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JKW1957 Posts: 185
10/17/12 3:44 P

It means eating fruits, vegetables, whole grain and lean meats. I also have 2 servings of daily a day. I try to cook fresh vegetables and not use processed food. When I go out to eat I try to select broiled fish and vegetables.

ANDREAG89 SparkPoints: (27,515)
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10/17/12 9:32 A

"Eating Healthy" to me is picking the more "whole" foods over foods that have been processed. The more recognizable the ingredients that make up a meal, the more whole it is.

Eating healthy also means making smarter choices - grilled or steamed instead of fried, fruits and veggies that have good color to them instead of being cooked into a ghost of its original color.

JAGODAIJABUKA SparkPoints: (661)
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10/17/12 7:57 A

For me eating healthy is about eating "clean" which again to me is about eating all natural, non-processed foods. I don't go for organic but I do tend to stick to eating things that aren't packaged, boxed. I'm allergic to wheat, sensistive to dairy, I recentley have cut out every type of refined sugar for over a week and I've never felt better. Nothing really is off limits, it's a more of a I don't want rather than I can't logic I have.

SUSANBEAMON Posts: 11,780
10/17/12 1:45 A

some things I try: eat in moderation, don't label any food as bad or off-limits, try to eat fresh or frozen, limit sodium salt, avoid fad diets.

IRISHKROE SparkPoints: (7,788)
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Posts: 57
10/16/12 5:58 P

My definition has definitely changed over the years. Currently that means eating preservative free, limiting processed foods, no artificial sweeteners, organic when we can. Lots of veggies and fruit. I wish we were more *clean* but we are trying!

10/16/12 5:28 P

I'm a S@HM so I do a lot of cooking. I cook things that I like and try to stay away from processed foods that are really high in fat, salt and preservatives. Lots of vegetables, usually steamed if not raw. I have grilled fish often too. Fruits for treats but I do have chocolate truffles many times if I am struggling to get all of my required fats in. I like the ones with the chocolate, coffee or caramel centers. Ironically I am not a big fan of the fruity centers. emoticon

Edited by: NOMOREGODDESS at: 10/16/2012 (17:28)
10/16/12 5:11 P

I eat alot of salads, fruits vegetables.... and fish... no soda. I try and not eat things fried,and breaded, although its not always possible, in that case, just in moderation. I have doubled my intake of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. It does really make a difference..I do still eat some sweets, but again all in moderation.. I don't like to deprive myself of things like that, it helps me if I have 1 cookie or 1 cupcake instead of having a whole batch of cupcakes or cookies around the house. I know eating sweets doesn't work for everybody, but it does help me when I crave them to have it..

10/16/12 3:41 P




SKINNYJEANS180 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 55
10/16/12 2:35 P

After trying many types of "plans", and forcing myself to eat foods I never heard of or liked. I Tried every fad such as shakes, juicing, smoothies, salads, some type of stinky noodles, you name it , I gave it a try. Doing that kept me on a yo-yo. I deprived myself of so much, When I ate a little of a food I liked it turned into a binge. My new meaning of "Eating Healthy" is eating everything I enjoy-yes, even sweets and take out in moderation, making recipes a little healthier by eleminating some fat, and adding more fruits. veggies into my meals. doing this has been working well for me.I deprive myself of nothing. Everything in Moderation and Portion Control is the key along with some type of exercise even its taking a nice walk, my new Attitude, its Not exercise-its going outside to play!

MOCACHOC SparkPoints: (64,731)
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10/16/12 2:13 P

To eat healthy means juicing, lots of green leafy veggies, and of course fruits. My philosophy is the more I eat and drink of these things the less I have to see a doctore or dentist to push a pill on me or give me mercury in mouth for cavaties. Our ancestors ate off the land and it was not filled with poisonous chemicals like today. I am just so tired of the world buearHope that helps.

