How to Start Eating Healthy
Eating healthy isn’t just about cutting out those foods you love, but living healthier through better nutrition and choices.
The age-old phrase “you are what you eat” was coined in the late 1800s with the notion that to be fit and healthy you needed to eat good food. More than 100 years later there is evidence that healthy eating does lead to better overall health.
Creating new habits and identifying problem foods in your current diet is the first step to eating healthy. By taking some simple steps you can be on your way to eating food for a healthy life. Below are some tips to help you make better choices:
Eat breakfast and healthy snacks during the day
A good breakfast followed by snacking throughout the day may help cut calories and reduce food cravings later at night. Avoid eating at night after dinner. Eat healthy snacks like almonds, carrot sticks, grapes, popcorn, yogurt, dried fruits, etc. Don’t be afraid to read labels and do your research on which snacks are healthy!
Eat more greens
There is more than just lettuce in terms of greens; kale, broccoli, cabbage and mustard greens are packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E and K.
Eat more vegetables and fruits
Sweet vegetables such as corn, carrots, beets, yams, and sweet potatoes may help you curb your cravings for sugar and are filled with valuable nutrients. Fruits are also tasty, high in fiber, and can help offset those sugar cravings too.
Eat seafood and fish more often
Seafood and fish (salmon, tuna, trout, etc.) have valuable proteins, minerals and omega-3 (good) fatty acids. Try to eat seafood and fish once a week.
Eat whole grains
Whole-grain pastas, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and cereals that contain whole grains are packed with nutrients – including fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Choose lean protein foods
Select lean ground beef (label says 90% lean or higher) and eat more turkey breast and chicken breast. Lean beef, turkey and chicken are packed with protein which helps build tissue, cells and muscle.
Cut sodium (salt)
Put down that salt shaker and use less salt in your meals. Look for foods that say “low sodium, reduced sodium, or no salt added.” Too much sodium may cause high blood pressure.
Cut or reduce liquid sugars
Soda pop, sugary fruit drinks and iced teas with sugar are examples of liquid sugary drinks. Liquid sugars are one of the leading causes for obesity in America, according to studies.
Drink (more) water
The national recommendation is to drink eight glasses of water a day. Try adding a lemon or orange slice to jazz up the flavor.
Resources and support
There are unlimited resources on how to start eating healthy, from websites to blogs to Facebook pages. Support groups are all over social media as well – do the research and find the group or community that will best fit your need. If your spouse or a friend wants to eat healthier, why not develop a buddy system and work on your goals together. Create an eating game plan and stick to it! Lastly, trying a new recipe every week could be a fun way to start eating healthy as well.
Take the time now to improve your health tomorrow and in the future by making better choices about what you eat and drink.