Good nutrition is important for everyone. When combined with maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active, eating well is a good way to keep your body fit and strong. With a few tips, you could easily come up with a healthy diet that includes all the essential nutrients, while keeping out harmful components.
Watch your Portions
While eating all the green vegetables you want would hardly pose any health risks, portion control is crucial for higher-calorie foods. It’s always important to check serving sizes when reading food labels. While some packages may seem small, they could contain more than one serving. You’d thus have to double or triple the calories and other nutrients if you’re going to consume the entire package.
Eat Plenty of Fresh Produce
Vegetables and fruits are rich in nutrients, fiber and other compounds that prevent a handful of illnesses. And while legumes are moderately high in calories, they still count as vegetables. A good rule of thumb here is to consume about 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables for a 2,000 calorie diet. Include all kinds of fresh produce in your diet, and opt for whole fruits in place of juice for more fiber.
Add More Whole grains
Unlike their processed counterparts, whole grains retain their germ and bran. This means they keep nearly all of the fiber and nutrients of the grain. While shopping, look for products labeled ‘100% whole grain’ or those whose labels list whole grain as the first ingredient.
Reduce Your Intake of Refined Grain and Sugar
The refined carbs in most snacks are devoid of many nutrients and dietary fiber. You should thus try to cut down on your intake of foods that list ‘white’ or ‘refined’ flour on their labels. Also, cut down on foods with added sugar, such as candy and soda. Such sources of empty calories are widely known to contribute to weight gain. Most sugary foods also contain excess fat, which further increases their calorie density.
Enjoy More Nuts and Fish
Foods like fatty fish, avocado, nuts and vegetable oils are excellent sources of unsaturated fats. Recent studies suggest that these foods, while rich in calories, don’t cause weight gain because they’re satisfying. It thus makes sense to eat them instead of other high-calorie items. Fatty fish also reduce the risk of heart disease, thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids they contain.
Enjoy Your Food
Around the world, many cultures emphasize on the enjoyment of food. This often includes preparing and having meals with others as key ingredients to good health. Some studies have also suggested that shared mealtimes contribute to the reduction of many diet-related health issues. Ultimately, be mindful of what you eat, and try to enjoy your food more.
A healthy diet doesn’t require lots of money or radical changes to one’s daily routine. The key is to make small changes here and there to switch to foods that offer significant health benefits. Little by little, you’ll start to notice a difference in how you look and feel.