TBOURLON SparkPoints: (19,190)
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Posts: 522
10/16/12 9:52 A

You asked about "whole grain" flour, well from what I've read "whole grain" is more of a marketing term. It only has to contain SOME whole-grain to qualify. I'd stick with 100% whole wheat instead. Also, I believe that you can eat healthy and NOT lose weight because of the calories. To me, it's a trade-off. Yes I WANT to get the nutrients, but I also need to cut calories, so that means I may not be eating the "healthiest" diet. I rely alot on diet TV dinners because they're usually cheaper than fast food anyway, and it's easier to count the calories. And yeah, I take vitamins and sometimes I'll mix up a protein shake or have a fiber bar. Most fast food places have some type of salad, so you can order those and just watch out for the dressing and other toppings. Apples & carrots are pretty portable, so you should stock up on those. Best of luck to you! emoticon

10/15/12 12:26 A

Eating healthy is paying attention to what works to create maximum health. Although I'm known to eat too much, can honestly say my lungs are in their best shape. A lot of it is because of my diet. no milk which always caused phlegm and congestion (hard cheese and yogurt do not). Giving up gluten (turns out gluten intolerant!). The rest is deep breathing. We all have to find out what's best for us; some need more carbs, some need more protein, some hve other allergies. we all need fresh, good food. I'm sorry for those who have no choice but to by cheap bulk foods. We recently switched to the organic meat from our local Health Food Store (a real butcher!) and while the taste is noticeably better, the prices are shockingly higher! So we'll eat smaller portions - also good for us. Thankfully, we have a fairly productive garden for the fresh veggie part of it all.

ATZIONCH Posts: 3,989
10/14/12 1:52 P

For me it means nutrition. Being aware of the carbs and sodium amounts for adverse effects have become very important for me. I also think that expanding the kinds of produce that I actually enjoy adds to overall healthiness :-)

STITCH4EVER SparkPoints: (37,673)
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10/14/12 11:41 A


YOGISUE1 SparkPoints: (1,275)
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Posts: 3
10/14/12 10:46 A

I love your attitude!! Life is not an all or nothing journey. Change that comes gradually is usually easier to maintain and yes I agree everyone is different. Keep up the effort!

ALIHIKES Posts: 4,456
10/14/12 2:55 A

To me eating healthy means eating a good variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, chicken and fish, and dairy products. I avoid a lot of white flour and sugar and high fat dessert type items (also avoid alcohol). Eating in moderation is particularly important. The original poster asked about eating in fast food places; most have some healthier choices -- but I avoid fast food places because many items are fatty and low in nutrients.

VANILLANNE SparkPoints: (4,898)
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Posts: 163
10/13/12 7:06 P

My definition has changed much over the last year... and even more so over the last couple of months.

I am striving to eat foods as close to their original state as possible. Heavily concentrating on fruit, vegetables, greens, nuts, seeds and sprouts. Locally grown, as minimally exposed to chemicals as possible --- and eliminated items that contain chemicals that I can't pronounce and that are engineered.

I am allergic to dairy (respiratory). I have been having troubles with gluten/wheat. Eliminating these two has been difficult, but, I feel so much better...

For me healthy now means, a plant based diet --almost 100 o/o raw vegan--- which I am mindful to rotate through the colors of the rainbow and monitor my calories, not for consuming too many... but, for consuming not enough. It's very freeing to, for the first time in my entire life, eat until I'm actually full and eat again when I'm hungry! Definitely loving the results in my clothing fitting and energy level --- and feeling "even" in my moods.

I'm paying the dues for the garbage I used to eat, but, eating what my body truly needs is helping me to heal.... that to me is healthy eating.

10/13/12 4:45 P

It will mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Some of us will be right, some of us will be wrong, and many of us will differ from others of us -- because I doubt needs are entirely universal, even if I totally believe Pop Tarts and milk chocolate are a plague on our planet...

To eat healthy comes in several layers. I figure at first, trying to avoid eating anything my great-grandparents wouldn't have recognized as food -- or, since I eat multi-culturally, avoiding anything anyone's great grandparents wouldn't have recognized as food. Also, preferably without those additives we can't see in the supermarket. I am working towards eating pastured meats, and I avoid highly processed foodoid substances. I do not always succeed, but I try. I hit my farm markets early and often. I do not cook with added sugar or sweeteners except maybe once a year. (Surprisingly, I have found I don't miss that crud, and when I use it is is local honey or nearby maple syrup.)

