Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and well-being. Not only will eating right help keep you in shape, but it will also strengthen your body and protect you from disease. With this in mind, below are a few valuable tips to help you get on the right track.
Limit Your Intake of Processed Foods
Processed foods can be high in calories and low in nutrients, as well as containing unhealthy additives that can be harmful to your health. If you are trying to eat a healthier diet, it is advised to limit your intake of processed foods. Instead, opt for whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. If you choose to eat processed foods, read the label carefully to know what you are getting.
Further, avoiding (or at least limiting) sugary drinks is also good for your health. Sugar-sweetened beverages are generally high in calories and linked with weight gain and other chronic health conditions. Instead of sugary drinks, opt for water, unsweetened tea, or sparkling water.
Incorporate Healthy Oils into your Diet
Healthy oils are a vital part of any diet. They provide essential nutrients that your body needs to function correctly. Additionally, healthy oils can help to ward off diseases and keep your heart healthy. Oils to include in your diet include olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.
Eating fish is a great way to get the healthy omega-3 fats your body needs. Salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines are all excellent sources of omega-3s. Aim to eat fish at least twice a week. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can get omega-3s from flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. There are great vegan fitness guides online which you can get inspiration from. Find the ones with guidance on vegan supplements.
Include Plenty of Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are packed with nutrients that are essential for good health and, consequently, it is important to include them in your diet. As per recommendation, aim to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. This can be easily accomplished by incorporating a colourful array of fruit and vegetables into your meals. Some helpful tips for incorporating more fruit and vegetables into your diet include:
- Add fruits to your breakfast.
- Adding diced vegetables to your lunchtime sandwich or wrap.
- Do not forget to include salad at dinner.
- Sneak extra veggies into your recipes.
Choose Whole Grains over Refined Grains
Whole grains are a healthier choice than refined grains. They contain more fibre, which helps to keep you feeling full and can aid in weight loss. Additionally, whole grains have been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions. Therefore, opt for whole-grain options such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats when choosing grains. There are a few simple ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your whole grains:
- Make sure the first ingredient listed is a whole grain, such as whole wheat or brown rice.
- Look for the word ‘whole’ included in the product’s name, such as ‘whole-wheat bread’.
- Avoid products made with refined grains, such as white flour.
Do not Forget about Plant Protein
Plant-based proteins are an excellent option for those trying to eat a healthier diet. They are lower in calories and fat and higher in nutrients. Some excellent sources of plant-based protein include beans, lentils, and quinoa. If you are looking for a way to add more plant-based protein to your diet, try incorporating these foods into your meals:
- Add beans to salads, soups, or chili. You can also make a bean dip or spread for sandwiches.
- Try adding lentils to rice dishes or replacing them with ground beef in recipes.
- Quinoa can take the place of rice or pasta. It is also a great addition to salads or soups.
- Nuts and seeds are a great source of plant-based protein. You can add them to your favourite recipes or eat them as a snack.
Regarding animal proteins, it is advisable to choose leaner options. Lean protein sources are lower in fat and calories and higher in nutrients. Some excellent lean protein sources include chicken, fish, tofu, and eggs.
Making healthier choices does not have to be complicated. There are many simple changes you can make to your diet that will have a significant impact on your health. Following the tips above, you can start eating a healthier diet to help you stay in shape and feel your best.