The Benefits of Eating a Gluten-Free Diet

Does going on to a gluten-free diet carry any real benefits? Should I go on a gluten-free diet even if I don’t have celiac disease? These are the sort of questions anybody can have if they have just become familiar with the much-talked “gluten”.

Gluten basically refers to a class of proteins that are found in most grains. Some of its common sources include wheat, barley, rye, and semolina. Gluten proteins are highly elastic and have been found to be resistant to protein-breaking enzymes and thus are difficult to digest. Incompletely digested, they cross the intestinal lining and have been known to cause celiac disease, an autoimmune disease. This disease causes symptoms of constipation, diarrhea, and flatulence.

However, going on a gluten-free diet not only benefits people with celiac disease but has also been shown to benefit people without celiac disease. In this piece, we will go over some of the common benefits of a gluten- free diet.

1. Improved Digestion
As hinted earlier, gluten is highly elastic and takes a lot to digest completely. Therefore, going on a gluten-free diet can improve digestion and ease out some of the digestive symptoms. Studies have shown improvement in digestive symptoms such as bloating, constipation, gas and diarrhea in people after shifting to a gluten-free diet.

2. Increased Energy and Better Mood
One of the benefits most people have confirmed after going on a gluten-free diet is improved energy. This is thought to stem from the fact that your body now needs less energy to digest food and the toll gluten takes on your gut is no longer there. Therefore, you will feel more energetic and less lethargic. Moreover, we now know that gut health has a major say in your mood and mental health, thanks to THE gut-brain axis. Therefore, you can expect a better mood and no more brain fog.

3. Aids in Weight Loss
Shifting to a gluten-free diet means quitting some of the classic snacks and junk foods like burgers and pizzas. Do I still need to say that this can help you lose weight? Most people say they lost weight rather effortlessly on gluten-free diet. That means they did not have to make any other change in their diet or lifestyle. Of course, you will still have to maintain a caloric deficit and not load up on gluten-free cakes and pastries.

4. Improved Skin and Hair Health
People with any level of gluten sensitivity are prone to dermatitis herpetiformis which is a skin condition that causes itchy bumps and blisters. These people are also more prone to rashes and acne. Therefore, eliminating gluten from the diet can help improve skin health. Moreover, as gluten causes malabsorption of some key nutrients, it has been linked with hair loss. Therefore, switching to a gluten-free diet can help improve hair health.

5. Can Help Cure Anemia
Because sensitivity to gluten damages gut lining, it hampers the absorption of key nutrients including iron. Iron is a key ingredient in the production of red blood cells and its deficiency can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Therefore, switching to a gluten-free diet should heal the gut lining and enhance iron absorption and result in better red blood cell levels.

There you go, the benefits of eating a gluten-free diet. It must be noted that just like any diet, a gluten-free diet also has its fair share of cons. These include causing nutrient deficiencies and lacking some key nutrients which grains are a great source of. However, if you can replace these nutrients from other sources, a gluten- free diet certainly has its benefits for everybody. Lean & Tasty is a meal prep delivery service in San Diego and can deliver gluten-feet food options at your doorstep.

Eating Healthy Instead of Fad Diets for Weight Loss

It is very easy to fall for fad diets these days when you turn to the internet for a diet plan to lose weight. It seems like every other person is fond of one fad diet or the other. But, do fad diets produce genuine results, are these results sustainable, and are they a healthy way to reach your weight goal are the sort of questions everybody needs to ask before starting these diet plans.

A fad diet essentially refers to a diet plan which promises dramatic results in terms of losing weight. In another definition, it includes any diet plan which results in more than 2 pounds of weight loss per week. This is opposed to 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week which is considered a healthy or safe weight loss rate.

Some of the commonly propagated fad diets include the Atkins diet, vegan diet, ketogenic diet, and paleo diet among others.
Below, we will talk about why eating healthy is more important than resorting to fad diets for losing weight.

Fad Diets Work By Nutrient Elimination

Fad diets work by eliminating or greatly limiting the intake of one nutrient group or the other. For example, the keto diet works by reducing carbohydrates intake and depends on high-fat foods. The vegan diet, on the other hand, works by eliminating meats and animal products from the diet.

