Common sense dictates that too much of anything isn’t good for you. Too much salt can cause water retention. Too much fat and cholesterol can cause heart issues and alter hormones. Too much sugar and carbs can lead to obesity and diabetes. Even high doses of various vitamins and minerals can have health risks. Yet, some people fall into the trap of constantly eating the same kinds of foods every day.
Whether it is because you are a picky eater or you have religious, medical, or ethical dietary restrictions, you should still go out of your way to get out of your comfort zone. It is important to eat a variety of foods because everything has different nutritional profiles.
Tips for Eating a Variety:
- Change up your proteins. For example, you can make tacos with chicken, steak, or fish. You can make souvlaki with lamb or pork. You can make fettuccini with chicken or shrimp. Many meat dishes can even be done in vegetarian or vegan ways by using protein and fat-rich foods such as beans and grains and fatty fruits, nuts, and seeds. The key is in the spices and replicating umami (the silky richness in dairy, meat, and egg products).
- Try cooking in new ways. Maybe you nuke everything in the microwave. Try steaming veggies in the microwave. If you fry a lot, change up your oils or make the same recipe by baking it in the oven. If you scramble your eggs, try boiling or poaching them. Grilling is another fantastic low-fat cooking option. Eating things raw versus cooked also changes the bioavailability of certain nutrients. Your body will absorb certain nutrients differently when you eat them raw in a salad versus cooked. Both ways have their benefits.
- Be more adventurous. Try foods from different countries and regions. For the most part, every country has meat and vegetarian alternatives. Try an exotic fruit or vegetable or an unusual protein. What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. What is the worst that will happen if something is gross? You will spit it out and have a story to tell. As long as the place that you are eating at meets health standards, you should be alright. If you are unlucky and get sick from a particular place, don’t blame it on a whole culture’s food. Even though you may have been traumatized by a bold spice, funky sauce, or strange cut of meat, thinking all similar food will be like that, is, to a degree, a little bit racist. If you tried it two or more times and still don’t like it, you are entitled to your opinion and don’t have to force it down. When you find that awesome mouthgasmic food, it will be worth it.
Even some trainers, athletes, and body-builders, make the same mistake. They eat healthy foods, but the same foods every day: Broccoli on Monday, Asparagus on Tuesday, Cauliflower on Wednesday, etc. If you are reading this, is that really necessary? Switching it up won’t kill you or even mess up your diet. You don’t have to be that regimented. You will just unnecessarily deprive yourself. Be open-minded and have fun with food. You will eat healthier and have many more entertaining experiences to share.