“TO EAT IS A NECESSITY BUT TO EAT INTELLIGENTLY IS AN ART.”
– La Rochefoucauld
Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving ourselves of the foods we love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving our outlook, and stabilizing our mood.
By using these simple tips, we can cut through the confusion and learn how to create a tasty, varied, and healthy diet that is as good for our mind as it is for our body.
We all know that eating right can help us maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but our diet can also have a profound effect on our mood and sense of well being.
Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at home, and reducing our intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, may help to improve mood and lower our risk for mental health problems.
We don’t have to be perfect and we don’t have to completely eliminate foods; we enjoy to have a healthy diet.
Healthy Eating Tip 1 : Set yourself up for success
To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps – like adding a salad to your diet once a day – rather than one big drastic change. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.
- Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food.
- Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives.
- Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, think of your diet in terms of colour, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed foods and opting for more fresh ingredients.
- Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.
- Drink plenty of water. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.
Healthy Eating Tip 2 : Moderation is key
Key to any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as our body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed.
For many of us, moderation also means eating less than we do now. But it doesn’t mean eliminating the foods we love.
- Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything.
- Take your time. Stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.
- Eat with others whenever possible. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.
Healthy Eating Tip 3 : Reduce sugar
Apart from creating weight problems, too much sugar causes energy spikes and has been linked to diabetes, depression, and even an increase in suicidal behaviours in young people.
Reducing the amount of candy and desserts you eat is only part of the solution as sugar is also hidden in foods such as bread, cereals, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, low-fat meals, fast food, and ketchup. Your body gets all it needs from sugar naturally occurring in food so all this added sugar just means a lot of empty calories.
Tips for cutting down on sugar
- Slowly reduce the sugar in your diet. A little at a timeto give your taste buds time to adjust and wean yourself off the craving.
- Avoid sugary drinks. Try drinking sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice instead.
- Avoid processed or packaged foods.Like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar.
- Be careful when eating out. Most gravy, dressings and sauces are also packed with salt and sugar, so ask for it to be served on the side.
- Eat healthier snacks. Cut down on sweet snacks such as candy, chocolate, and cakes. Instead, eat naturally sweet foodsuch as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Healthy Eating Tip 4 : Eat plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day as deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Add berries to breakfast cereals, eat fruit for dessert, and snack on vegetables such as carrots, or cherry tomatoes instead of processed snack foods.
Healthy Eating Tip 5 : Bulk up on fiber
Eating foods high in dietary fiber can help you stay regular, lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and help you lose weight.
- In general, the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher it is in fiber.
- Good sources of fiber include whole grains, wheat cereals, barley, oatmeal, beans, and nuts, vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, and fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears.
- An easy way to add more fiber to your diet is to start your day with a whole grain cereal.
Always remembr! It’s not just what you eat, but when you eat
- Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jump start your metabolism, while eating small, healthy meals (rather than the standard three large meals) keeps your energy up.
- Avoid eating LATE NIGHTHimanshi Grover