A poor diet is one of the most common causes of weight gain, health problems and low energy levels. Making small improvements to what you eat and drink can make a big difference over time. Rather than following the latest fad diet, consider making these 7 simple changes to your eating habits.
1) Don't skip breakfast
Numerous studies have proved that people who skip breakfast eat more snacks and consume more calories than those who take the time to enjoy a healthy meal at the start of the day. If time is limited, some fruit and wholegrain cereal with low-fat milk are great to fuel your body through the morning. Avoid heavy breakfasts like bacon, sausages and pancakes, and keep sugar intake to a minimum.
2) Switch to whole-grain
Grains, also known as cereals, are the seeds of grasses grown for food. Most grains go through a refining process which removes the germ and bran elements. Valuable nutrients, including magnesium, potassium and fiber, are lost as a result. There is strong evidence that switching to whole-grain can reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
3) Reduce salt in your diet
Adding salt to food is a habit for some people, and it can lead to increased blood pressure and other health issues. To increase the flavor in food, replace salt with herbs and spices. Remove the salt shaker from your table and your palette will adjust to the change quickly.
4) Replace meat with fish twice a week
Cutting the amount of red meat you eat is another quick way to improve your diet. As well as being lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than red meat, fish contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has proven benefits for the heart, brain and eyes, and it's particularly beneficial for children.
5) Swap out butter with olive oil
Studies into health and longevity in Mediterranean countries have suggested that eating olive oil has numerous benefits. As well as living into their 90s, the population of many Greek islands have lower rates of dementia, depression and many other common illnesses. Using olive oil in cooking also helps to reduce the fat content of food.
6) Snack on fruit
Eating snacks between meals is a common cause of obesity. Bars of chocolate, potato chips and other unhealthy snacks are high in calories and low in nutritional value. Get into the habit of snacking on fruit throughout the day. Keep bowls of fruit in easy reach at home, and pack an apple, banana or orange for busy days. Unsalted nuts are another healthy alternative to snacks high in sugar and saturated fat.
7) Reduce fast food in your diet
Fast food is cheap and convenient, but it's another common cause of weight problems. Burgers, hot dogs and fries are high in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt, and they don't fuel the body for long. Make burgers at home using lean meat or grill chicken breasts coated in herbs instead of fried chicken.
Making gradual changes to your diet can have a powerful cumulative effect. There's no need to starve yourself or avoid occasional treats if you make healthy eating habits a part of daily life.
Article From Inter Valley Health Plan