With all the food fads, guidelines and perceived social norms it’s almost impossible to keep track of what is actually worthwhile. High-this, low-that, no-this, yes-that. It’s exhausting! I personally try not to overthink my food choices but being on social media has alerted me to certain random “rules” that I naturally don’t follow.
I’m not an RD or health professional, so always consult your doctor for personalized recommendations.
Health Rules I Break:
Rule 1. Buy everything organic. In a perfect world, organic and conventional foods would cost the same. Since that’s not the case, I do what I can in my current broke college student situation and follow the Environmental Working Group’s guide to pesticides. I splurge for the organic version of the most contaminated produce. Another tip: buy organic frozen fruits and vegetables, which are just as healthy as their fresh counterparts.
Rule 2. No snacking. A full day of class and long gaps between meals? Snacks are necessary in my mind. To prevent entering a state of hanger, I always carry Justin’s squeeze packs, nuts or a KIND bar in my bag for quick and healthy fuel. Create your own satisfying snack by including a combination of fats, protein and carbohydrates, like fruit and peanut butter. It’s important to honor your hunger whenever it strikes, even if it’s in between meals.
Rule 3. Limit fruit intake. Fruits are filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber and, yes, sugar. Not to be confused with the added sugar found in processed foods, the sugar in fruit is the work of nature. Apples, bananas, berries and the like are delicious and nutritious. Fruit is a healthy way to add some sweetness in your diet. (Source)
Rule 4. Follow a low-carb diet. Carbs are not the enemy. In fact, the complex carbohydrates in foods such as whole grain bread and brown rice give you the energy you need to get through the day. It’s the white, refined bread products to keep to a minimum: they are low in vitamins, minerals, and can cause a quick spike in blood sugar. (Source). I eat some form of carbohydrate at every meal, typically complemented with a fat and protein. A few of my favorites carbs: sweet potatoes, quinoa and oatmeal.
There is one rule I DO follow: Listen to YOUR body. You know yourself better than anyone else and no list of rules should dictate how you eat.
Emily Joseph is a senior at University of Miami. Get more great advice from Emily at http://myhealthyishlife.com. Don’t miss a minute of She’s Fit to Lead. Subscribe today. Your subscription is free.