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How To Start Eating Healthy? 6 Tips For Healthy Eating

Madhura Mohan

Posted on November 18 2021

D

uring the past decades, the primary focus in the health and fitness world has been on healthy food vs unhealthy food. We are all intelligent and well-informed about the correct eating pattern, but the problem is there is often a gap between our knowledge of what to eat and our actually doing it.

Here’s my straight question to you all, how many of you really practice healthy eating? If this sounds like unsupported language to you, you must be eating mindlessly, hmm, just kidding…

 

HEALTHY EATING

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It seems to me that people have made preconception about certain things. A few years back, ‘fitness’ was perceived as something to be achieved by going to the gym, now ‘healthy eating’ is perceived as some hard sacrifice or strict dieting.

Most often than not, we don’t make proper choices of food for a number of reasons. We eat ignoring our body’s signals, eat at random times and places, eat foods that are emotionally comforting, eat when emotions tell us to us eat (like when bored, sad, angry), eat when multitasking, eat without counting on nutrients, and without balancing the caloric intake to our activity level. This style of eating is unhealthy.

A healthy diet is one that includes a variety of nutritious food, swaps unhealthy refined foods with real ones. A healthy diet provides your body with the perfect balance of macronutrients, micronutrients, and adequate energy. Healthy eating considers what, when, and why we eat.

Healthy eating is not about complications, it is not about limitation or eating bland food, it’s about eating for health, not for wants of mind. Essentially, healthy eating means eating healthier options in each food group (having fewer not-so-healthy ones).

This blog gives you the top 6 tips to begin eating healthy…

 

1. CHOOSE WHOLE FOODS & COMPLEX CARBS

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Whole foods are unprocessed or processed minimally, they are unrefined foods like grains, legumes, nuts, quinoa, barley, corn, oats, millets, seeds, fruits, vegetables. Whole foods are in their most natural form, without the inclusion of sugars, starches, flavours, or preservatives. Whole grains are packed with essential nutrients like protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, they include the bran and the germ which make them more nutritious than their refined counterparts.

Processing removes fiber, healthful fats, and an array of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, making processed grains such as white flour or white rice nutritionally impoverished.

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  • Limit intake of sources of rapidly digested carbs such as white flour, white rice, pastries, sugary drinks, french fries. Avoid cookies, cakes, white pasta, white bread, pizza, burgers, donuts made with white flour that is heavily processed and stripped of its nutrients and fiber.

  • Emphasize whole grains, use wholegrain flours in your baking recipes. Eat whole wheat bread instead of white bread, have baked potato instead of fried chips, choose a burger or pizza made with real food ingredients.

  • Commit to adding veggies to your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and fruit to your snack. Fruits and veggies are packed with phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

Whole grains improve your blood sugar levels, keep you more energized, help you lose weight as they are low in calories and high in fibre, improve gut health, will help reduce trans fat intake, lower the risk of heart disease, slow down the digestive process thereby allowing for better absorption of nutrients.

 

Related Article: How Do Fast Foods Impact Fitness?

 

2. CUT DOWN SUGARY FOODS

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You need to know that sugar is not a required nutrient in your diet, it is easier for you to add more calories to your regular diet when consuming sugary food. Excessive sugar intake can cause obesity, high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, fatty liver disease, teeth decay, premature aging, and anxiety issues.

 

  • Cut down sugary items like cola, soda, fizz, juice, jams, squash, cookies, candy, ketchup, pastries, sweets, chocolate, ice creams, pudding, biscuits, sugary syrups, toppings, sugary breakfast cereals which are all the top sources of sugar in your diet. Whether it’s white, brown, unrefined sugar, molasses, or honey, there’s no such thing called as healthy sugar

  • Please check food labels and refrain from foods that indicate dextrose, high fructose glucose syrup, maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, fructose, corn sugar, maltose, sucrose, choose items with lower sugar or sugar-free versions.

 

Related Article: Eating Too Much Sugar? The Sweet Sugar Can Be Dangerous

 

3. EAT HEALTHY SNACKS

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We generally tend to eat the first thing that we see on the counter when we feel hungry. Having quick, nutritious options at our fingertips will prevent us from reaching out for high-calorie, sugary stuff. Keep healthy snacking options in easily accessible and visible places in your home, workplace, at eye level in your pantry, stock up your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables. Nuts are a good source of B-vitamins, vitamin E, unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, magnesium, iron, calcium. Nuts can keep us full and satisfied until our next meal.

