Eating healthy is one of those things you know you should do, but probably don’t know exactly how to do it. Between all the fads, trends and gimmicky routines, it can be hard to make sense of it all. Below are some simple and easy ways you can make healthier diet choices immediately.
Reduce Refined Sugars
Refined sugars refer to any type of sugar that is made as a result of heavy processing, such as white table sugar and especially high fructose corn syrup. Avoid foods that have a high content of refined sugars and syrups, choosing unsweetened options to keep it natural. You can also switch to unrefined sugars, such as coconut sugar, for baking and other uses.
Eat Meals Regularly
Sticking to any kind of healthy diet depends on eating the right number of meals every day. Skipping a meal deprives your body of the energy it needs to run, and leads to gorging at your next meal. Start out by making sure you eat a balanced breakfast every morning, and then work in a few healthy snacks throughout the day to keep yourself full and fueled.
Read Ingredient Labels
One of the easiest things you can do make healthier diet choices is to read the whole nutrition label on everything you buy. Check the amount of vitamins and minerals to make sure you get enough nutrients, and also check the ingredients to make sure they’re not hiding anything. For example, some brands advertise as being Greek yogurt, but actually use corn starch to thicken it instead of the real active cultures.
Choose Lean Meats
If you eat meat, make sure it’s always as lean as possible. While 80% lean and lower ground beef might seem like a good deal, it’s sneaking a lot of fat into your foot that can lead to weight gain, high cholesterol and more. If you can’t buy leaner meats, then make sure you cut out the fat at home before you cook it.
Limit Processed Carbs
You’ve probably heard people talk about going on a low carb diet before, or even trying to cut carbs out completely. Carbs, which is short for carbohydrates, are one of the three basis nutrients that you need in your diet, so you shouldn’t cut them out completely.
Instead, focus on decreasing the amount of highly processed carbs you eat. It’s a simple as eating 100% whole wheat instead of bread made from enriched flour.
Rethink the Drinks
Many sodas contain a high amount of refined sugar, which can not only cause you to pack on the pounds but increase your risk of diabetes. Alcoholic beverages can also lead to unwanted weight gain, liver damage and cause you to overeat later on. Consume these drinks in moderation whenever possible.
Focus on Natural Sugars
While it’s not good to eat too much of any sugar, when you do make sure it’s a natural sugar. The sugars that come from fruits are always going to be better for you than eating refined sugars, since the fruits also offer valuable nutrients as well.
Stick to the Perimeter
When you go grocery shopping, try to stay on the perimeter of the store, which has all of the fresh produce, diary, and meats. This helps you stay away from the inner aisles that contain the dry goods with lots of preservatives.
Go Fresh over Frozen
Try to buy fresh foods whenever you can, since these are going to have a higher nutrient content. Freezing fruits, vegetables and meats can decrease their health factor, and the frozen items may also include sauces and sugars.
Cut Out the Extras
Whenever you’re ordering food at a restaurant, think about everything that goes into it so you can cut out the unhealthy extras. Little things like leaving the mayo off your burger or cutting the extras out of your coffee can have a huge impact.