Most of us know that eating in moderation is a major part of a healthy lifestyle. But for many of us, that sadly translates to eating less food.
While that’s sound advice regarding many of our favorite foods ― brownies, for example ― we’re going to be honest. The restrictive nature of this philosophy goes against our rebellious nature and makes healthy eating a little less appealing.
That’s why we’re going to take a different approach and focus on foods we should all be eating more of. That’s right, we said more. Sounds pretty good, we know, and it makes that whole healthy eating thing feel a little more fun.
1. Avocados – Yes, avocados are high in fat. But haven’t you heard? Fat is back ― especially when it’s the good kind found in this fruit. We’re not saying you should eat a dozen avocados on the daily, but if you like indulge in an avocado toast or two, it’s a habit you can feel good about. Experts recommend getting about roughly 30 percent of their calories from fat, so that comes out to about 60 grams of fat each day for an 1,800 calorie diet. One avocado has 30 grams of fat, so that’s why you wouldn’t want to eat 12 a day ― and probably not even a whole one on your own.
2. Kale – OK, we know you’re tired of kale. But, if you move beyond the kale salad you’ll see that this hearty green still has so many good meals to offer. Remember, just one cup of cooked kale contains nine percent of your recommended daily requirements for calcium, 180 percent of your vitamin A, 71 percent of your vitamin C and 1,180 percent of vitamin K.
3. Egg yolks – Now, don’t go and start making pure egg yolk omelets. But you can scale back on the egg white omelets because it turns out that eggs yolks are packed with important nutrients like choline and vitamin B. And it is now believed that egg yolks, despite their high dietary cholesterol levels, don’t contribute to bad cholesterol in your blood level. Recent research has also linked moderate whole egg consumption to improved heart health ― though the Mayo Clinic recommends limiting your egg eating to four per week.
4. Pomegranates – Sprinkle these beautiful arils on everything. Toss them on top of your salads, swirl them into your morning yogurt, even add them to your evening cocktail. Pomegranate arils are loaded with fiber ― which keeps you feeling full longer ― and provide an immunity boost as well. They’re also loaded with antioxidants, which help fight free radicals.
5. Lentils – Regrettably, people all-too-often forget about lentils. These tiny legumes are not only a great protein option, but they’re also super cheap. Plus, they’re extremely versatile, so you could eat them all week without getting sick of them. One cup of cooked lentils satisfies about one third of your daily requirement for protein. And then there’s the fiber ― one cup has 63 percent of your daily needs. That’s huge.
6. Grass-Fed Butter – For years we’ve been told to avoid butter and opt for olive oil, but new attitudes around fat now say that butter from grass-fed cows can in fact be a healthy part of a diet ― so there’s no need to banish it entirely from your diet. The dairy fat from pastured cows contains high levels of vitamin K, which helps your body use calcium. Plus, there’s the fact that butter makes all our veggies taste so good that we’ll want to eat more of them ― though, even though we hate to say it, let’s do this in moderation.
7. Oats – We’re talking morning oatmeal, granolas, and even granola bars (just watch out for the added sugar). Steel cut oats are the healthiest, but rolled (old fashioned ) oats are a very close second. Instant oats actually rate higher on the glycemic scale, which is known to spike your blood sugar, so you might want to stay away from those. Oats are said to lower cholesterol levels and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Plus, they’re full of fiber. As far as breakfast goes, they’re one of the best options out there ― and you can eat a second serving and feel good about it.