7 Tips for Healthy Diet
7 Tips for Healthy Diet
Healthy eating does not mean staying thin, depriving yourself of eating your favorite food or strictly eating specific types of food every time you eat. Rather, it is a way keep you fit, healthy, energetic and thus happy. A healthy diet includes a variety of nutritious food for sufficient amounts of all nutrients. Minerals and vitamins are also important to be included in your diet. Green vegetables, fruits, breads and fish are also vital for a healthy diet. A healthy eating decreases the chances of diet-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It also helps you maintain a healthy body and helps you muscular and nervous systems function properly. For a healthy body weight, maintain balance between food and exercise and take the following tips into account.
1. Plan for your diet
Plan a healthy diet by setting small changes in your diet system step by step. For example, add salad to your food once a day rather than making big changes overnight. The small changes you add become a habit and thus you will be able to add more healthy changes. Consider your diet in terms of freshness, variety and color instead of worrying too much about counting calories. Avoid processed and packaged food as much as you could and focus on fresh ingredients. Prepare your own meals with your own hands. You don’t know what restaurants include in their meals. By cooking your food yourself at home, you will be able to monitor what you include in your meal. It is important to read the labels in order to be aware of what is in your food. Observe your changes in your diet carefully, i.e. when you stop eating a certain type of unhealthy food, replace it with a healthy one. For example, it will be more helpful for your health to eat vegetables fats such as olive oil when you stop getting animal fats like butter. And never forget to drink sufficient amount of water because it helps flush your systems of toxins and waste products. Insufficient amount of water causes low energy, tiredness and headaches. Instead of drinking high amount of caffeinated beverages and alcohol, for your health, drink water.
2. Moderate your diet
Moderation suggests that you be satisfied when you finish your meal but not to feel stuffed, i.e. eating as much as your body needs to function well. You need to balance between protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals and fiber to maintain a healthy body. Balance does not mean to eliminate the food you like to eat. If you eat 100 calories of chocolate at noon, for example, deduct 100 calories from your dinner. Do not eat quickly and stop eating before you feel stuffed because your brain takes a few minutes to send you the “that is enough” message. Rather than eating three large meals, eat several small meals throughout the day. Eating several, small healthy meals throughout the day starting with the most essential meal, i.e. breakfast keeps you full of energy. Give your digestive system a break at night by avoiding eating dinner lately. Studies state that eating dinner early and fasting for 14 to 16 hours until the breakfast every day helps to regulate weight.
3. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables and more fish
Fruits and vegetables provide the body with essential protective nutrients. They are low in calories and full of fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Eat at least five servings of different vegetables and fruit. A serving consists of a small banana or apple or half a cup (150 ml) of fruit or vegetable. Try to eat colorful fruits and vegetables every day because they are nutrient dense of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Instead of eating unhealthy processed and packed snack foods, snack of vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, snow peas or carrots and eat fruit for dessert. Berries, for example, are cancer-fighting, mangos and oranges provide your body with vitamin C and apples equips you with fiber. Instead of eating a bar of chocolate, add healthy sweetness to your meals by including naturally sweet vegetables such as sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, corn, and yams.
Fish is an important source of protein and includes many minerals and vitamins. Make sure that you eat fish at least twice a week, at least one of them of oily fish. Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure. You can find this in fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies and some other cold water fish oil supplements. Try to choose a wide variety of fish types to eat regularly.
4. Reduce sugar and salt
In addition to causing weight problems, too much sugar causes energy spikes, diabetes and has been linked to depression. Sugar is hidden in many types of food such as bread, canned soups, margarine, vegetables, cereals, low-fat meals, ketchup, vegetables and fast food. Therefore, it is vital to reduce the amount of desserts and candy you eat to the minimum. On the other hand, your body needs less than one gram of sodium a day. Nevertheless, we often add larger amounts of salt on or food to add flavor on its taste unaware that eating too much salt is likely to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, erectile dysfunction and kidney disease. It also causes high blood pressure. Give yourself some time to adapt on less sugar and salt in your diet by gradually reducing them. Most processed and packed foods contain hidden sugar and sodium that exceeds the limit, so stay in the safe side and prepare your food at home or at least check the labels and choose low-sugar and reduced-sodium products. Instead of using salt to improve the flavor of meals, use garlic, black pepper, curry powder or cayenne. If you are used to eat snacks, eat healthier ones such as buying unsalted nuts and putting the healthy amount of salt as you wish. By doing this, you will be able to gradually reduce the amount of salt you add to your food as the time passes. Reduce the amount of sweet snacks such as chocolate and cakes and replace them with naturally sweet, healthy fruits.
5. Eat rich calcium and carbohydrates
Calcium is important for building strong bones and teeth. You need an average 1000 mg calcium a day. Your body will start taking calcium from your bones to maintain well cell-function if your food does not contain enough amount of calcium, which would lead to osteoporosis. Alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks consume your body’s calcium stores, so limit them as much as possible and get enough vitamin D, vitamin K and magnesium which help calcium do its job. Dairy products such as low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt are rich sources of calcium. Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans, baked beans and black-eyed peas are also sources of calcium.
Eating healthy carbs should also be taken into consideration for it protect against coronary heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Eating healthy carbs such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans stabilize the level of blood sugar and insulin. Have a variety of whole grains such as millet, brown rice, whole wheat and ensure that you are having 100 percent whole grain not partial whole grain by checking the stamps.
6. Eat more protein
It is estimated that about half of human body’s dry weight is made up of protein. It provides us with the needed energy to get move our bodies. Many of the food we eat contain protein such as flesh foods (beef, fish, chicken and lamb) and legumes (lentils and beans). Protein provides the body with the building blocks of the muscles and serves as a backup source of energy production. Adults need to eat at least 0.8 g of high-quality protein per kg of body weight a day. Instead of eating red meat, processed carbohydrates from cakes, cookies and chips; eat chicken, fish, grilled chicken breast, nuts, seeds, peas and soy.
7. Do not wait. Start now!
You have the tips between your hands. If the change does not come out of you, you will not change. Start gradually with easy changes and you will find yourself accustomed to the small changes you add for your diet. Do not forget that your physical, mental and spiritual health is closely related to your weight and depends mainly on your diet system.