6 Tips for Healthy Eating
Healthy foods are important for your well-being. Eating a healthy diet gives you more energy, helps you maintain a healthy weight and can even reduce your risk for chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Are you aiming to eat a healthier diet, but aren't sure where to start? Here are 6 suggestions to help you begin your journey toward healthy eating.
1. Eat smaller meals throughout the day.
Start your day with a healthy breakfast including protein, healthy fat and fiber to jump-start your day. Many studies have linked eating breakfast to better memory and concentration, and reduced chances of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
2. Eat unprocessed plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
This will add fiber to your diet, which helps maintain bowel health, lowers cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels and aids in achieving a healthy weight. It can also lower levels of inflammation.
3. Go easy on processed food.
Sweets, foods made with highly refined grains (white bread and white rice), and sugar-sweetened beverages can cause spikes in blood sugar. High blood sugar can lead to the development of diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
4. Increase the color of your diet by incorporating more fruits and vegetables.
Try to make at least half of your plate vegetables with a goal of a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Don't be afraid to try new foods. You might discover something new to love!
5. Choose leaner cuts of beef and pork, eat poultry without the skin and incorporate more fish into your diet.
Limit portions and let the vegetables be the star of your plate. Consider eating a meatless meal at least once a week.
6. Prepare your own meals at home.
This allows you to control ingredients and lower sodium and processed food intake. You can also serve yourself smaller portions and save the leftovers for lunch the next day, saving money too!
As you start your journey toward healthy eating, remember: Restricting foods can cause good intentions to backfire. You do not need to be perfect, and you don't need to eliminate all the foods you enjoy. Make small changes over time. A healthy lifestyle includes nourishing both your body and soul!
About the Author
Barbara Neff, RD, CSO, LDN, is a registered dietitian. Learn more about nutrition counseling at Cone Health.