Eating healthy provides your body with vital nutrients and energy and helps you look and feel great. Incorporating a balanced diet into your lifestyle is important and can help you to maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of certain diseases, and maximize your energy levels. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Make Healthy Food Choices
Making healthy food choices is a key part of any balanced diet. Aim to include foods from the five main food groups in your daily meals:
- Fruits and vegetables: these are high in essential vitamins and minerals and should make up about a third of your diet.
- Whole grains: these provide energy and can help reduce the risk of certain diseases. Aim for 6-8 servings per day.
- Low-fat dairy products: dairy products are rich in calcium and protein, and help to keep bones strong. Aim for two or three servings per day.
- Lean meats and fish: these are high in protein and other nutrients and should make up about a sixth of your daily diet.
- Healthy fats: healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds are important for a balanced diet and should be included in moderation.
Get Creative in the Kitchen
Cooking your own meals can be a great way to ensure that you are eating healthy and getting all the essential nutrients your body needs. Experiment with different ingredients and flavors to make meals that are both nutritious and delicious. If you’re short on time, why not try batch cooking? That way you can make enough food to last you a few days or even a week!
Snacking throughout the day can help to keep you energized and your metabolism running. Focus on choosing healthy snacks such as fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and yogurt. Avoid sugary snacks or processed foods as they are not good for your health.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water is an important part of any balanced diet. Water helps to keep you hydrated and can help to flush out toxins from your body. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses per day or more if you are exercising.
Incorporating a balanced diet into your lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult. By making small changes to your diet, meal plans, and snacks you can reap the health benefits of eating healthy.
What are some tips for eating healthier meals?
1. Start Your Day Right – Start the day off with a healthy breakfast to get your metabolism going and help fuel you for the day.
2. Cut Back On Sugar and Sodium – Too much sugar and salt are bad for your health and can cause excess water retention, heartburn and other health risks. Avoid adding too much sugar or salt to your meals, and try to go for natural sweeteners and flavorings instead.
3. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Fruits and vegetables also contain various antioxidants, which can help with disease prevention. Try to get in at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
4. Add More Whole Grains – Whole grains are packed with vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Research suggests that eating more whole grains can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Aim to replace sugary and refined grains with whole grains such as wild rice, oats, quinoa, millet, barley and buckwheat.
5. Read Food Labels – Reading food labels helps you understand the nutrition information of packaged foods, so you can make better food choices. Pay attention to serving size, calories, sodium, sugar, fat and dietary fiber.
6. Avoid Processed Foods – Processed foods are usually high in sodium and fat, and low in nutritional value. Try limiting or avoiding packaged snack foods, processed meats, frozen dinners and convenience meals.
7. Drink Plenty of Water – Drinking enough water is key for overall health. Aim to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.
8. Make Time to Cook – Allocate time to cook at least once or twice a week. This will help you avoid eating out or ordering take-out food. Cooking at home also allows you to control the ingredients and make healthier food choices.
What kind of foods should I avoid when eating healthier?
1. Processed foods such as chips, cookies, and frozen meals
2. High-fat meats like bacon and sausage
3. Refined sugars and foods high in added sugars such as candy and pastries
4. High-sodium foods such as canned soups
5. Trans fats found in packaged snacks, fried foods, and vegetable shortening
What are the most unhealthy foods I should avoid?
1. Processed and packaged foods
2. Fried food
3. Sugary drinks
4. Refined grains and flour
5. Fast food
6. Highly processed meats (e.g. hot dogs, sausages, bacon)
7. Margarine, shortening, and lard
8. Most snack foods (chips, candy, etc.)
9. Hydrogenated oils
10. Artificial sweeteners
What are the worst foods to eat for my health?
The worst foods for your health are: processed foods, refined grains, sodium-rich foods, sugary drinks, fried foods, high fat animal products, prepared baked goods and desserts, unhealthy snack foods, highly processed meats, and trans fats.