You may not be dreaming of a sexy body like Sarah Jessica Parker’s but for sure you want to have a healthy one. You know how some things are good for you while some are not? The same is true for foods in your diet. Some provide you with the nutrients you need but some do not give you any nutrition at all. Some are even dressed up and camouflaged to look good even if they are downright bad for you. And when you are trying to eat healthy and keep it that way, you surely are challenged every step of the way.
Healthy eating is not about nutrition philosophies and counting every single calorie you take in nor is it about depriving yourself of the foods you want to eat. Know what to eat, when and how to eat. Check out these 7 ways of smart eating to a healthy you.
- Eating Tip # 1. Moderation is your key to success.
Most people define healthy eating as an all or nothing activity. Remember that your body needs a balance of nutrients to sustain a healthy body. Despite what diet fads preach, you don’t need to forego eating your favorite foods. When you crave sweets, eat small portions only and not as often. When dining out, order a salad or choose a starter instead of the big servings of entrée. Or split the dish with your companion. When eating at home, use a smaller plate and serve yourself small portions only.
- Eating Tip # 2. Load up on fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of any health diet. You should eat a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Brighter, darker colored fruits and vegetables contain higher nutrients and the different colors provide different benefits. Green vegetables such as collards, kale, spinach and broccoli pack a mean punch of calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, E and K. Berries fight cancer, citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and apples provide fiber.
- Eating Tip # 3. Eat less sugar.
Sugar provides empty calories and offers no vitamins and minerals. You may not know this but some foods have hidden sugars in them that are not easily detected by its sweet taste, unlike soda, candies, doughnuts and cakes. Foods rich in sugar include bread, pasta sauce, ketchup and french fries. When craving for a soda drink, fix yourself a fresh orange juice instead or pour sparkling water with a wedge of lemon. Craving for some sweets? Munch on an apple to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Eating Tip # 4. Eat more healthy carbs
Healthy carbohydrates include whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. These carbohydrates are rich in fiber promoting better digestion make you feel full sooner and longer. Avoid the unhealthy carbs such as white rice and white flour as these foods have been stripped of fiber during processing.
- Eating Tip # 5. Limit salt intake.
Too much salt in your food can increase your risk of high blood pressure and other heart problems. Avoid eating processed foods and cut back on snack foods. Gradually reduce your sodium intake by using spices and herbs to flavor your dishes.
- Eating Tip # 6. Choose healthy fats and avoid the bad fats
Your body needs fat but only the healthy fats. Avoid the bad fats, the saturated and trans fats because these fats cause health problems. Choose the good fats which are unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids as they are good for your heart. A healthy oil that is making the global round is Argan oil, a natural oil from Morocco that is rich in essential fatty acids, mono-unsaturates and antioxidants that your body needs.
- Eating Tip # 7. Healthy eating is how and when you eat, too.
When and how you eat also plays a big part in the whole picture of eating healthy. Avoid eating in front of the TV or your computer, this can lead to overeating. Eat with others or dine as a family as much as possible. The social and emotional benefits are endless. Eat breakfast to jumpstart your metabolism after the long night’s fast. Chew slowly and let your digestive system work properly.
Healthy eating is not just counting calories and eating less of everything. It is knowing what foods to eat and avoid. Follow these tips, eat smart and stay healthy.