Healthy eating habits are extremely important. Regardless of the latest fad diet, some nutrition tips are always valid. Popular diets, Gluten Free, or South Beach all focus on getting certain foods out of your diet. While the ideas of these diets aren’t necessarily fundamentally wrong, eating healthy is not so much about what you remove from your diet as it is about what you add.
If your overall diet is healthy and balanced, you don’t have to leave out the foods you love as long as you consume them in moderation. Here are 5 tips to help you do that.
1. Replace saturated fats with healthy ones
According to some health groups, such as the American Heart Association, saturated fats contribute to heart disease and high cholesterol. However, in order to function optimally, the body needs some fat. The trick is this: consume monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated ones.
You can simply replace butter with olive oil, or snack on nuts instead of fried snacks. Healthier fats oil your joints and provide your body with energy without adding extra pounds.
2. Eat the rainbow
Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is key to a healthy diet. Try to include foods of as many different colors in your diet as possible. Each color of the rainbow provides specific vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. In addition, fruits and vegetables fill you up without too many excess calories and thus help you to control your weight.
Try to shop organically if possible. This can prevent you from absorbing pesticides, especially with foods whose peel you eat. For fruits and vegetables that you peel and only eat on the inside, you can also buy the regular ones.
3. Carbohydrates are your body’s fuel
Carbohydrates get a bad rap for being restricted in many popular diets. However, your body needs carbohydrates to produce energy. The key to including carbohydrates in your diet is to consume whole grain versions rather than processed white versions. Whole grain carbohydrates provide more energy and keep you feeling full longer. They also contain fiber, which supports your digestive system.
Eating more carbohydrates will give you the energy you need to exercise to keep your body in tip-top shape.
4. Focus on lean proteins
To give your workout more power and build muscle, you need to consume lean protein. These include foods like chicken, fish, and lean beef. Try to avoid excessively fatty cuts of meat (like the belly and torso). When your diet is high in protein, your body has the fuel it needs to burn fat and keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
5. Make a plan
When it comes to developing healthy eating habits, most people fail when shopping. You just grab what looks tasty and toss it in the basket. However, that can only go wrong. Before you go shopping, be sure to write a shopping list so that you can really buy the healthy foods.
Another motivating trick is to shop right after your workout. You will be more motivated to keep making healthy choices. Stick to the outside of the store as this is where the healthiest foods are. Try to avoid the center filled with processed foods.