I am not excellent yet in my goals, because I still drink. Once that changes... and I am working that way, things will improve here. But it is increments, and that is fine.

Edited by: ARTEMISTHEGREEK at: 10/13/2012 (16:47)
BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
10/13/12 3:22 P

Eating healthy to me is eating lots of fresh foods. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats,whole grains, yogurt, etc. food that gives you nutrition and makes you feel good inside. But, eating heathy is also about having balance. A glass of wine, some chocolate, heck, even a couple of Oreos can all be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. It is all about balance,

SHANNONMC6 SparkPoints: (5,710)
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10/13/12 1:51 P

We recently ate at a restaurant called Seasons 52 (NOT fast food!) The menu has changes with the seasons and weekly specials (hence the 52.) Everything was said to be under 475 calories and they didn't serve sweet tea, but they had sweetner on the table. It was pricey but very good.

SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
10/13/12 12:44 P

For me it means nutrition. Food that is not devoid of vitamins and nutrients. I will have soup at a fast food place. I try to avoid candy, ice cream, cookies and junk food that add a lot of calories and no real value to the day

WINACHST Posts: 1,953
10/13/12 11:01 A

There are some good answers on here but why would you only have to eat at fast food places? To eat healthy you will need to find alternative places to eat. I find that eating out is difficult when wanting to make healthy choices because I cannot control the ingredients or the cooking method used. I make the assumption that in the fast food place the quality is on the bottom of the scale.

N16351D Posts: 2,349
10/13/12 9:49 A

In my nutrition class in college, healthy foods were defined as foods with a high nutrient value (with minerals and vitamins) with a low caloric content. Remember that a calorie is a unit of energy and food is used to fuel our bodies so they can do the necessary functions. This eliminates foods with "empty" calories. Necessary are foods with protein, carbohydrate, and fats. We opted for foods low in fat and high in the others.

For example, since ice cream is high in fat and sugar, high in calcium and calories, it was on the OK list, but it is not as healthy as frozen yogurt with less fat.

In general, processed foods are often high in fat, and high in additives, so are not as healthy as fresh prepared foods. Recall what Jack LaLane said in 1950, "Eat close to the earth." You get more nutritional value (or bang for your calorie buck) from eating whole grain carbohydrates instead of foods made with processed white flour where the germ of the wheat is removed.

Pure fruit juices were fine, if you want to drink your vitamins and minerals. But note that most people need more calories than juices can provide to feel full. The fiber in an orange (for example) makes you feel more full than just the orange juice alone can provide.

I hope this is helpful to someone!

CEDARBARK1 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 996
10/12/12 9:20 P

Eat foods that your, or at least someone's, great grandparents would have recognized as food. This eliminates Pop Tarts and a lot of other evils.

Minimize supplements. I'd say, since most of us work indoors during daylight times, Vitamin D supplements aren't bad and in many cases are necessary.

I just want to note that a lot of nutrients/vitamins are NOT required to be posted in Nutrition Facts -- so if you think you are NOT getting enough of a vitamin -- you may be wrong. I love the yogurt I got with added Vitamin D3... but NO notice on the Nutrition Facts on how much was added!!!

Edited by: CEDARBARK1 at: 10/12/2012 (21:25)
GOOGYSPO Posts: 28
10/12/12 8:15 P

I am not sure what "eating healthy" means anymore. I thought I was doing well until recently. My macronutrients have been fine, but I starting looking at micronutrients on here and I am not getting anywhere even remotely close to what I need for vitamins and minerals.

I take a supplement, so it's okay, but I've heard many experts say it's best to get your micronutrients from food instead of pills.

To do that, I would have to eat oats, kale, sweet potatoes, grilled free-range chicken breasts, seaweed, and loads of fruit every day. That is never going to happen, I can tell you that! emoticon

BALANCE-4-ME SparkPoints: (0)
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10/12/12 3:43 P

To me, eating well means having a balanced approach to what is consumed on a daily basis. More freshly prepared, home-made food, more fruits and veggies, and very less processed foods. Also, to eat and enjoy the food for what it is meant to do - nourish your body.

CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
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Posts: 827
10/12/12 12:27 P

MAMALIZ1955: love your comment about not using food as a crutch. : )

ASHAIXIM Posts: 2,616
10/12/12 12:14 P

JENG829 - Rock on!! I totally agree! I know plenty of "thin" people who eat absolute trash. I eat meat, veggies, nuts, eggs, cheese and try really hard not to eat too much processed stuff. I have to really limit my carbs, including fruit, so I mainly eat berries and if I have higher carb foods it's high fiber or occasionally like a sweet potato because they are so healthy.

MAMALIZ1955 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/12/12 11:43 A

Eating healthy for me is not using food as crutch for coulda, shoulda and woulda. Low fat soups and dairy products. Fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats and limiting carbs... AND NO REFINED SUGARS!

JENG829 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/12/12 10:49 A

I'm in the minority here, but I believe that eating healthy is less about calorie counting & fat avoidance and more about eating nutrient-dense foods with no artificial additives. Weight loss generally comes down to calories (even though it can be more complicated than that), but losing weight is not the same as being healthy.

For me, if I eat mostly nutrient-dense foods like veggies, fruits, eggs, fish, unprocessed meats, natural fats, I look and feel healthy - presumably because my body is getting everything it needs. At a fast food place, it is hard to find nutrient-dense foods, but I'd generally go with a salad with some protein.

The OP mentioned not being able to determine quality of meats, but if you use a good local butcher or farm, you can ensure great meat quality. If you buy in the store, you can choose hormone/antibiotic-free or organic, even grass-fed beef instead of grain-fed. For fast food, check the ingredients online if they are available - it can be a real eye opener! (the amount of preservatives & colors added can be shocking!)

JANIEVLMT Posts: 111
10/12/12 8:20 A

The saying in our house is very simple. Good food, good body. Bad food, bad body.

MARYJOANNA Posts: 6,705
10/12/12 5:29 A

Healthy eating to me means making wise choices like no fast food, eating more fruits and vegetables and no rich desserts.

ANNE007 Posts: 153
10/11/12 6:50 P

FatCat, do you have to eat at fast food restaurants or are you just trying to get an idea of what eating healthy means?

Generally you are much better off to make your own food at home, so you know what goes into it. That being said, we can't eat in all the time, and the posts here do a great job of explaining the basics of making healthier choices at fast food places.

IMELECTRIC SparkPoints: (14,798)
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Posts: 517
10/11/12 3:04 P

if you are rushed in the morning, fix things ahead of time. They have a lot of fiber muffin recipes on Spark. I fix the egg sufflet with different veggies and a dab of cheese. I put them in the frig and reheat them every morning. I often fix fiber muffins and eat them through the week also. If you have to eat out, my no brainer is subway. I get the egg and cheese or the veggie sub. To sum it up eating healthy is eating what the earth gives you with 4 oz of meat if you feel you need meat. I have made a goal to eat a few meatless meals a week at dinner.

If you still have problems with nutrition, look through other trackers or start reading up on nutrition.

CATMAGNET SparkPoints: (40,431)
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Posts: 1,183
10/11/12 1:49 P

I think healthy eating is eating mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, and an occasional treat. It's eating nutritious food that provides what the body needs without overdoing it with added sugar, salt or chemicals that the body doesn't need.

GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 803
10/11/12 1:29 P

I like this quote from Michael Pollan

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

...and personally I think of "eating healthy" as eating is such a way that I FEEL healthy.... emoticon

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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Posts: 2,171
10/11/12 12:50 P

I like HIPHOPSCOTCH's definition. Basically eating good, whole foods that give you the nutrients you need for the day, without going over for things like carbs (sugars) and fat.

I do also think a "healthy" diet includes allowing some indulgences. Example, I made peanut butter cookies, from scratch, about a week ago. I'm keeping them in the freezer and eating 2 per day. Could I find a better way to consume 234 calories? Sure I could, but having that little indulgence every day helps me maintain the rest of my diet where it should be, without going nuts. They fit in nicely to my meal plan and don't cause me to go outside of my ranges.

BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,384)
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10/11/12 11:30 A

Adequate intake of protein, fats and carbs without the transfat, saturated fat, high suger, etc.

SALEX52 Posts: 5,444
10/11/12 11:20 A

My previous doctor (now retired) would define it as "no white food."

