Easy Steps to Healthy Eating Habits

Enjoy ALL Foods and Be Healthy

Moderation not deprivation is the key

1. Eat a Variety of Foods

You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health and no single food can supply them all. Today's food supply makes it easy to eat a wide variety of foods whether or not you are buying fresh foods to cook, taking advantage of ready-prepared dishes and meals or buying "take-away" foods. Balance your choice over time! If you have a high-fat lunch, have a low-fat dinner. If you eat a large serving of meat at dinner one day, perhaps choose fish the next day

2.  Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in "whole" carbohydrates yet limit refined carbohydrates.

Examples of whole carbs include vegetables, whole fruit, legumes, potatoes and whole grains. These foods are generally healthy. On the other hand, refined carbs include sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice and others.

3. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables

Most of us do not eat enough of these foods either although they provide important protective nutrients. Try to eat at least five servings a day and if you do not enjoy them at first - try some new recipes or see what ready prepared dishes are available in the supermarket.

4. Choose good fats over bad fats.

DO NOT AVOID all fats ... fat is essential to body function.  Note: all fats are not created equal.  I will write a more in-depth blog on this subject but for the sake of keeping it simple - Bad fats (saturated and trams fats are known links of clogged arteries and deprives heart, blood, and brain of needed oxygen.  Good fats (Omega 3 called DHA) are central to a child's brain development, eyesight, and heart health. Foods rich in good fats are fish, nuts, avocados. 

5. Remove guilt.

There are no 'good' or 'bad' foods, only good or bad diets. Don't feel guilty about the foods you love, rather eat them in moderation and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.

6. Eat moderate portions - reduce, don't eliminate foods

If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it's easier to eat all the foods you enjoy without having to eliminate any. For example, some reasonable serving sizes are: 100g of meat; one medium piece of fruit, half a cup of raw pasta and 50ml of ice-cream. Ready-prepared meals can offer a handy means of portion control and they often have the calorie values on the pack to help those who are counting. If you are eating out, you could share a portion with a friend.

7. Eat regularly

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help curb hunger, but don't eat so much as to substitute for proper meals. Don't forget to count your snacks as part of your total calorie intake.

8. Drink plenty of fluids

Adults need to drink at least 1.5 liters of fluid a day! More may be needed if it's very hot or they are physically active. Plain tap water is obviously a good source of liquid but variety can be both pleasant and healthy. Alternative choices are juices, soft drinks, tea, coffee, milk etc.

9. Get Active

Increasing activity can bring about  a healthier attitude in general.  Once you make the choice to become more active your body will need a balanced level of nutrients to supply the needed energy to maintain the activity.  Combing nutrients with exercise stimulates hormones in the brain creating clearer thought and a sense of well-being.

10. Start now! - and make changes gradually

Gradual changes in your lifestyle are much easier to make than major changes all at once. For three days, write down the foods and drinks you consume at meals and as snacks - Do you have too few fruits and or portions of vegetables? To start with, try to eat just one extra piece of fruit and vegetables a day. Are your favorite foods high in fat and making you gain weight? Don't eliminate those foods and feel miserable, but try to choose low fat options or eat smaller portions. And start using the stairs at work!

Remember, it is all about balance