9 Tips to Help You Start Eating Healthy
For most people, acquiring new healthy eating habits is asking a lot. Diet is one of the most challenging things to change, particularly when there are so many fads and contradictory food studies out there. It’s hard to know how to go about it without feeling totally overwhelmed.
However, eating healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated. The best healthy diets are those that are varied and delicious – the happier your taste buds, the more likely you are to stick to a healthful way of eating.
Here are some easy ways to start eating healthy without losing your sanity – and in a way that will inspire you to stick with your good intentions.
Ditch the processed foods as much as possible
While it’s perfectly fine to eat processed foods once in a while, you don’t want to make a habit of it. Instant cup-a-soups and frozen pizzas are filled with additives that are addictive as well as empty calories.
Choose dishes made from whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables, which provide you with fiber and essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals.
You don’t have to spend your day eating rabbit food, either. Start by adding vegetables to your lunch and dinner and swapping pastries for fruit as a snack.
Keep healthy alternatives on hand
When we’re hungry, we want something fast, so we’re most likely to grab whatever is closest at the time. If you keep healthy food handy, you’ll be a step ahead to stick with good habits.
Try keeping a colorful basket of fruit, an assortment of dried fruit, or other healthy quick snacks on your countertop or in your office.
Put healthy snacks in your cupboards at eye level, where they’re the first foods you’ll see.
When you make healthy food, cook in large batches so that you can freeze portions for later. Keep a few portions on hand in the fridge so that you can whip up a quick lunch or dinner without giving into fast food temptation.
Eat lots of colors
One easy way to get lots of powerful nutrients is to eat as much different-colored fresh produce as possible. The color, taste, and smell of fresh fruits and vegetables come from different phytonutrients beneficial for health.
Leave the sweet drinks behind
Sugary soft drinks can contribute to obesity and type 2 diabetes as well as anxiety, liver damage, and premature aging.
Leave the packaged juices or sodas behind, and go for infused water or drinks without sugar.
Make a game of shopping
Try sticking to the produce and healthy food aisles when shopping. You can make a game of it – how many aisles can you avoid this way? Go straight to the fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, eggs, and meat sections.
Remember that most supermarkets stock tempting snacks near the checkout, so stay strong and go shopping after you’ve eaten rather than on an empty stomach.
Add nuts and seeds to current dishes
It’s fun to work out where you can add nuts and seeds to your diet. These foods are packed full of healthy fats and other nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
You can sprinkle nuts over soups, salads, and stir-fries. Seeds like chia or flaxseed can be added to baking recipes or scattered over cereals.
Try lean protein where possible
Add in some vegetable protein sources to your diet for variety. For instance, tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein that is low in fat and can taste delicious when prepared correctly.
You can use tofu where you’d use meat in many casseroles and stir-fries. If you press out the excess liquid from your tofu before cooking with it, you’ll find the tofu will soak up any spices or flavors from the sauce you’re using. You can get yourself a tofu press like this one here, or press it between two plates.
Probiotic foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir help improve the number of healthy bacteria in our gut responsible for digestion, extracting nutrients from food, and strengthening our immune system.
You want to get as many nutrients as possible out of the foods that you eat, so including probiotics is an easy way to do just that.
Other probiotic foods you can enjoy are yogurt, soft cheeses, and apple cider vinegar.
Nutrients count more than calories
Many of us count calories, but it’s actually more beneficial to count nutrients to improve the quality of our diet. Nutrients give us energy and influence our health, and not all calorie sources are created equal.