This approach leads to nutrient deficiency and sticking to a specific fad diet for longer time periods has been shown to adversely affect an individual’s health. For example, the keto diet has been linked to extra fat in the liver, kidney stones, and micronutrient deficiencies. Vegetarians have been shown to be susceptible to anemia, extremely low energy levels, blood sugar fluctuations, and poor digestion. Muscle loss is also one of the common disadvantages of fad diets.

Fads Diets are Difficult to Maintain Long-Term

Fad diets are a constant struggle and are therefore difficult to continue long-term. Moreover, as they are likely to cause different nutritional deficiencies, you have to return to a more normal eating behavior sooner or later. This shuffling back and forth usually results in those pounds coming back with a vengeance. In addition, if you are someone who eats outside, adhering to fad diets will also be more difficult for you.

Eat Healthy and Make Lifestyle Changes for Long-Term Results

The best and safest way to lose weight is to adopt healthy habits and making lifestyle changes. These include having balanced daily nutrition, incorporating regular exercise into your routine, and adapting strategies and skills to prevent backslide.

Eating Healthy Tips

  • Avoid processed foods
  • Add more fruits and vegetables into your diet
  • Reduce intake of fizzy drinks and drink more water
  • Use whole grains and avoid processed white bread and cereals.
  • Don’t skip breakfast
  • Keep a food diary – this will make you more conscious of your food choices
  • Eat lean meats, poultry, and fish
  • Always keep an eye on your portion sizes

Or leave all the hard work to Lean & Tasty and check our balanced meals. They include meals that are rich in all food groups. Dishes are changed on the menu every couple of weeks, so you don’t get tired of our meal plans and reach your health goals healthily.

Why Using Fresh Ingredients Is Better

Lean & Tasty takes pride in delivering pre-made meals in San Diego that are prepared every day with fresh ingredients. You probably know using fresh ingredients is better than using processed ingredients. However, the whole scope covering the importance of using fresh ingredients might surprise you.
Below, we will go over some of the reasons why fresh ingredients are important in food preparation.

1. Higher Nutritional Value
Their higher nutritional value makes fresh ingredients better than processed ingredients. This is true for most forms of food ingredients including fruits, meats, and vegetables. They are rich in different nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber, but are also prone to decay. This is because of their natural aging and action of microorganisms which can alter the chemical composition of both micro and macronutrients of food ingredients.
Apart from some spices which stay good for long periods, most of the commonly used ingredients in food preparation go stale rather quickly. These include but not limited to tomatoes, garlic, basil, and cheese. Therefore, it is important that they are used as fresh as possible to get the best nutrients out of them.

2. Better Taste
This one probably needs no mention because almost everybody would agree that fresh ingredients taste better. Fresh vegetables are crisp and have a crunchy texture, but take no time before they turn limp, soggy, and tasteless.
Fresh foods also taste better than canned and frozen foods. This is because canned foods are first boiled to sterilize and that gives them longer shelf life and that changes their texture and taste. The addition of preservatives and additives also makes them lose their natural taste.
Frozen foods can retain their taste to a certain extent if they are frozen as soon as possible. However, the ice crystals can also alter the food texture and lead to changed taste. However, it can be said that frozen foods can come a close second to fresh foods when it comes to retaining nutrients and taste.

3. Can Save You Money
Using fresh fruits and vegetables means you are using them in the season. Therefore, more than likely, they are going to be cheaper than canned or frozen foods that have reached you after being processed and that means higher cost.
Moreover, fresh ingredients are also unlikely to give you any health issues. This further saves you any expenses on doctor visits and medicines that are more likely to arise after consuming processed foods.

4. Free of Additives and Preservatives
As hinted above, canned and processed foods do have various additives and preservatives which are used to preserve the texture, appearance, and flavor of the food. They also work to increase the shelf life of these food items.
However, various studies have found food additives and preservatives to cause a variety of health concerns. They can essentially lead to health issues such as diabetes, obesity, hormonal disturbances, and cancer. Some of the commonly used food additives include Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), sodium nitrite, guar gum, high-fructose corn syrup, and carrageenan. Some of them can even cause harmful neurological effects and growth and development issues.
Therefore, it is vital that you read the labels of any canned and processed foods and avoid these and other additives and preservatives. Or you can do even better and try and use fresh ingredients

Want an even better solution? Turn to Lean & Tasty, which is one of the best meal prep delivery in San Diego and uses fresh ingredients for their dishes every day. On top of that, we proudly say that we use no fillers or additives and our foods are free from added fats and refined sugars.

