Research shows that what you eat could have a significant positive or negative impact on your health. Having balanced, healthy eating habits plays a crucial role in reducing the probability of developing health complications such as diabetes, cancer and heart problems, as well as maintaining a healthy weight. Eating right also helps you stay fit and energetic throughout the day.
Healthy eating, for most people, is easier said than done. Most people would choose a plate of fries and chicken over a salmon with vegetable salad.
Here are some practical tips to help you make healthy eating easier:
- Set the Right Environment
It sounds crazy, but the right setting can give you the motivation to keep eating healthy even when you don’t feel like it. You’re most likely to eat what you see and can quickly get. So instead of stuffing your fridge with chips and other unhealthy treats, try the alternative of stocking nuts, fruits and vegetables instead.
- Cut Down Your Sugar Intake as Much as Possible
The type of sugar found in most fruits is healthy, but the free sugars in pastries, cakes, and most drinks are harmful to your health. It can lead to obesity and tooth problems, as well as more serious health issues such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 1, 2
Whenever you’re shopping, always check the amount of added sugar contained in the packaged food you want to buy from the food label. Instead of soda or fruit juice, drink water.
- Keep Saturated Fat at The Minimum
Fat is one of the essential components we must include in our diet. The type of fat matters, though. It exists in two forms; saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fat can be found in foods like baked goods, butter, and fried foods. You’re at risk of getting heart disease if you consume too much of it. 3
On the other hand, you can obtain better sources of fat from foods such as avocados and olive or coconut oils. Unsaturated fat is healthier and is the best option. When frying foods, use as little of it as possible.4
- Get Creative
For healthy eating to be fun, you have to make it enjoyable. Try this by adding spices to vegetables, putting coriander in your omelets, having whole grain bread with different nut butter instead of margarine or other creative styles that appeal to you. If you’re okay with a regular healthy meal, it’s okay too. The more styles you’ll try, the more the urge to slip back to junk foods will lessen.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Very few people can keep up with the 8-glasses-of-water-a-day rule, but it’s crucial if you want to be at your best in terms of health.
Drinking water can also benefit weight loss. Studies on middle-aged and older adults have shown that drinking water before meals can reduce appetite and calorie intake during the subsequent meal. 5, 6
- Have Plenty of Fish
One of the most significant benefits of fish, especially oily fish such as sardines and trout, is that it keeps the heart healthy since its rich in omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats have many important roles in the body, including maintaining heart health, reducing inflammation and promoting brain function. 7, 8
Fish is rich in proteins as well as vitamins. There are many types of fish available in the market, so when you go shopping for some, try avoiding smoked fish because it may have high amounts of salt.
- Pick Carbohydrates That Are Rich in Starch
When having carbs, go for the whole grain variety since they have been linked to a wide range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. 9, 10, 11
Whole grains are also an excellent option if you need to lose weight, as they keep you full for a more extended period, thanks to the fiber in them. Though they’re healthy, don’t eat more of them than what you need. Experts recommend that they should make up a third of your food. 12, 13
If you need help changing your eating habits or losing weight, our Medically Monitored Clean Start Weight Loss Program may be right for you. We have three locations in Virginia for your convenience: in Richmond, call (800) 656-8386. In Fredericksburg, call (800) 840-2064. In Ashburn, call (800) 815-8456. Start taking charge of your weight and general health today by enrolling in our evidence-based weight loss program!