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10 tips to help you choose healthier food

10 Tips to Help You Choose Healthier Food

Eating healthier doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can make better choices in little ways here and there, adding up over time to a big difference in your health and well-being. Here are 10 tips to help you choose healthier food, including advice on how to shop smart, eat out, and cook at home.


Tips to Help You Choose Healthier Food

1) Eat Less Meat

The meat industry generates more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined, and it has an outsize effect on your health: Studies have shown that high consumption of red meat correlates with higher rates of colon cancer. If you’re already concerned about your environment or general health, eating less meat is an easy way to make a huge impact on both fronts. For one week, for example, try replacing just two meals per day with vegetarian versions (e.g., spaghetti Bolognese without ground beef). Your food bill will go down and your overall carbon footprint will shrink drastically. In addition, you may notice increased energy levels—both immediately and long-term.

2) Eat More Fruits & Vegetables

Studies have shown that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may lower your risk of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease. In fact, one study showed that every additional portion of fruits and veggies we eat daily decreases our risk of heart disease by 4 percent. If you want to live a healthier life, try increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce is always best, but frozen varieties are also a great alternative if fresh isn't available. When preparing them, try adding a side salad or another green vegetable instead of french fries or white rice. The more leafy greens you can eat, the better!

3) Don’t Skip Breakfast

Skipping breakfast might seem like a way to cut calories and lose weight, but it can actually lead to consuming more calories later in the day. Skipping breakfast doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be hungrier later in your day; research suggests that skipping meals is what leads people to eat more than they normally would. If you want to lose weight safely, simply pay attention to how much food you’re eating; it may surprise you! If you find yourself routinely hungry during your waking hours, don’t skip meals—instead, focus on healthy snacks throughout your day.

4) Drink Tea instead of Coffee (or, drink coffee if it works for you!)

Caffeine can cause anxiety or disrupt your sleep patterns. If you’re drinking coffee (or another caffeinated beverage) because you think it’s giving you energy, and it isn’t, think about cutting back. If you need something in your body that helps keep you feeling alert, try drinking green tea instead. In addition to containing a small amount of caffeine (less than one cup of coffee), green tea has natural substances called L-theanine and gallocatechin gallate (GCG) that are known for increasing focus while decreasing jitters and anxiety caused by caffeine.

5) Learn About Carbs

Eating carbs is an essential part of a healthy diet. Carbs are your body’s main source of energy, especially if you’re exercising regularly. But all carbs aren’t created equal. Read nutrition labels carefully and make sure you’re choosing foods high in fiber, protein, and essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, and potassium. When in doubt, avoid complex carbs (whole grains) and go for simple carbs instead (white bread). Complex carbs keep blood sugar levels steady while simple ones spike blood sugar quickly then leave you craving more food later on.

6) Learn About Fat (and don’t be afraid of it!)

Although there are three types of fat in your diet including mono-unsaturated, poly-unsaturated, and saturated fats, unsaturated fats are essential to good health. Healthy fats can be obtained from plant food including olive oil, nuts, fish, and fruits which are commonly used as cooking ingredients. Unsaturated fats which include lard or vegetable shortening are predominantly found in animal foods such as dairy products and meat. If you're trying to choose healthier food options when grocery shopping or at a restaurant, keep an eye out for products that list mono or polyunsaturated fats as their first nutrient. But don't avoid fat altogether—it's actually a very important part of a healthy diet!

7) add some fat to your diet

The biggest mistake people make when they attempt to eat healthier is eliminating all sugars from their diet. Yes, sugar should be consumed in moderation, but there are many health benefits associated with consuming natural sugar. Sugar can be used as an alternative sweetener, such as honey, as it contains vitamins and minerals that help improve your health in some way. It’s also important not to eliminate all fats from your diet—it’s important for brain function and development, for example. The most successful people I know eat vegetables and meat in every meal; they maintain a balanced diet.

8) Don’t Eliminate All Sugars from Your Diet

It’s best to reduce your intake of sugar and refined carbs; that means, you should skip sugar-filled desserts and baked goods, but you don’t have to eliminate all sweets. If your sweet tooth simply won’t let up, remember—as long as you stick with whole fruits and unsweetened dairy products like plain yogurt or skim milk, you can still enjoy a treat on occasion. Additionally, just because something is labeled low fat or diet doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for you.

9) Stay Hydrated with Water or Herbal Teas

As your body processes beverages, it needs water to stay hydrated. Limit your coffee consumption and reduce overall high-calorie drinks such as sweetened drinks and alcoholic beverages, if you're trying to hack your way to weight loss because caffeine can enhance your thirst. Remember to take water on a regular basis! It's calorie-free, cheap, and can help fill you up so you eat less throughout the day. If plain water is boring for you, add some lemon or try herbal teas that are packed with nutrients but low in calories. Herbal teas help reduce the effects of aging because they are full of antioxidants.

10) Try Not to Compare Yourself to Others

Comparison is the thief of joy. As someone who's struggled with disordered eating and food issues, I learned early on that comparing yourself to others around you isn't healthy or productive. It can also be a trigger for an unhealthy relationship between food and your body. Always remember: What works for one person may not work for another and vice versa. Focus on creating healthy habits in your life, rather than worrying about how much others are working out or what they're eating. Doing so will help keep you motivated when it comes time to make healthier choices in how you doing with your body.

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