By: Dr. Tammy Lang
One key to getting healthy and staying healthy includes making healthy food choices on a daily basis. However, most of us dread the idea of giving up all or even some of the foods we love.
In our pursuit of our health goals we often try fad diets to help us get there. I find these don’t work in part because they are not sustainable. Sooner or later our will power gives out and we return to our old habits and patterns of eating. Even harder, is continuing to avoid those foods AFTER you have reached your goal.
So the real problem lies in the consistency and duration of how long we can actually stick to our new way of eating before we are tempted by the foods we once enjoyed and before giving in. Achieving your health goals and weight loss involves consistency and duration. Being consistent in what we have removed, what we have added and doing it long enough to get the desired result.
Balance is another key to any healthy diet. So often we make carbohydrates the villain. It is one of the first things we cut out or reduce when trying to lose weight. When replacing carbohydrates, it is important to remember that healthy carbohydrates can be loaded with fiber and nutrients and are not the enemy. Refined white carbs that have been stripped of their fiber, nutrients and generally have added sugar are the enemy and most definitely not our best choice.
Diets high in fiber are generally linked to lower cholesterol levels, lower body weight and a lower risk of heart disease. Carbohydrates high in fiber will help you feel fuller longer on smaller amounts of food. A good number to reach for is about 25-36 grams of fiber per day.
When coaching my patients to make changes in their diet and learning to swap out foods for healthier options, I like to teach them to think in terms of Good, Better, Best. This way you always have a multitude of options. Below are some healthy carbohydrate swaps with the goal of decreasing your “bad” carbohydrates, increasing the nutrient value and getting more fiber into your diet. There are options for everyone that are satisfying and taste good.
If your goal is to lose weight or simply improve your health, learning to make healthy food swaps can make a big difference on your mid-section, your weight and overall health and be something you CAN do long term.
Dr. Tammy Lang takes a functional approach to achieving your health goals utilizing the power of food and nutrition coupled with and identifying lifestyle habits and root cause(s) to help you achieve optimum health. For more information, visit her website at https://drtammylang.com/#, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the South Jersey Center For Nutrition and Wellness Facebook page.