One of the best things that you can do for your health starting right now is to adjust to a healthy diet. Many of us subsist on a diet high in processed foods, starches, sugars, saturated fats, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals. As these products have become more and more predominant in the food world, so has our health as a society gradually declined. Many of us have a great deal of difficulty transitioning to a healthy eating plan, particularly after a lifetime on commercial processed food, but there is an easier way.

The first thing that needs to change when you make the decision to eat healthy is how you look at healthy food and healthy eating. Most of us grew up with the idea that eating healthy meant salads at every meal and rice cakes for dinner. This left many of us with the misconception that healthy food is dry and bland, and that eating healthy is akin to living in a windowless room with nothing but a pile of cardboard to keep us company. Let that idea go.

Healthy food can be just as succulent and flavorful as unhealthy food. Sure, you won’t be eating two pound hamburgers piled high with bacon, cheese, and mayonnaise, but there are plenty of healthy choices that can be just as tasty while at the same time containing only a fraction of the calories. Consider for a moment a sandwich containing grilled chicken, creamy garlic sauce, fresh tomatoes, baby spinach, and havarti cheese. I’m willing to bet that your mouth is already watering at the thought. This is what healthy food can be.

The best thing you can do when taking on a healthy way of eating is to learn to cook for yourself. When you do your own cooking at home, you know everything that goes into your food, so you don’t have to worry about checking ingredient lists for hidden sugars, chemicals, or other additives. If you are trying to lose weight, it will also help you because you will be much better able to count your calories, as well as avoid all those hidden sugars and fats added to processed foods to make them taste good. There is also something special about sitting down to a home-cooked meal that you prepared yourself, something that no restaurant or fast food restaurant can replace. You can enjoy good food in good health; all you have to do is give it a chance.