A healthy diet is important for everyone, regardless of age or activity level. Eating a healthy diet has many benefits, such as reducing the likelihood of having chronic medical conditions like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Having a balanced, healthy diet can also help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Have more energy
- Reduce your stress levels
- Improve your mood
We’ve listed five simple habits to help you start eating a healthy diet today.
Healthy eating is more than just what you eat—it’s about developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Mindful eating means being aware of what you are eating and why. Pay attention to your body’s signals, such as hunger and fullness. Likewise, slow down and appreciate the textures and flavours of your food. This will help you eat less and enjoy your food more.
If you plan ahead, you are less likely to make unhealthy choices. You can also look for recipes that are nutritious and simple to make. Prepare meals or snacks in advance, bring a healthy lunch to work, and pack snacks for when you’re on the go.
In addition, consider involving others in planning, preparing, and eating meals. This will help make healthy eating more fun and social.
Developing healthy eating habits is only sustainable if you enjoy the process. Try not to stress about food and weight. Instead, focus on fueling your body with healthy foods that you love. When you enjoy your food, you’re more likely to stick with healthy eating habits.
One tip: try embracing culture and diversity when it comes to food. This will help you discover new foods to enjoy and expand your healthy eating repertoire.
There are plenty of foods that have been shown to be beneficial for our health, so aim to include plenty of different types in your diet:
- Fruits and vegetables: These should make up most of your diet, as they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that can protect against disease. Try to include a variety of different colours in your meals to get the most benefit.
- Whole grains: These contain fibre and other important nutrients which help keep us healthy. Choose whole-grain versions of bread, pasta, and rice whenever possible.
- Proteins: Proteins are essential for building and maintaining muscle and can also help to keep us feeling full. Make sure to choose lean protein sources like fish or chicken and avoid processed meats.
- Healthy fats: Compared to saturated fats, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can help to improve our health. Healthy fats can be found in nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocado.
As highly processed foods are hard to avoid, try to eat them less often and in small amounts. If given a choice, pick healthier food options when eating out.
In addition, instead of sugary drinks like iced teas and milk teas, make water your drink of choice. Drinking plenty of water can help keep us hydrated, boost our metabolism, and improve our skin health.
Portion size is an important part of healthy eating. When you’re served a large portion, you may be more likely to overeat. Try to control your portion sizes by using smaller plates and bowls.
In addition, mind the portions of your different foods. For example, your grains and proteins should fill a quarter of your plate each. Likewise, make sure half your plate consists of fresh produce at every mealtime.
There is no one perfect way to eat healthily, but there are definitely some simple habits that can make a big difference. By applying some or all of these tips to your daily routine, you can start eating healthier without making too many changes or sacrifices.
To learn more about how to make healthy eating a part of your life, get in touch with Calgary Integrative Medicine today by calling 403-202-7272 or filling out our contact form to schedule your initial consultation.