5 Ways To Make Healthy Changes to Your Diet
Your diet has a direct impact on your health. It turns out the saying "you are what you eat" has a basis in reality, after all. While that may seem discouraging, it is actually great news. It means you are in control of your own health. Learn how a few healthy changes to your diet can have a major impact on how you feel.
1. Avoid Fad Diets
When you are trying to improve your health, it is easy to fall for the latest fad. Many fad diets are focused on quick results instead of proper nutrition and can keep you from getting the important nutrients you need to sustain overall health. Properly balanced meals and a high-quality supplement are your best health bet. Look for options like LCR health supplements that are specifically focused on the health needs of adults.
Even if your goal is to lose a substantial amount of weight, resist the urge to alter your diet dramatically based on trendy eating habits or dietary restrictions. Most experts recommend a plant-based diet. That doesn't mean you need to eschew all animal products, however. Instead, work to increase your intake of fresh vegetables and fruits at each meal. Opt for plant-based snacks whenever possible. Nuts, dried fruits and roasted chickpeas are all great snack foods that can also be healthy. Research recipes that follow the DASH or Mediterranean diets. Both are consistently ranked as among the best diets for healthy eating by healthcare professionals.
2. Increase Your Fiber Intake
One of the many advantages of a plant-based diet is that it provides plenty of fiber. Your body uses that nutrient in a variety of ways. First, it helps improve digestive health by nourishing the flora found in your gut. That means less inflammation, a stronger immune response and better long-term health outcomes. Fiber is linked to lower rates of obesity, improved cholesterol levels, reduced risk of cancer and better-regulated blood sugar levels. In fact, a diet high in fiber is directly associated with increased longevity. You can use a supplement, but many people find it is easy to boost fiber intake when you know what foods to eat. Besides fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes and many nuts are good food choices.
3. Don't Drink Your Calories
It is incredibly easy to drink a large portion of your calories if you don't pay attention to what you are sipping throughout the day. Most people realize that sodas and alcoholic beverages are going to add calories to your day, but they are far from the only drinks to watch out for. A large sweet tea from a popular fast-food chain has nearly 300 calories and close to 70 grams of sugar. That's just one drink! Many coffee drinks are loaded with sweeteners, creams and flavorings that add up to a meal's worth of calories, sugars and fat. Before you order your morning latte, take a minute to read its nutrition facts on the menu.
4. Manage Portion Sizes
Nutrition labels give information about each food based on a standard serving size. However, if you aren't careful, you can easily consume two or three times that much in a sitting. If you don't fully understand the difference between a portion and serving size, spend a few minutes to brush up on this important subject. Then, limit your portions to an actual serving size for most foods. These tips can help you keep portions under control:
- Use smaller plates so food appears to take up more room
- Use blue plates — they cause you to feel less hungry
- Limit distractions while you are eating
- Measure or weigh your food until you are comfortable estimating portions
- Avoid eating straight from the container
5. Cut Back on Unhealthy Fats
You have undoubtedly heard of trans fats by now. These are almost always oils that have been altered to retain a solid texture at room temperature. While that may be convenient, it isn't good for your heart health. Limit their use and focus instead on healthier, unsaturated fats. Olive, canola, sunflower and avocado oils are excellent examples that are readily available and can be used in place of other, less healthy oils.
Making small changes to your diet can have a big impact on your health. Work to get all the nutrients you need, control portion sizes and make healthier substations to everyday items that are sabotaging your efforts.