4 Food Types That Are Bad For Your Gut Health

Recent studies have shown that our digestive system is host to a number of microorganisms and they play an important role in our body functions. Combined, these microorganisms constitute what is known as the microbiota/flora of the gut. However, the normal composition of this flora is susceptible to a lot of factors including but not limited to food choices and the general health of the host.

Any disturbance in this composition can cause digestive symptoms including bloating, frequent gas, and diarrhea alternating with constipation. Among other symptoms, bad gut health can also lead to psychological symptoms, skin conditions, and increased sugar cravings. Therefore, it is imperative that we consume foods that are good for gut health and avoid those which disturb the gut flora. Below, we discuss some of the foods you need to avoid for better gut health.

1. Processed Foods 

Through better awareness, it is common knowledge that processed foods are bad for our health. However, their adverse effects on our gut health are a big reason behind that notoriety. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they contain added sugars, fats, and salts. These ingredients not only help bad bacteria thrive but processed foods also lose a lot of their nutrients during processing. 

Studies indicate that processed foods are short on dietary fibers and this hampers the function of good gut bacteria and their metabolism. Consuming processed foods frequently disturbs the weight regulatory capabilities of the gut. Thus, people with higher processed food consumption are more likely to develops conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and IBS.

2. Animal Proteins

Intake of red meat and other animal proteins are considered bad for gut health. It has been established that a strictly animal-based diet changes gut microbial composition in just 24 hours.

Therefore, increased intake of animal proteins in the form of red meat, dairy and eggs have been linked with a greater risk of metabolic conditions. These include obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes type 2, etc.

3. Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs)

GMOs were made to grow crops that were more resistant to pests and diseases. This helped produce abundant crops but GMO foods have been known to be bad for gut health. For example, herbicides such as glyphosate

get absorbed in the food, and once inside the human gut, it acts as an antibiotic and reduces the population of good bacteria. 

In the United States, GMO methods are used over a whole range of crops, but wheat, corn, and soybean are the most common GM crops.

The good news is that you can avoid GMO foods by looking for 100% organic foods. We say this because US law does not allow the use of genetic modification in anything that has been claimed to be 100% organic.

4. Gluten-Containing Foods

In simple terms, gluten is a form of protein and is found in grains such as barley, wheat, spelt, and rye. A lot of new studies have been conducted on the effects of gluten and our health. It has been linked to conditions such as celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis.

Celiac disease basically means inflammation of the intestinal lining and thankfully affects only 1% of the population. It has now been found that people sensitive to gluten actually have a different composition of their gut flora composition. This is the reason they exhibit this different reaction to anything containing gluten.

There you have it, foods that you need to avoid for better gut health and improved wellbeing. Therefore, pay close attention to what you are exposing your gut to. Want an easier solution? Use the best prepared meal delivery In San Diego. Lean & Tasty uses ingredients that are not only fresh but are also gluten-free and GMO-free.

A Brief Overview of Warrior Diet (20/4 Fasting)

Intermittent fasting (IF) has become a widely popular diet and among many reasons behind its popularity is its versatility. This can both in terms of what you eat and at what time you eat. One popular variant of IF is Warrior Diet.

This diet finds its roots as far back as the earliest human civilizations of warriors and hunter-gatherers. These people used to hunt all day and had their feisty meals at the end of the time.

Similarly, the Warrior diet involves fasting all day and consuming the majority of your calories at the end of the day. We will go over different aspects of this diet and help you determine whether this diet is for you. So, let’s started.

Benefits of the Warrior Diet
Because of it sharing the basic principle of intermittent fasting, the Warrior diet shares most of its benefits with IF and these include:

1. Weight Loss:
This diet involves 20 hours of fasting or very limited caloric consumption. This type of fasting leads the body into a state of ketosis. In ketosis, the body shifts from burning readily available carbohydrates to burning fat. This phenomenon of fat burning ultimately leads to weight loss. 

2. Improved Blood Sugar Levels
Various studies conducted on diabetic patients have shown better blood sugar levels post 18-20 hours of fasting. However, the advice is to consult with your medical practitioner if you do suffer from diabetes before starting this diet.

