How to Make Healthier Food Choices & Tips for Healthy Diet
A healthy diet has been scientifically proven to provide numerous health benefits, such as reducing your risk of several chronic diseases and keeping your body healthy. However, making significant changes to your diet can sometimes seem very overwhelming. Instead of making big changes, it may be better to start with a few smaller ones. Healthier Food Choices are recommended by the health practitioners to always stay fit and lean.
In this blog HiTrueCare list some of the best ways to make healthier food choices.
1. Eat Slowly
Studies comparing different eating speeds show that fast eaters are up to 115% more likely to be obese than slow eaters.
Your appetite, how much you eat, and how full you get are all controlled by hormones. These hormones signal your brain, whether you’re hungry or full.
However, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to receive these messages, so eating more slowly would give your brain the time it needs to perceive that you are full.
- Studies have confirmed this, showing that eating slowly may reduce the number of calories you consume at meals and help you lose weight.
- Eating slowly is also linked to more thorough chewing, which has also been related to better weight maintenance.
Therefore, only by eating slower and chewing more often, you can reduce your risk of overeating and gaining excess weight.
2. Whole-Grain Bread over Refined Bread
You can easily make your diet a bit healthier by choosing whole-grain bread in place of traditional refined-grain bread.
- As opposed to refined grains, which have been linked to many health issues, whole grains have been linked to various health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
- They are also a good source of fiber, B vitamins, and several minerals, such as zinc, iron, magnesium, and manganese.
- There are many varieties of whole-grain bread available, and many of them even taste better than refined bread.
Just make sure to read the label to ensure that your bread is made with whole grains only, not a mixture of whole and refined grains. It’s also preferable that the bread contains whole seeds or grains.
Greek yogurt (or Greek-style yogurt) is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt.
It has been strained to remove its excess whey, which is the watery part of milk. The result is a yogurt that is higher in fat and protein than regular yogurt.
- It contains up to three times the amount of protein found in the same amount of regular yogurt, or up to 9 grams per 100 grams.
- Eating a good source of protein helps you feel fuller for longer, helping you manage your appetite and eat fewer calories overall.
- Furthermore, since Greek yogurt has been strained, it contains fewer carbs and lactose than regular yogurt, making it suitable for those who follow a low-carb diet or are lactose intolerant.
- Replace some snacks or regular yogurt varieties with Greek yogurt for a hefty dose of protein and nutrients.
Just make sure to pick the non-flavored varieties, as flavored ones may be packed with added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.
4. Eat eggs in the breakfast
Eggs are incredibly healthy, mostly if you eat them in the morning.
- They are rich in high-quality protein and many essential nutrients that people often don’t get enough, such as choline.
- When looking at studies comparing various types of calorie-matched breakfasts, eggs come out on top.
- Eating eggs in the morning increases feelings of fullness. This has been shown to cause people to consume fewer calories over the next 36 hours, which can help weight loss.
- One study in healthy and fit young men showed that eggs caused significantly more fullness, less hunger, and a lower desire to eat than a breakfast consisting of cereal or croissants.
- The men who had eggs for breakfast automatically ate 270–470 fewer calories at lunch and dinner buffets than those who ate other breakfasts.
Therefore, simply replacing your current breakfast with eggs may result in significant benefits for your health.
5. Keep track of your Protein consumption
Protein is often referred to as the king of nutrients, and it does seem to have some superpowers.
Due to its ability to affect your hunger and satiety hormones, it’s the most filling of the macronutrients.
- One study showed that only increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories made people eat 441 fewer calories per day, without actively restricting their information.
What’s more, protein helps you retain muscle mass, which determines the rate of your metabolism.
- High protein intake may increase the number of calories you burn by 80–100 per day.
- This is especially important for preventing the loss of muscle mass that can occur during weight loss and as you age.
- Aim to add a source of protein to each meal and snack. It will help you feel fuller for longer, curb cravings, and make you less likely to overeat.
Good sources of protein include dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, eggs, beans, and lean meat.
6. Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water is essential for your health.
Many studies have shown that drinking water may benefit weight loss, weight maintenance, and even slightly increase the number of calories you burn daily.
Studies also show that drinking water before meals can reduce appetite and calorie intake during the subsequent meal in middle-aged and older adults.
That said, the most important thing is to drink water instead of other beverages. This may drastically reduce your sugar and calorie intake.
People who drink mostly water have been shown to consume 200 fewer calories per day, on average, than those who drink other beverages.
7. Try at Least One New Healthy Recipe Per Week
Deciding what to have for dinner can be a constant cause of frustration, which is why many people tend to use the same recipes again and again.
Chances are you’ve been cooking the same recipes on autopilot for years.
Whether these are healthy or unhealthy recipes, it’s always beneficial to try something new.
Aim to try making a new healthy recipe at least once per week. This can change your food and nutrient intakes and hopefully add new and healthy recipes to your routine.
Alternatively, try to make a healthier version of a favorite recipe.
8. Prefer eating fruits rather than drinking their nectar
Fruits are very healthy. They are loaded with water, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Studies have repeatedly linked eating fruit to a reduced risk of several diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Because fruits contain fiber and various plant compounds, their sugars are generally digested very slowly and do not cause significant spikes in blood sugar levels.
However, the same does not apply to fruit juices.
- Many fruit juices aren’t even made from real fruit, but rather concentrate and sugar. They may even contain as much sugar as a sugary soft drink.
- Even real fruit juices lack the fiber and chewing resistance provided by whole fruits. This makes fruit juice much more likely to spike your blood sugar levels.
- It also makes it way too easy to consume too much in one sitting.
9. Eat a home-cooked meal
Try to make a habit of cooking at home most nights, rather than eating out.
- For one, it’s easier on your budget.
- Second, by cooking your food yourself, you’ll know exactly what is in it. You won’t have to wonder about any hidden unhealthy or high-calorie ingredients.
- Also, by cooking large servings, you will have leftovers for the next day, ensuring a healthy meal then, too.
- Finally, cooking at home has been shown to reduce the risk of excessive weight gain, especially among children.
10. Fresh Berries are more fruitful than dried ones
Berries are very healthy and packed with nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.
Most varieties can be purchased fresh, frozen, or dried.
Although all types are relatively healthy, the dried varieties are a much more concentrated source of calories and sugar, since all the water has been removed.
- A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of fresh or frozen berries contains 32–35 calories, while 3.5 ounces of dried strawberries contain a whopping 396 calories.
- The dried varieties are also often covered with sugar, further increasing the sugar content.
- By opting for the new varieties, you will get a much juicier snack that’s lower in sugar and a lot lower in calories.
11. Use healthy edible oils
Unfortunately, highly processed seed and vegetable oils have become a household staple over the past few decades.
Examples include soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, and canola oils.
These oils are highly processed and high in omega-6 fatty acids, but deficient in omega-3s.
A high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio can lead to inflammation and has been linked to chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and autoimmune diseases.
Swap these unhealthy oils for healthier alternatives, such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
12. Get the Salad Dressing on the Side
Simply getting to the point of ordering a salad at a restaurant is an outstanding achievement for some people.
However, your efforts should not end there. Some salads are smothered in high-calorie dressings, which may make the salads even higher in calories than other items on the menu.
Asking for the dressing on the side makes it a lot easier to control the portion size and, therefore, the calories you consume.
Completely overhauling your diet all at once can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, try to incorporate some of the small changes in this article to make your diet healthier. Some of these tips will help you keep your portion sizes reasonable, while others will help you add nutrients or adapt to something new. Together, they’ll have a significant impact on making your overall diet healthier and more sustainable, without a massive change in your habits.