By far one of the most important things we can do in order to maintain a good level of physical health is to eat plenty of the right foods, while avoiding as many of the bad ones as we can.
Getting our diet right will reflect on us not only from the inside but by our outward appearance too.
That's because a healthy eater rarely puts on any excess weight, while a person who eats large quantities of processed foods, sweet desserts and candy will invariably become unhealthy and overweight.
So what are the best rules of thumb to follow when deciding on what to eat and what not to eat?
One of the most effective ways to ensure we eat healthily is to prepare and cook our own meals with ingredients that come fresh and not in packets or cans (with some exceptions).
It is often cheaper to eat this way as a visit to the meat counter followed by a browse through the fresh vegetable section of any good supermarket will provide us with all the healthy ingredients we need to make a wholesome family meal.
Also, it comes in at a fraction of the cost of buying frozen ready meals from the freezer section.
The only real cost to the person who is prepared to eat in this healthy manner is that of time spent in preparing and cooking the meal. This is a small price to pay for being able to enjoy a very healthy meal that also tastes great without that horrible "processed" taste.
Better still is that home cooked meals contain none of the artificial additives that go into processed ready meals, not do they contain the high levels of sugar, salt, saturated fats and bulking agents that are prevalent in processed ready meals.
When we prepare and cook our own food, we can be a little more liberal with portion size if we wish.
This is because the meal will be much lower in calories and unhealthy fats than a processed meal, although for those conscious of their weight, portion size is more easily controlled at the serving up stage, whereas it is common to eat everything that is provided by a ready meal because it is simply the size it is.
The art of home cooking is rapidly dying as our society "progresses" in its eating habits toward more convenient meals and takeaway food that is high in additives, sugar and calories and low in nutritional value. Far too many people don't seem to have the patience or the time to spend in the kitchen preparing and cooking "real" food any more.
This is a shame because it meant in generations past that far fewer people became overweight and obesity was quite rare compared to today. It would also mean that fewer people would need to go on a weight loss diet such as Nutrisystem or the like because it simply would not be necessary!
The Cost of Eating Healthily
Many people feel that it would be too costly to change from eating their convenient diet of cheap processed foods from the grocery store to a healthier one of whole foods.
However, nothing could be farther from the truth!
It is possible to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers markets and street markets for less than you'd pay for the same things in a supermarket. Organic produce is generally cheaper from markets or direct from organic farms than it is from large store chains.
Of course the most cost-effective way to obtain your own organically grown veggies is to grow them yourself in a spare plot of land in your back yard, or even in containers if you don't have any suitable outdoor space, such as an apartment.
However you obtain it, the diet cost for eating healthy fresh produce can be a lot lower than many people expect it to be. Even more so when you get creative!
An added bonus for using fresh veggies and fruits is that you can use any leftovers to make tasty smoothies to enhance your diet even further!
Perhaps this could be a good time to re-learn that lost art and bring a welcome return to the tasty, wholesome and healthy low carb home cooked meal back into the family schedule and improve everyone's health.
It certainly would help bring the frightening obesity statistics down if enough people are prepared to got on board and change the way they eat, for health and not merely to satisfy the urge to snack or fill up on junk food.