ancestors were nomads who rarely ate animal products and they never had health issues. Is this sounding a little familiar and hopefully very absurd?

It seems as though we no longer recognize that wholesome, natural, fresh foods are in fact what keep us strong and healthy people but rather we turn to boxed, packaged, and shelf-stable Franken-foods and 100-calorie snack packs.

I’m going to fill you in on a little secret to help you on your health journey, whether you want a better body, more energy, or overall improved health.

Simply, eat real food.

Here are some tips to help you turn away from processed “foods” and to get more wholesome nutrition in your diet:

  1. Go Back to Basics: Think back to elementary school when you were taught the Food Pyramid. While the format may be a little different today due to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) switching to My Plate rather than the well-known pyramid, the concept is still the same. Fill your day with meats, beans, and dairy, whole grains, and several servings or fruits and vegetables. This ensures that your body obtains all the necessary building blocks to keep your strong and maintaining good health.
  2. Don’t be persuaded by colorful, eye-catching packaged food products. If you are shopping in a grocery store, be sure to stick to the perimeter of the store to find the freshest, most whole foods possible. While some imperishable foods may be appropriate such as beans, rice, legumes, nuts and whole grain cereals, ensuring your grocery cart is filled with quality proteins like meats and dairy and a rainbow of fruits and vegetables will help you to maintain a balanced and well-rounded diet.
  3. Stick to foods without an ingredient list and forget products that are “fat free”, “sugar free”, and “zero calorie”. Chemicals and fillers are what enable these products to be appealing to consumers. However, they are nothing but junk that will do your body no good. Products created with whole ingredients often have shorter ingredient lists with pronounceable ingredients that you can actually find in nature, which means it will ultimately be better for your health.
  1. PRWeb. (2011, May 09). U.S. Weight Loss Market Work $60.9 Billion. Retrieved 2013, from PRWeb: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/5/prweb8393658.htm
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2 Responses to “When did eating become so confusing? Tips to simplify your diet”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Little Word on Simplifying Your Diet | littlewordbites - September 1, 2013

    […] love this tip, which I found reading an article by Meg Khan-Karen. It’s a reminder to refresh your memory, from all those days spent in […]

  2. Editor’s picks for 2013 | Layman's Terms Media - December 2, 2013

    […] When did eating become so confusing? Tips to simplify your diet: By Megan Khan Karen There are hundreds of diets that are said to make you healthier than you have ever been, rejuvenate your body, avoid certain cancers, help you fit in your high school jeans and the list goes on. From the Atkins diet to the current “juicing” craze, we are fed heaps of “truths” about certain diets that are usually based on a tiny kernel of truth and a whole lot of anecdotal “evidence.”—> Continue reading […]

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