Poor eating can lead to an array of health-related problems. The combination of busy schedules, an increasing number of fast food restaurants cropping up all over the place, and microwavable foods has led to many of us eating unhealthy diets. The consequences are evident in the number of people who are overweight or obese, as well as those now living with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, and more.
The good news is that adopting healthy eating habits is not difficult. It does require dedication and making some changes, but considering all the rewards, it’s an effort worth making. Top nutritionists agree that by following the recommendations provided below, you can lose weight, reduce your risk of health problems, and feel much better overall.
1. Choose Non-Processed Foods
Start by getting the majority of the day’s nutrition from non-processed foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Basically, avoid any foods at the grocery store that have been prepared, cooked, or altered in any way. You should also avoid white rice (choosing brown instead), stay away from refined grains, and eat fresh fruits and vegetables in place of juices.
2. Avoid Processed Foods
It’s nearly impossible to get away from processed foods completely, but a simple rule for healthy eating consists of choosing processed foods minimally. In other words, flour, oil, pasta, and other processed foods should be consumed as little as possible. Examples of processed foods that you want to reduce from your diet include bread, cereals, chips, cookies, and so on.
3. Get Home Cooking
Although home cooking requires time and preparation, this is extremely important. With good planning, you can have a well-balanced home-cooked meal almost every night. One option involves spending a few hours on the weekend putting together meals that can be stored in the freezer.
4. Eat Small, Regular Meals
Many people believe they have to eat three full meals a day. In reality, the body will process five to six small meals a day far better. By doing this, you avoid feeling hungry so ultimately, you eat less. Snacking is something most people do, but when adopting healthier eating habits, you want to steer clear of traditional snacks. If you have to snack on something, choose a small amount of almonds, air-popped popcorn, carrots, apple slices, and so on.
5. Spare the Seasoning
Use seasoning like salt, butter, and oil, sparingly. If you enjoy seasoned food, rather than table salt you can use a small amount of sea salt or healthier seasoning combinations that enhance food flavor. Another great option is using herbs and spices to punch up the flavor of your food.
6. Dine Out Wisely
One of the biggest challenges with staying healthy is eating out. For one thing, restaurants typically provide huge portions; they also use unhealthy ingredients. If you like to dine out, choose the healthiest item on the menu, which could include grilled chicken, steamed fish, fresh vegetables, or a salad.
Making these changes to your diet may seem a little daunting at first, but it doesn’t take long to get used to. Try introducing one change at a time if you feel that all at once would be too much. Once you start making these simple changes to your diet, it won’t take long before you start to notice the benefits.