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10 Necessary Items For A Healthy Shopping List

10 Necessary Items For A Healthy Shopping List

There is just so much conflicting advice about what’s healthy and what’s not these days. What should actually be on a healthy shopping list?

1. Choose Water in Glass Bottles

water

    If you buy bottled water, choose water in glass bottles. Unlike plastic, no chemicals leak out of glass, so the quality of the water put into the bottle is preserved.

    The compound BPA was shown to be leaking into water from plastic bottles. It has been linked to a variety or serious health problems. Although this chemical has been phased out of a lot of bottles, other unpleasant compounds are still present in plastic that find their way into the water. How long is it going to be before other chemicals are also linked to health problems? Perhaps it’s a good idea to avoid plastic bottles altogether.

    2. Choose Organic Produce

    fruit and veg

      Produce that is not grown organically may be covered in chemical pesticides. Pesticides are designed to kill things, so it’s unlikely they are going to do the human body any good! Additionally, chemical fertilizers have been added to encourage growth. Again, these are completely unnatural chemicals that your body has difficulty coping with. This type of produce isn’t really compatible with a healthy shopping list.

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      Organic food contains far fewer, if any, pesticides. The other huge benefit is that organic food has much higher levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These smaller nutrients are important to keep your body healthy and protect you against cancer.

      3. Choose Food That Creates a Rainbow of Colors

      One of the keys to eating a healthy diet is to get a wide variety of smaller nutrients.

      Natural food gets its colour from the nutrients it contains. So, if you look into your shopping basket and see an array of natural color, you can be fairly certain that you have a good variety.

      4. Choose Fruit With a Lower Sugar Content

      fruit

        Regardless of where sugar comes from, too much of it isn’t good for you. It is a major factor that contributes to weight gain.

        However, there are loads of benefits to eating fruit, and you can reap those benefits by choosing fruit with a lower sugar content. These include berries, raspberries, and strawberries. Berries are also particularly high in healthy antioxidants.

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        5. Choose Dark Green Vegetables

        green veg

          Dark green, leafy vegetables and salad leaves are densely packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

          A mixed salad that includes things like spinach is going give you loads of nutrients that will maintain your health. The paler the vegetable, e.g., iceberg lettuce, the less quality nutrition there is.

          6. Choose Genuine Free Range Eggs

          When a chicken is allowed to forage for its own food, it ends up eating a natural diet for a chicken – vegetation, worms and insects. A naturally-fed chicken will produce fabulous quality eggs which are rich in nutrients and natural fats. The yolk will be a deep orange.

          Unfortunately, most commercial eggs come from chickens that fed on grain, a by-product of corn. This isn’t a natural diet for a chicken, and as a result the eggs aren’t quite up to scratch. You can tell this by the pale yellow colour of the yolk.

          Chose free range eggs and check their quality by the color of their yolks.

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          7. Choose Grass-Fed Meat

          meat

            A cow’s natural diet is grass, not grain. Most farmed animals are fed grain to fatten them quickly. This isn’t a natural diet for a cow, so the meat of this cow won’t be as high-quality as that of a naturally-fed cow would be.

            Exclusively grass-fed animals have a lower fat content in their bodies. Also, the fat that is present is quite rich in healthy fats that are good for the people eating them, such as omega 3. These healthy fats are not nearly as plentiful in grain-fed animals.

            8. Choose Wild Fish

            Farmed fish suffer from effects similar to those of farmed land animals. They don’t tend to be fed on their natural diet, and they can’t swim as much as they would in the wild. For these reasons, farmed fish have more fat and less protein in their bodies.

            Wild fish eat a natural diet. Consequently, the protein and fats in their body are in perfect proportion.

            9. Choose Good Sources of Omega 3 Fats

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            oil

              Omega 3 fats are extremely important for health. They play a role in keeping your heart healthy, your joints supple, and your immune system working well. Deficiency leads to a wide variety of health problems, ranging from dry skin to obesity. Yes, a lack of (the right) fat, can make you fat!

              It’s thought that the most common deficiency in Western countries is omega 3. A really good source is wild oily fish like mackerel, sardines, and herring. Salmon and tuna are good sources as well. Grass-fed meat and quality eggs can also supplement one’s supply of omega 3. Additionally, flax seeds and chia seeds provide vegan options for omega 3.

              10. Don’t Choose Refined and Processed Foods

              butter

                The refining process removes many, if not all, of the health benefits of natural foods. For example, refined white flour has lost most of its fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

                Man-made and processed foods have few (if any) health benefits, regardless of what clever marketing might want you to believe. A prime example is margarine, which was created in a French chemist’s laboratory. The French emperor at the time wanted a cheap substitute to butter, which was needed to feed the army in addition to poorer people. Margarine was the answer.

                You’ll make massive leaps with your health by avoiding food that is no longer what it started out as, or is the creation of a chemist.

                Featured photo credit: Berry, Brie & Almond Salad/Amazing Almonds via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on November 20, 2018

                10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

                10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

                A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

                Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

                1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

                Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

                If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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                2. You put the cart before the horse.

                “Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

                3. You don’t believe in yourself.

                A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

                4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

                The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

                5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

                If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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                6. You don’t enjoy the process.

                Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

                The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

                7. You’re trying too hard.

                Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

                8. You don’t track your progress.

                Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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                9. You have no social support.

                It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

                10. You know your what but not your why.

                The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

                Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

                Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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                Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

                Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

                Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

                • The more specific you can make your goal,
                • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
                • The more encouraged you’ll be,
                • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

                I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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