Nutrition Month is an important time to raise awareness about the importance of healthy eating and maintaining an active lifestyle. A healthy, balanced diet is an essential part of a healthy life, but for many people it can seem daunting or complicated. In this article, we'll walk you through some simple changes you can make to your diet to make it healthier and more balanced.
Add vegetables and fruits to every meal
Vegetables and fruits are important sources of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and fiber. Try adding vegetables and fruits to every meal to boost your nutrient intake. For example, you can add vegetables to your morning eggs, or fruit for dessert after dinner.
Choose whole foods over processed ones
Processed foods are often high in sugar, salt, and fat, and may be less nutritious than whole foods. Choose whole foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, lean meats, low fat dairy products and whole grains. (See the article:Processed foods and the NOVA classification)
Reduce your sugar intake
Sugar is present in many processed foods, such as sugary drinks, breakfast cereals and pastries. Reduce your sugar intake by opting for healthier alternatives like fruit, natural yogurt, or nuts and seeds. A tip (which also applies to the next point): before putting certain items in your grocery cart, you can look at the nutritional values and see if there is a less sugary option available.
Limit your salt intake
Salt is an essential part of our diet, but excessive consumption can increase the risk of diseases like high blood pressure. Limit your salt intake by avoiding processed foods high in salt, cooking your own meals with herbs and spices, and avoiding adding salt at the table. (See the article:High blood pressure: how to control it and the DASH diet)
Drink enough water
Water is essential to our health and well-being. Drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated and keep your body functioning optimally. Avoid sugary or carbonated drinks which can contain empty calories and add sugars to your diet. My trick: add a few slices of fruit or herbs to your water to flavor it, in a big bottle that you want to empty in your day. Ex: strawberries, cucumber, mint, or one of my favorite choices, 2-3dried mandarin crisps of Fit-Fit... Hummmmm... delicious to savour!
Eat lean protein
Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle tissue, but not all protein sources are equal when it comes to health. THEprotein lean foods such as fish, chicken, turkey, beans, lentils andnut are healthy options to add to your diet.
Avoid trans fats
Trans fats are often found in processed foods, such as fried foods, pastries, snacks, and baked goods. They can raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Avoid trans fats by opting for natural, whole foods, and avoiding high-fat processed foods. (See the article:Tips for lowering bad cholesterol)
Take the time to savor your meals
Eating quickly or without taking the time to savor your food can lead to overeating and difficult digestion. Take the time to savor your meals, chewing slowly and enjoying the flavors and textures of the food. It may also help improve your digestion and overall satisfaction with food.
Plan your meals in advance
Planning your meals in advance can help you avoid unhealthy food choices, as well as save time and money. Try to plan your meals in advance for the week, and prepare your food ahead of time to avoid being tempted to order fast food or ready meals. (See the article:« Sunday Meal Prep for Healthy Eatingt) In the end, you will surely see your grocery bill drop too, because impulse purchases are often more expensive than what is planned in advance with a full stomach!
Ultimately, Nutrition Month is aimportant period to raise public awareness of the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. By making a few simple changes to your diet, you can improve your long-term health and well-being.To learn more about nutrition and healthy eating, check out resources from the World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Program (WFP), or your local doctor or nutritionist.