The busy lifestyles of today are increasingly making it harder for people to take care of themselves, resulting in poor eating habits. A healthy diet should consist of a wide range of nutritious foods. This allows for the intake of sufficient amounts of all essential nutrients including minerals and vitamins. Eating a healthy diet enables you to sustain a healthy body weight. It also minimizes the risk of developing various diet-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and several types of cancers. Following these tips for eating healthy listed below will ensure that what you eat is good for both your mind and body:
1. Your diet should comprise of a variety of foods
Your body requires over 40 different types of nutrients so as to maintain good health. There is no single food that can provide this. Fortunately, the modern food distribution channels make it relatively easy to access a wide variety of foods. Whether you buy fresh foods to cook or you prefer to eat takeaway, ready-prepared meals, you need to balance your choices. For example, if your lunch has a high fat component, ensure that your dinner is low fat. If you eat a generous serving of meat during dinner today, eat a lot of veggies tomorrow.
2. Consume more fish
Fish are one of nature’s healthiest foods. You should try to eat over two portions of fish every week, and one portion should be oily fish. A portion of fish is around 140 grams when cooked. Oily fish is among the few natural sources of vitamin D, which is vital for bone health. Examples of oily fish include sardines, fresh tuna, trout, mackerel and salmon. You can eat fresh, canned, smoked or frozen fish. However, note that smoked fish has salt, so canned fish is a better option. Ensure that you check the labels and always choose the varieties with lower salt content.
3. Take plenty of fluids
Make a target of drinking 8 to 10 glasses of fluid each day. Water is the best option as it hydrates your body without increasing your calorie intake. Many kinds of drinks can also be considered as fluids including fruit juice, fruit smoothies, milk, coffee .However, avoid sugary drinks because they can cause tooth decay. Alcohol should be avoided as it is more of a dehydrating agent and it will make you pass more urine.
4. Reduce your intake of saturated fats and sugars
Whereas fat is needed in our diet (as a source of essential fatty acids and to help our bodies absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K), excess fat can cause weight gain. Fat contains 9 calories in every gram, which is double the calorie content of proteins and carbohydrates. Eliminate saturated fats such as cream, pies, butter and lard since they increase the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Instead, replace them with unsaturated fats such as oily fish, avocados, vegetable oils such as olive oil, nuts and seeds. Avoid taking too much sugar, particularly between meals as it will add extra calories and result in tooth decay. If you have a sweet craving, try eating a fruit instead.
5. Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables
Eat a wide range of vegetables and fruits since they contain various combinations of minerals and vitamins. These include fresh, tinned or frozen vegetables and fruits, and also 100% fruit juices.
Vegetables and fruits are jam-packed with essential nutrients and fiber. They also contain antioxidants such as vitamins E and C. These help to curb damage from free radicals which contribute to the risks of cancer, memory loss and cataracts. The antioxidants also boost body immunity, making it easy to fend off such illnesses like the common flu. You can try to enhance the taste of veggies by adding a tiny pat of butter.