3. Reduced Inflammation
Researches have shown IF causes a reduction in the number of monocytes that cause inflammation. Reduced inflammation further leads to improvement in conditions such as multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Disadvantages of Warrior Diet
Just like most diets, the Warrior diet also has its fair share of disadvantages and these include:

Not Much Scientific Support
Warrior diet was introduced by Ori Hofmekler who had a military background and there is not much scientific research done on the Warrior diet to prove its utility. It essentially is an extreme form of IF and thus it is imperative that anybody who wants to consider this should first consult their medical practitioner before making a move.

Tendency to Make Bad Food Choices
When you have been hungry almost the whole day, there is a tendency to make bad food choices at the end of the day. 

Difficult to Sustain
Because of its long fasting duration and only four hours of eating window, the Warrior diet is a difficult-to-sustain diet. It is also natural to think that due to this short window, chances are that individuals won’t consume enough nutrients.

What to Eat In Warrior Diet
As mentioned before, the Warrior diet involves a long period of no or very limited caloric intake and a short eating window. Therefore, it can be said to have an undereating phase and an overeating phase. Below are what you can eat in both phases.

Foods to Eating During the Undereating Phase
Dairy: Yogurt, milk, cottage cheese
Protein: Poached or hardboiled eggs
Vegetables: Carrots, greens, mushrooms, peppers, onions
Fruits: Apples, bananas,  mango, peach, pineapple, kiwi,
Water, coffee, tea, seltzer, 

Foods to Eat During the Overeating Phase
Dairy: Milk, cheese, yogurt
Protein: Eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, steak
Starches: potatoes, corn, beans, sweet potatoes
Grains: Bread, pasta oats, barley, quinoa
Cooked Vegetables: Greens, cauliflower, zucchini, brussels sprouts
Fats: Olive oil and nuts
Want an easy solution for your weight goals? 
Lean & Tasty, one of the best meal delivery services in San Diego, has got you covered with a wide variety of healthy foods including vegan, workout meals, and balanced meals.

7 Ways to Do Meal Prepping on a Budget

Meal prepping already goes a long way in saving you money and simplifying your life. What if you can make it even better and do it even on a tighter budget? 

Below are 7 simple ways that will help you do meal prepping on a budget. So, let’s get started.

1. Make A List – Don’t Fell to Impulses

Making a list of the items you need before going grocery shopping will help you immensely. This will help you stick to only what you need and not fell to your impulses and buy unnecessary items.

You can go back one step before making a list and get to know what you have already got in your pantry. Some of the herbs and spices are hardly used and may go unnoticed in your kitchen cabinet, refrigerator or freezer. Also, pay close attention to the expiry dates of these items, and if the expiry date is near try to make meals/recipes that use items before they expire. 

2. Cook Less Meat

Meats are one of the costliest items on grocery lists and therefore it would be wise to reduce your meat consumption. Red meat has also been shown to cause different heart conditions. Therefore, do your health and budget a good and reduce your meat intake. It will not only reduce your cholesterol level but will also lighten your grocery bill.

You can start this by introducing one meat-less day a week and then building on it. If you are too fond of meat, consider switching to chicken or buy skin-in or bone-in cuts of meats as they are less expensive. You can also work to add other protein sources to your diet. Pulses and nuts are great non-meat protein sources.

3. Don’t Buy Pre-Cut Fruits and Vegetables

Pre-cut fruits, vegetables, and meats are time-savers, but they do come at a greater price than whole items. In some cases, the difference is significant and the time you actually spend to cut these items isn’t much. Therefore, do your wallet a good and buy whole fruits, vegetables, and meats.

4. Use Seasonal Recopies

Seasonal fruits and vegetables are cheaper and are also considered to have better nutritional value and taste than off-season items. For example, tomatoes are in season from June through November in San Diego. However, January through March is not probably a great time for Caprese salads.

5. Shop Late In the Evening

If you are really a conscious buyer, you probably have noticed this already. It is quite a hack to shop for perishable food items late in the evening. Stores usually need to reduce certain items to a certain quantity before the day ends and this may open doors for some nice deals on bread, vegetable, and meat counters. 

6. Buy At Farmer’s Market

If you are lucky to have a farmer’s market nearby, you can get the best out of it. These markets cost less than supermarkets and also provide you with more variety and freshness. On top of all that, you support family farmers and the local economy.

7. Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk has long been known to cost less and stays true if you are looking to do meal prepping on a budget. Buying in bulk is cheaper because they cost producers and suppliers lesser than selling in smaller quantities because of reduced risk, wastage, and labor costs. 

