10 Healthy Eating Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

Ashly Alla

Eating a variety of healthy foods can give you energy and reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Try adding more fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, beans and low-fat dairy.

Cut back on high-calorie foods such as desserts, sweetened beverages and salty snacks.

1. Eat a variety of foods

Eating a variety of foods helps ensure that you are getting healthy living tips all of the nutrients your body needs. Avoid fad diets that severely limit one food group, such as low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets.

Eat meals and snacks that come from all five of the major food groups. Choose those that are lower in saturated fat, added sugars and salt. Choose lean meats, low-fat milk, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugary desserts and sweetened beverages.

2. Avoid junk food

Eating junk food adds unnecessary kilojoules and calories to your diet. It also contributes to unhealthy habits such as emotional or stress eating.

Junk foods like chips, chocolate and lollies are high in sugar, salt and fat. Even foods that claim to be healthy such as fruit juice and muesli bars may contain hidden sugar and high levels of salt. Keeping healthier options at home is a great way to avoid junk foods. Keep a supply of snacks such as fruit, vegetables and lean meats handy for quick meals or snacks.

3. Get enough sleep

A diet that includes milk, turkey and pumpkin seeds provides the tryptophan necessary to make melatonin, which promotes sleep. Other sleep-promoting foods include whole grains and fish. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Avoid spicy food, caffeine and large meals in the hours before bedtime. Spicy food and alcohol can interfere with sleep, while too much caffeine can lead to a jittery start to the day and a craving for sugary drinks or junk food to counteract that energy high. Getting enough sleep also helps regulate your appetite.

5. Drink water

Most healthy adults need about eight glasses of water daily. Water helps prevent dehydration, and is lower in calories than sugary drinks or coffee.

Drink water first thing in the morning, before and with meals and snacks, and carry a reusable water bottle. Try adding lemon, lime or cucumber slices to your water for flavor. You can also get hydration from other beverages like non-caffeinated tea and 100% fruit juice, and by eating foods that are high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables. Staying hydrated is especially important during summer, as the temperature rises.

6. Eat fruits and vegetables

Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is good for your health. Aim for five servings each day, of a variety of fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits and veggies.

Replace higher calorie foods with fruit and veggies. Keep healthy snacks such as yogurt, low-fat cheese sticks, nut butters and whole grain crackers on hand. Also stock up on tinned fish, canned soup and vegetables, low-fat milk and fortified soy beverages. Eat them at home or take them on outings. Be sure to limit fruit juice, which is high in sugars.

7. Eat lean meats

Eating lean meats and fish provides protein, minerals and nutrients. Avoid fatty and processed meats as they can increase your cholesterol levels.

Choose cuts of meat that are at least 90% lean and cut off any visible fat before cooking. Grass-fed meat has a better fatty acid profile and contains antioxidants. Broiling or baking your meats rather than roasting and frying helps to reduce the saturated fat content. This also saves calories.

8. Eat fish

Fish is a healthy source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It also provides vitamin D, iron, iodine and calcium. Try to eat two servings of fish per week, including one that is oily.

Seafood is low in saturated fat and contains more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than other meats. It’s also a good source of lean protein and bone-building nutrients. However, concerns about mercury levels can deter some people from eating seafood. The key is to choose fish that is low in mercury. It’s also important to cook fish properly.

9. Eat whole grains

Compared to refined grains, whole grains have more fiber and health-promoting phytocompounds. When selecting grain products, such as breads, pasta and cereals, look for the word “whole” in the ingredient list.

Whether you’re an oatmeal fan, a freekah devotee or a rye person, make whole grains the foundation of your diet. Avoid enriched or refined grains, and be sure to add in foods with folate. These nutrients may reduce the risk of neural tube defects, which include brain and spinal cord damage. (2).

10. Eat healthy fats

Fats provide energy, help control appetite, slow digestion and assist in the absorption of certain vitamins. However, the type of fat you eat is important. Unhealthy fats, like saturated and trans fats, increase your risk for heart disease. Healthful fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, found in avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds and fatty fish.

Conclusion

Avoid processed meats, fried foods and high-fat snacks like biscuits, cakes and pastries. Instead, eat lean meats and skinless poultry, low-fat dairy products and unsalted nuts. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

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