What exactly does a healthy diet consist of? Also, is it good for you to eat the same thing every day, even if it’s healthy? Now we have some answers…
Sadly, many Americans find the idea of eating healthy all the time overwhelming! So, to make it easier, many people find some healthy meals and keep an eye on them. “When forming new habits, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by trying to do too many things (or eat too many new foods) at once,” says Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, CDN and creator of the blog CitNutritionally. “To make it more accessible, I recommend learning how to prepare some healthier foods that you enjoy and stick with it until you’re ready to expand your repertoire.”
However, does this approach really work? Well, there must be some advantages! For example, eating the same thing every day can reduce stress — stop worrying about what to eat. It also saves money because your shopping list stays the same and you’re less likely to wander. But that’s not all! Recent research by the American Heart Association found that people who eat a wider variety of foods have unhealthy eating habits. that’s right! You see, due to their greater variety of foods, they are more processed foods and refined grains, both of which are bad for you!
At the same time, eating the same thing every day can also lower your calorie intake! “Due to ‘food habits,’ repeated exposure to the same foods has been found to reduce women’s overall energy intake,” explains Amer. “When there is so much variety to taste, you can (inadvertently) delay the feeling of fullness or satisfaction from a meal and increase the amount of food you eat.”
This all sounds great, right? Well, before you start meal planning, you should also know that there are some downsides to eating the same thing every day…
RD’s Kate McGowan says think of eating as a rainbow – healthy eating needs all colors! “If you only eat orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes, you’ll get plenty of fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C, but you’ll be missing out on vitamin K, folate and lutein in dark green vegetables like kale or broccoli. ‘ she explained. In support of this, a new study shows that a restricted diet can negatively impact gut health. People with a varied diet “have a competitive advantage over others,” the study found.
What can you do to stay healthy without walking down every aisle in the store? Well, focus on solid food groups, not specific ideas. “I like to emphasize food groups rather than individual foods within each group; for example, instead of choosing brown rice at every meal, consider other whole grains,” advises Allison Knott, MD, CSSD, RDN.
Again, focus on food groups or nutrients, not specific items. “I recommend protein and fiber at every meal. I might recommend a salad a day, but mixing protein (eggs, beans, meat, nuts) and fiber (vegetables, nuts) can make it tedious Salads become a nutritious new meal. Variety,” advises McGowan.