10/11/12 11:03 A

What about "whole grain" flour? Is it healthy or not?

SMANISMELL SparkPoints: (76,799)
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Posts: 725
10/11/12 10:23 A

Healthy eating to me means that you do not eat a lot of processed foods. The more processed the food is, the less healthy it becomes.

CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
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Posts: 827
10/11/12 10:12 A

To me, it means balanced nutrition, limiting processed foods and not eating more calories than you need. Eating healthy food is not an excuse to overeat.

Edited by: CLARK971 at: 10/12/2012 (12:31)
10/11/12 10:11 A

HIPHOPSCOTCH - That's essentially how I think of it too.
MAGGIEMURPHY - You forgot to mention sugar too. There's a lot of foods with a lot or sugars in them now. I just got a lengthy email to response to this topic referring to amylopectin A, a type of starch that is found in wheat. It is quickly digested and so is closer to sugar (although starch does break down directly into sugar, eat a cracker and notice how it gets sweet). Also, HFCS and soy stuff is in EVERYTHING nowadays.

KDYLOSE Posts: 1,651
10/11/12 9:39 A

I agree that for fast food probably your best bet is a grilled chicken salad, using lowfat dressing and skipping the croutons. For sandwiches, I think Subway is probably the best as far as controlling exactly what you're eating.

AFORTN Posts: 395
10/11/12 8:59 A

I stay away from mayo, ketchup, salad dressings, sauces. A grilled chicken sandwich on wheat bread with no sauce is a pretty healthy "fast-food" option.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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10/11/12 8:36 A

Personally, if I was going to eat fast food I'd head straight for one of their grilled chicken salads with vinegarette dressing, no bacon, and remove a lot of the cheese they put on it because restaurants tend to use way more than a serving.

There isn't much in the way of fast food that I consider "healthy", just some choices are better than others. Just don't ask me which ones because I never eat fast food!

Healthy eating to me is getting balanced nutrition (the right amount of carbs, fat, protein), covering my serving rec. for each food group, choosing complex carbs and healthy fats over refined sugars and grains and saturated/trans fats, eating whole, clean and fresh foods and making sure they're giving me the right amount of vitamins and minerals I need for the day. I don't consider "low cal" options to necessarily be healthy. Healthy foods would be getting more bang for you buck. Foods that have a good amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals (don't forget dietary fiber) per the amount of calories. Examples would be yogurt (with little added sugar), cottage cheese, fruits and veggies, legumes, lentils, whole grains, nuts and lean meats.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 10/11/2012 (08:50)
10/11/12 8:14 A

To me, it means getting enough carbs, fat, and protein from "real, whole foods." Brownies are a nice treat now and then, but you'll get a lot more bang for your calorie buck from unprocessed foods.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,297
10/11/12 7:12 A

to me eating healthily means providing my body with the calories and nutrients that it needs.
no matter where you are eating, eating a combination of foods that provides your body with all the things it needs would be eating healthily. healthy isn't about low cal. simply put, in the normal order of things, we would not eat things that did not have calories, as the purpose of eating is to provide out bodies with energy [ie calories].

MAGGIEMURPHY4 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 936
10/11/12 6:20 A

you could look up the nutritional contents on line for fast food places. You want to compare your choices by the fat and sodium contents. The lower the fat and sodium the better the choice. Adding veggies to what ever you decide and use mustard instead of mayo.are other ways to make your choices better. If you have a choice of bread, try to go with a whole grain. Salad dressings are loaded with fat and extra calories so if you are eating salads then try to stick with a low fat or use vinegar and a little oil. Rule of thumb stay away from fried foods, fast food hamburgers and things loaded with cheese.

Ideally, you would want to eat fresh foods that you prepare yourself. Boiling eggs, toasting whole grain breads or eating whole grain cereals are other quick options.

10/11/12 12:24 A

What does it really mean to eat healthy? Suppose you had to eat out at fast food places only, how would you gauge what is actually good for you? Yeah, it could be low cal, but it is probably lacking in all the other nutrients as well. How do you gauge something as really healthy? I understand eating fresh foods, but what about meats and things that you cannot always gauge the quality?

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