The following 10 healthy eating tips will give you some simple ideas about how you can start to establish healthy eating habits.
1. Avoid processed foods. Of all the healthy eating tips, this is the most important! Processed foods are chock full of unhealthy things such as hydrogenated oils, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and excessive amounts of sodium. By preparing fresh foods yourself you can control the amount of fat, sugar and sodium you take in. Many processed foods also lack adequate fiber; one of the most important nutrients for digestive health. Not only does fiber make a great colon cleanse, its also important for helping to regulate weight (by helping to maintain feelings of fullness). Fiber has even been shown to help lower blood cholesterol.
2. Eat more vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. In addition to providing you with lots of healthy nutrients, they help reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, cancer and diabetes. There are a lot of recipes for healthy food that are simple to make and are incredibly tasty too!
3. Eat moderate portions. Serving sizes have gotten huge in recent years, to the point where you can get all your calories for one day in a single meal. Plates and cups are much larger, resulting in portion distortion. You think you're eating the same amount you always have, but it is actually another 50 to 150 calories more per meal that you are taking in, which can result in major weight gain. Don't ever “supersize” anything you order.
4. Drink plenty of water. Most people are perpetually dehydrated. Without sufficient water the membranes in your ear, nose and throat can dry out, leaving you susceptible to infection from bacteria and viruses, and you'll feel tired and drained. Water flushes toxins from your body and carries nutrients to your cells. You are drinking a sufficient amount of water if you are rarely thirsty and your urine is clear or pale yellow.
5. Limit refined foods. Refined foods are basically anything “white”, such as white flour, rice, sugar, salt, etc. Refining removes the healthy minerals and fiber inherent in the original food to give it that white appearance. Unfortunately this also makes them unhealthy, as the nutrients are removed in the process. Go for whole grains, brown rice, organic sugar, natural sea salt, etc.
6. Eat a variety of whole, fresh foods. This is one of the best healthy eating habits to adopt. The wider the variety of foods you eat, and the wider the range of colors they are, the more likely it is you will get all the nutrients you need. And by trying different foods you may not have tried before you can make meals more interesting.
7. Eat more slowly. Taking time to savor a meal allows you to really taste and enjoy the food you're eating, allowing you to eat less. And since it takes about 20 minutes to feel full after eating, the slower you do it the less you'll end up eating.
8. Don't eat when you're stressed. When under stress your digestion comes to a near standstill and it can trigger digestive upsets. If you are must eat under stress, make it something easily digestible such as a light soup or some yogurt.
9. Get some exercise every day. The more exercise you get, the better these healthy eating tips will work, and the more power packed foods you can eat while remaining healthy. This doesn't mean you need to join a gym, just be more active in your daily activities. For instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park at the farthest end of the parking lot, walk or bike to work, or take a fun dance class.
10. Eat many small meals rather than three large ones. This avoids spiking your insulin levels, allowing your metabolism to stay more even throughout the day. If you tend to feel sleepy after eating, eating many small meals may solve the problem. It also will help keep you from stuffing yourself on unhealthy snacks or sweets.
Use these healthy eating tips as a way of gradually changing how you eat. Once you establish healthy eating habits you will have more energy, get sick less often and more easily maintain a healthy weight.
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