Meal prepping is already a great option for budget-conscious people and exploring more ways to make it even cheaper can make a good difference over time. Or do yourself a favor and try Lean & Tasty’s cheap meal prep delivery in San Diego starting at $49.95 per order.

Mindset for Healthy Eating In Holidays

We are officially in the holiday season and who does not love holidays. However, admit it, even somebody, who is not working on health, wellness, or weight loss goals, can feel a bit stressed during holidays. There is a lot of partying and socializing, and cookies, desserts, and wines are everywhere. So, how can we create a mindset that we don’t end up feeling guilty or ashamed around our food choices and we don’t overdo it.

In this piece, we are going to share some tips to help you create a healthy mindset around food throughout the holiday season.

1. Don’t Aim for Perfection

All or nothing thinking never works. It is a strategy that is prone to failure, especially in the holiday season. So, don’t go into the holidays with stringent rules and lofty goals for yourself. There is nothing wrong with setting up goals for yourself, but just make sure that you are doing it in a realistic way. You should create a plan that is not going to leave you feeling restricted and deprived.

This mindset will not only help you feel more empowered around your food choices, but you will also be less likely to overindulge or have a binge breakdown. Simply put, you should go into the holidays and set a goal for yourself, but don’t be too lofty and too restricted about it.

2. Remember the Pleasure Principle

The sole purpose of most holiday foods is to provide pleasure. We don’t eat them for their nutritional content, but because they taste good and often times because somebody we love made that food. When you are eating these pleasure foods, your job is to receive pleasure and you can’t do that if you are feeling guilty in your head.

Let’s put it this way when you take pleasure the priority it becomes difficult to overeat because overeating is not pleasurable.

3. Enjoy What You Enjoy and Leave the Rest

In holidays, there is an abundance of food, from appetizers to cocktails and desserts. In this case, what you should really do is to choose the food that you really want to eat and leave the rest behind. Don’t eat everything just because it is there.

4. Practice Forgiveness

Even with the best of intentions, we are all human beings, and sometimes no matter what we try to do friends and family and wine and cookies win. We are all going to have those days, we all have those moments and for that, you have to say, “Can’t it just be okay”. In these situations, you have to give a little bit of grace to yourself and you have to forgive yourself for whatever you ate or whatever did.

This is because when we don’t do this and we slip into that mentality of being hard on ourselves, that keeps us stuck and perpetuating the same bad habits. So, holidays or not, if you want to have a more loving relationship with yourself and food forgiveness is an ongoing practice.

In the end, remember that ultimately holidays are just a blip on the screen when you zoom out and look at the entire year. So, don’t overstress and miss on the holidays because you are too busy obsessing about your food.

Still want to be more healthy in your food choice over holidays? try our balanced meals and get these delivered to your doorstep.

Tips to Make Meal Prep Easier

If done right, meal prep can go a long way in making your life more organized, giving you more free time, and supplementing your busy work schedules. However, ask anybody who has done meal prepping for any length of time and they will say that it is not an easy task and that it is a constant commitment. Yes, all the planning ahead and getting usually a week’s worth of meals ready in one day can be confusing and tiresome at the same time. 

We, Lean & Tasty, are a meal prep delivery service in San Diego and cater to hundreds of customers on a weekly basis. So, we can give professional advice about meal prepping. In this piece, we will discuss some of the tips we recommend that can make your meal prepping endeavors easier. 

1. Always Plan Ahead

Meal prepping can easily be called meal planning as it requires quite a bit of planning on your part if you want it to be effective. You have to set your priorities straight and write down the goals that you want to achieve with this practice. This planning can also include any of the diet plans that you want to follow.

Besides, when it comes to meal prepping itself you need to plan what dishes you are going to try in the week ahead, their ingredients, and how you are going to procure them. Planning your week ahead will only take a few minutes, but will save you from abrupt decisions and getting overwhelmed when you are at the grocery store. Write your plans on a piece of paper or your phone’s planner.

2. Keep A Log of Recipes

We have moved from the time when kitchens were well-stocked with recipe books and handwritten recipes from our mothers and grandmothers. Now, there is the internet, but you still need to keep a log of recipes handy. This keeps recipes in one place and makes them easy to navigate. You can do this through handwritten lists, Pinterest boards, or online recipe organizers.