 

  • Keep healthy snacks like mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, apricots, figs), or fresh fruits, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, dates, roasted chickpeas, sweet potato chips, sprouts, cucumber, cut up vegetables, sweet corn, protein bars, wholegrain bread at your reach.

 

  • Protein bars are super easy to throw in your office bag, so you can munch on them when your stomach starts to rumble. A slice of wholegrain bread with a layer of natural, unsweetened peanut butter spread provides you with a combination of fiber, complex carbs, protein, healthy fats.

 

 Related Article: 10 Ways To Boost Energy Naturally & Quickly

 

4. OPT FOR LOW-CALORIE HYDRATION

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The ideal beverage of hydration is plain water which contains zero calories and zero additives. Every cell, tissue, organ in our body requires water to function properly, hydration status is critical for the regulation of body temperature. Dehydration can produce disruption in physical, and mental functioning. A reasonable hydration goal is to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.

Drinking fluids like soda, sugary tea, fizz, cream-laden coffee for pure pleasure will only contribute to an intake of calories in excess requirements, and in the case of alcohol, it may bring about dependence too.

  • A glass of unsweetened lemon juice with a pinch of rock salt added to it is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin C. Skimmed milk is also good for rehydration, coconut water is low in calories and enriched with minerals, cucumber juice, watermelon juice, beetroot juice, carrot juice, unsweetened fruit juice contain antioxidants, minerals and are great for hydration. You can also opt for herbal teas like chamomile tea, hibiscus tea, green tea, tulsi tea which not only hydrate you but also calm your nerves and relax your mind.

 

Related Article: Top 4 Ways How Proper Hydration Can Improve Immunity

 

5. INCLUDE HEALTHY FATS

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Dietary fat is a mistakenly maligned nutrient! Just like proteins and carbs, your body needs a certain amount of fats to support energy, as the structural building block of the body, and for cellular functioning. There are 4 major dietary fats in food, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and transfats. Saturated and transfats tend to be solid at room temperature (butter), monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to be liquid (oil). Saturated and transfats can raise cholesterol levels, clog arteries, and increase the risk of heart disease. Transfats (partially hydrogenated oil) is known to cause endothelial dysfunction.

Unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk of heart disease, lower bad cholesterol.

  • Don’t adopt a low-fat or fat-free diet, instead focus on eating beneficial fats and avoid harmful fats. Avoid red meat, cheese, ice creams, palm oil, refrigerated dough, biscuits, full-fat milk, deep-fried fast foods, biscuits, pastries, french fries, chicken nuggets, chips, cookies, doughnuts, muffins which contain unhealthy fats.

  • Good sources of healthy fats include canola oil, olive oil, sesame oil, avocados, nuts, peanut butter, sunflower oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, fatty fish (salmon, sardines, tuna).

 

Related Article: Top 5 Nutritional Benefits Of Peanut Butter

 

6. GET ACTIVE, EXERCISE DAILY

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Health is not just about taking in the right amount of calories. Calories expended are as important for good health as the quality and quantity of calories consumed. It is well established that nutrition and physical activity modulate health, improve body composition, metabolism, improve musculoskeletal health, physical and cognitive performance. As per studies, individuals who exercise regularly are less likely to choose unhealthy food options.

  • The area of exercise nutrition involves protein requirements for building lean muscles and to facilitate muscle regeneration. Make an effort to be more active on a regular basis to stay on track with fitness.

  • If you are obese, include moderate-intensity aerobic activity like walking, if you have not been physically active in a while, get started now. 30 minutes of physical activity a day can reduce your heart health risk, improve your cholesterol levels, lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk for diabetes, can control your blood glucose levels, and provide mental health benefits.

 

Related Article: Obese Can Lose Weight With 10 Brilliant No Equipment Exercises

 

Are you saying you have already had a big piece of cake/chocolate bar/buffet meals today? Should that stop you from making a start to healthy eating today? Make no excuses, start as you mean to go with your next meal…

 

Switch to healthy eating and improve the way you think and feel…stay tuned to asitisnutrition.com/blogs for more such updates on health and fitness…

 

Also read: Top 6 Healthy Reasons To Add Flax Seeds To Your Diet

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