Top 10 Tips for Eating Healthy for Life
It’s no secret that American’s have struggled with our waistlines over the past decade or so with the advent of more and more sugary drinks and unhealthy foods that are so cleverly marketed to us. From the plight of popularity of fast food chains and sugary drinks and snacks, the alarming amount of obesity in not only adults but children as well, Americans have started to realize the error of our ways and be more health conscience. Eating healthy isn’t just a week to week adventure, it is something that needs to be sustained over the years and practiced for life. With growing health and wellness professionals, there is always someone you can turn to for healthy advice, inspiration and motivation to make those life changes. The following ten tips for eating healthy for life were found from Eating Well Magazine and each are straightforward, simple and great advice towards taking those steps to committing to a healthy lifestyle today.
1. Load Up On Fruits and Vegetables: It has been noted that only 1 in 4 Americans get the 5 of 13 daily servings of fruits and vegetables that is recommended by the USDA. Eating vegetables daily is so important to healthy lifestyles and diet because they are packed with anti-oxidants, can help lower the risk of heart disease as well as diabetes. A lot of people have turned to getting key nutrients from supplements rather than natural foods which isn’t as good as absorbing them from the foods themselves. Put down the pill bottle and just go buy some fresh fruits and vegetables! They’ll be a lot tastier than a chalky supplement.
2. Make the most of meals: Most Americans know that protein is one of the most important elements of a well balanced meal but overdo it when it comes to putting together a meal. It is recommended to fill one quarter of the plate with protein, another quarter with a whole grain or a starch and half with vegetables. (Listen to tip #1! –load on up with those fruits and veggies!)
3. Serve more seafood: The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish and seafood a week because it’s a good lean source of protein. Salmon, tuna and sardines are great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids that can be linked to improving everything from heart and brain function to overall mood and wellness.
4. Go for good fats: Not all fat is bad. Unsaturated fat that is found in olive oil and canola oil can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol which can lower risk of heart disease. To read more on what cholesterol really is, check out our “Facts About Cholesterol” blog post. Cool vegetables in olive oil instead of butter or spritz lemon over them if you want to improve taste. Good fats can add a ton of flavor to normally “bland” food.
5. Make it flavorful: Most people complain that eating healthy compromises the taste of food and the enjoyment one gets from a great tasting meal. However, eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to lose the flavor! By using spices, herbs, citrus and other natural additives, you can make food taste great! A little bit of salt can also be added but it’s recommended to be aware of the amount you’re adding in. Other popular foods such as bacon and cheese can be great ways to spice up food but moderation is always key. There doesn’t have to be compromise in healthy food, be creative and make it fun.
6. Be a savvy shopper: Planning meals ahead of time is a very smart way to shop and can also save you time and stress of not knowing what to purchase. Along with shopping with a list, focus more on the outer sections of the supermarket i.e. produce, seafood meat and dairy. The outsides tend to have the least processed foods stocked in those areas because they have a shorter self life—so when it doubt, go for the perimeter!
7. Read food labels: Make sure to read labels when you pick out foods you’re contemplating on buying! Food labels can be confusing at times because of all the crazy names that can come along with a wide variety of ingredients. Do some research ahead of time and it’s recommended to have an idea onto how to properly know what the layout and everything means. For tips on how to properly read food labels, check out our “How to Read Food Labels!” blog post. One main rule of thumb, the simpler the ingredient list, the better!
8. Keep a well-stocked pantry: When you have all the ingredients one would need, you won’t have to interrupt the cooking process and have to make a trip to the store. When you have all the ingredients you need for a project, it makes it easier to cook in your home rather than making excuses that you don’t have any food in your house to make anything substantial.
9. Eat what you love: Eating well is not about deprivation. No foods should be OFF LIMITS. It’s all about moderation. Satisfy your cravings but balance your daily caloric intake so if you do have a large piece of chocolate cake, you just consume less calories during another meal in the day. By still consuming the foods that you love and keep moderation in mind, you won’t feel like dieting is super hard and awful. Eating healthy is a lifetime goal and should be sustained over that whole period not just periodically which allows for treats here and there.
10. Make cooking fun: The act of cooking should be relaxing, delicious, creative and a time for you to bond and come together with friends and family. Pick a new recipe every week and experiment! Visit our Pinterest page for new and fun recipes to plan out each week.
By following steps towards living a healthy life, you can not only maintain good health, sustain your family’s happiness and wellness but also make cooking something that is an enjoyable part of your day. Cooking healthy doesn’t have to mean compromising taste and overall flavor of food or something you should dread. By taking the necessary steps towards controlling what you eat, you will be helping yourself and your family!