3. Invest in Quality Utensils and Kitchen Gadgets

Kitchen utensils and gadgets are tools that help you perform different tasks in the kitchen. If you plan to take meal prepping seriously, It is good to invest in good-quality utensils and kitchen gadgets. This will not only reduce the time required for meal prep but will also prevent you from becoming frustrated as bad-quality utensils have a tendency to do, imagine a dull knife.

4. Start Small

When you start, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the elaborate meal prep ideas you see on Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. One thing that can be said that it does not have to be that complex. You can/should start small and get into the habit of meal prepping and work your way up. You can start with one meal, the one which is the easiest for you, it can be your breakfast, lunch or dinner.

5. Enjoy the Process

If you want to adopt meal prepping as a long-term habit, at some level you’ve got to enjoy the process at the very least enjoy the payoff. You don’t want to make this another boring chore. You can do this by playing some music that you enjoy, listen to your favorite podcast or an audiobook when you are doing meal prepping. Your mind will perceive this as an enjoyable process and it will be easier to adopt this as a long-term habit.

The idea of meal prepping is tempting, but if you still find it overwhelming to do it yourself for any reason, don’t worry. Lean & Tasty is a meal prep delivery service in San Diego that works on the same principles of meal prepping and delivers ready-to-eat balanced and healthy meals at your doorstep.

What Constitutes a Healthy Meal?

A simple definition of a healthy meal can be the one that helps to maintain or improve your overall health. Lately, healthy eating has been associated with harsh dietary limitations or depriving yourself of things you like to eat. Instead, a healthy diet should boost your mood, increase your energy levels, and improve/maintain your overall health.

The irony of today’s world is that there are tons of diet plans out there, but still, the number of unhealthy individuals is on the rise. On one side, we have an alarming 42% of the US population suffering from obesity. On the other hand, one in every 200 women in the United States suffers from anorexia. Therefore, one thing is for sure that all these diet plans are not improving the overall health status of our nation. The issue is conflicting and complicated information.

Healthy eating is not complicated and let me say if you stress over all the different information and find it hard to stick to so-called diet plans you are probably doing yourself more harm than good.

To make it easy for you, below, we discuss the different fundamentals of a healthy meal:

1. Proteins

Proteins are the building blocks of our bones, muscles, cartilages, and skin. Our body also uses proteins to build and repair cells and tissues. They also support our mood and cognitive function. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein to meet our basic nutritional requirements is 0.36 grams per pound or 0.8 grams per kg of the body weight. Therefore, a 70-kg man will require around 55 grams of proteins per day.

Protein from animal sources including meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish is considered good sources of protein as they have all the amino acids your body needs. We can also get protein from grains, nuts, vegetables. and beans.

Proteins should be a good part of your diet if you are working out to building muscles. To help with this, check out Lean & Tasty’s Workout Meals for the best proteinaceous meals.

2. Fats

Fats provide us with energy and support cell growth. Moreover, they protect our organs and keep our bodies warm. They are also important in the production of hormones. For fats, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommends that about 20-35% of your daily calories should come from fats. Out of these, saturated fats (bad fats) should not exceed more than 10% of your daily calories.

So, if you are on a 2000-calorie-per-day diet, you can have 44 to 78 grams of fats. But, saturated fats should not make be more than 20 grams.

Saturated fat is found in things like butter, cakes, biscuits, sausages, bacon, cheese, ice cream, milkshakes, chocolates, chocolate spreads, etc.

The natural sources of good fats include avocado, whole eggs, fatty fish, nuts, chia seeds, dark chocolate, extra virgin olive oil, etc.

3. Carbohydrates

During digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and that is our body’s source of instant energy. Carbs are also the energy that runs our brains, kidneys, muscles, and central nervous system. If you are a normal healthy individual, The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that carbs should make up 45-65% of your daily calories. Thus, if you are on a 2000-calorie-per-day diet, carbs should make up 900 to 1300 of your daily calories.

Carbs have gotten a bad reputation over the years and especially if you are trying to lose weight they are considered a big no. In reality, just like fats, not like carbs are bad.

Carbs can be divided into two major groups; simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates break down easily and occur naturally in foods such as dairy and fruits. They are also found in processed foods such as candies, syrups, and soft drinks. As they break down easily, they cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, on the other hand, take longer to digest and cause a slow release of sugar. Complex carbs are found in peas, whole grains, beans, and vegetables.

