Shopping for healthier food. Need Help.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Kenbushway, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. cultcross

    cultcross Janitor of the Mind Palace Moderator

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    When you pick recipes, go for herbs and spices over fats and salt. If a recipe relies on fat for flavour, it won't be healthy. My own experience of american food suggests that this excludes a great deal that is viewed as 'traditional' (I'm not being nationalistic, I fully accept that this is also true of britain). If you can learn to flavour dishes with interesting vegetable flavours (such as fennel), herbs, and spices, you will find your calorie count plummets. That has been part of my diet change in the last twelve to eighteen months, and it's been very successful - I've lost about a quarter of my starting body weight.

    My other tip would be to use an app like MyFitnessPal for a bit to count the calories you eat religiously over, say, a month, to get a realistic idea if what you consume and whether what you are making is really truly healthy (dont forget to include the fat you cook in!). You will almost certainly be surprised at where your excess calories come from.
     
  2. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    You definitely don't have to go to Whole Foods or any other overpriced health food store to shop healthy. The trick is to just buy whole foods. Skip the prepackaged altogether if you can, and if you can't limit it as much as possible. The "organic" and "natural" labels on packaged foods are pretty meaningless, and the research shows no nutritional difference between organic and traditionally grown produce, so don't worry about all that. Stock up on fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits, beans, nuts, etc. If you like yogurt buy it plain and add fresh or frozen fruit yourself. If you like bread, buy the flour and bake it. If you want french fries, don't buy the big frozen bag, instead, get the potatoes and some olive oil and do it yourself. The healthiest thing you can do for your diet is to prepare 90% of your own food: that way you're avoiding all the added sugar and salt that is in pretty much everything. It tastes a lot better too, and is more work (good for the body). Aside from that, stick to the general rules: lean meats, poultry, and fish, don't eat more than 3 or 4 servings of meat/poultry/fish a week. More veggies, less bread and pasta. Cook with olive oil more often than butter, etc.
     
  3. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    A week???

    That's the first I've heard this "general rule," and frankly it sounds terrible. :lol:
     
  4. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Vegetarian doesn't necessarily mean healthy. Donuts and fried Mars Bars are vegetarian.
     
  5. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Yep, that's really a sufficient amount, and leads to much better health. I'm coming at this strictly from the science, as I just had a lamb burger last weekend, so I love some yummy meat, but red meat does damage the heart, and vegetarians are generally overall much more healthy, have lower rates of heart disease and cancer, and live longer than meat-eaters. Really, a serving of meat every other day is a good general rule, and it's not difficult to follow.
     
  6. cultcross

    cultcross Janitor of the Mind Palace Moderator

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    Oh I thought of something else, don't get conned into thinking that food is only healthy if it comes from one of those overpriced posh shops. In my city, one of the best value places for veg and fish is the Asian supermarket catering to take outs and restaurants. Nothing posh about it, most if the food is bought straight out of the cardboard box, but I can buy veg and quality ingredients for cash at a great price. Look for something similar near you - also look for markets and other less formal places to get vegetables and fruit.
     
  7. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    This is why diet is always a funny subject for me. I literally eat meat with every single meal. If a meal doesn't contain meat, I feel like I'm doing something wrong. One serving every other day would probably kill me. I eat roughly 5-6 servings of meat on a daily basis. :lol:

    I'm also one of the healthiest people that I know.

    Diet is such an interesting topic to discuss because you will get so many varied responses about what is "healthy." There are the vegetarians that never eat meat. I know a lot of people on the Paleo Diet that eat lots of meat and green veggies and swear they're the healthiest they've ever been. There's people that only eat egg whites because yolks cause high cholesterol (a "fact" that is totally not true). Other people refuse to eat dairy because "no other mammal drinks milk after they're babies." Such a funny topic.
     
  8. cultcross

    cultcross Janitor of the Mind Palace Moderator

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    Don't you work in fitness or something? Or am I thinking of someone else? If so, it's no wonder your diet can handle more protein and energy than us your sedentary peers!
     
  9. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Well, yes, my diet generally operates under the assumption that I have just lifted a lot of weights...or that if I eat lots of calories I will be able to lift even heavier weights.

    But no, I don't work in fitness anymore. I actually manage a brewery. :lol:
     
  10. cultcross

    cultcross Janitor of the Mind Palace Moderator

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    :lol: different kind of fitness
     
  11. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Hops are actually good for fighting disease and encouraging muscle growth.
     
  12. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Do we have to bring up again how long it takes you to take a shit?

    Seriously, though, I think you'd find cutting down on meat easier than you think.
    I do agree with you that diet is very personal, and that it is annoying and stupid the way so many people think they know the best way for everyone else to eat (usually related to extreme diets or stupid fad diets like the recent and idiotic "paleo" craze). However, the OP asked for some good general advice, and I think that is what I gave. For someone trying to improve their health, cutting down on meat intake, eating more vegetables and fruits, and preparing food instead of buying prepackaged is good general advice.
     
  13. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Aw, you're no fun.
     
  14. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah: I love meat, and I come from a family where it was almost mandatory to eat at least one serving of red meat a day. That's not counting poultry or fish.

    Since I've been living on my own I started to eat a lot of salads, steamed vegetables, vegetarian stews, etc. It really cut my meat intake (and not even on purpose), and it did wonders to my energy level during the day.
     
  15. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Okay, yes, veggies are good. Eat lots of veggies. Fruits are good, too, but don't go overboard because they're still full of sugar.
     
  16. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    :(
     
  17. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I just often forget that most people don't have bodybuilding as their primary hobby. Most people don't exercise at all. :p

    My body reacts to things in such a way that, as long as I'm still lifting and staying active, I can pretty much eat whatever I want. I still eat like a 15-year old boy going through a growth spurt. All the calories. All the time.

    I forget that this doesn't work for everybody. :lol:
     
  18. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    But then you also get people like me, who are very athletic (workout between 3-5 hours a day), and eat very healthy diets, but I'm still a little overweight because of the insulin I'm on. Weight and ability to work out aren't the only indicators of health. They're big ones, yeah, but not the only ones. I would worry that your diet will catch up with you. Or maybe it won't, who knows? But red meat itself damages the heart, and even if the outside is doing well, who knows what's happening on the inside? Just something to think about.
     
  19. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I was raised on red meat. My dad works at a meat packing plant. Every single morning for as long as I've been alive, he has eaten a steak for breakfast. He has also had many doctors tell him he's one of the healthiest 57-year olds they've ever seen. Family history is also important to consider. We have absolutely no history or cancer or heart disease (lots of Alzheimer's, though). I'm actually pretty lucky, all things considered. The only people in my family who have died before the age of 90 have been from things like car accidents and World War II.

    In summary, I'm gonna keep doin' what I'm doin'.

    Also keep in mind that when I say "meat," I lump in chicken and turkey and the like. Poultry is still meat. Most of the meat I eat is probably chicken.
     
  20. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    And that's fine. It's also the same argument as the dude who smokes a pack a day his entire life and never gets sick: there are outliers, and anomalies, of course. But that doesn't make it good advice for most people, nor change the fact that red meat damages the heart, and so people seeking a healthier diet would do well to eat less of it.
     

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