In simple terms, simple carbohydrates are bad for your weight loss and health goals, and complex carbs are the ones that you can include in your diet.

Apart from these three major fundamental components, our body also needs micronutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals.

MyPlate Food Guide For A Healthy Meal

For an easy understanding of what constitutes a healthy meal, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated the MyPlate food guide.

This guide illustrates different food groups needed to provide the necessary building blocks for healthy eating. These include fruits, vegetables, grains, protein-rich foods, and low-fat dairy.

From these, fruits and vegetables should account for just over half of an adult’s 8-inch plate with vegetables making up the slightly larger portion. For selecting the fruits and vegetables, the rule is to boost variety and try to add as many colors as possible.

The grains portion of the MyPlate model provides complex carbs and fiber and has little fats and cholesterol. Grains should make up around a quarter of your plate. For grains, choose whole grains rather than refined or processed grains.

Protein foods will make the rest of the plate and in this, it is better to choose lean or low-fat choices such as chicken and fish.

Dairy products constitute the smallest size in the MyPlate diet guide and you can include low-fat cheese and yogurt. In this, it is important to include calcium-rich sources such as cow’s milk and soy milk and avoid sources with little to no calcium such as butter and cream cheese.

Still confused? Leave the hard work to us and check out Lean N Tasty’s Balanced Meals for healthy meal delivery in San Diego.

Top 5 Keto Mistakes To Avoid

In simple terms, a keto diet refers to reducing your carb intake and increasing fats in your diet. This leads your body to consume its stored fats as the main source of energy and this in turn results in weight loss without actually starving. Keto diet has many benefits ranging from reducing your appetite to in fact reversing conditions such as type 2 diabetes and it is massively popular for a reason.

However, despite countless keto plans only a Google search away, many people struggle with their keto diets and the dos and don’ts of it. In this piece, we discuss the top 5 keto mistakes to avoid in your keto diet to make it more effective. So, let’s get started.

1. Consuming Too Much Dairy

Dairy is arguably the trickiest food source in the keto diet. Dairy products are generally fat-rich and anybody can fool themselves into believing that they can have all the butter, cheese, and cream they want. But, like most things, not all dairy is equal and keto is certainly not a path filled with ice-cream leading to a dream body and health.

If the dairy you are consuming has carbs coming from lactose and has plenty of added sugar, my friend you are doomed. Therefore, consuming too much dairy in the form of carb-rich dairies like flavored milk or ice-cream is certainly a mistake to avoid. Instead, you need to go with things like cheese and plain milk, and that too in conservative amounts.

2. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep deprivation has been liked to higher sugar cravings and stress levels. It has been found that a sleepless night is more likely to make you reach for junk food in the form of a pizza than a more healthy food choice. Stress can also set our bodies into fat-storing modes.

Therefore, if you want the best result and an easy ride with your keto diet do get good sleep.

3. Eating Wrong Fats

The license to consume fats while on a keto diet does not mean that you can consume fats in every form. Processed vegetable oils in foods such as margarine, mayonnaise, and cookies are some of the worst fats you can eat while on a keto diet. These fats are also called trans-fats. However, the good news is that the FDA has worked to gradually remove these fats from processed foods.

The intention should be to eat the RIGHT fats such as animal fats and monosaturated fats in the form of nuts, avocado, canola oil, olive oil, etc.

4. Not Counting Calories

Look, it all looks plain and simple of having high-fat foods and eating your way to a healthy lifestyle. But, one basic principle which still applies is that you ought to eat fewer calories than you burn. Yes, keto diets increase your metabolism and increase the number of calories your burn, but what if you end up eating 4000 calories per day and burn only 2000.

Thus, avoid the mistake of not keep a count on your calories. You still have to hit a negative calorie balance for you to lose weight.

5. Too Much Snacking

Keto diets are generally satiating and should keep you full during the day. But, it is hard to find such perfect fats and people resort to snacking. Too much snacking can lead to increased caloric intake and this can prevent your body from going into that stored-fat burning process a keto diet is supposed to do.

Therefore, you need to avoid too much snacking while on your keto diet.

Lean N Tasy is a reputable keto meal delivery service in San Diego and has a wide variety of meal prep options with all the food info you require to keep your keto diets on track without fail.