LIVING WITH A HEALTHY DIET

Diet should be seen as an important component of our everyday lives. What you eat will determine factors such as health, weight, mood, stress, and energy. As our bodies age, a eating healthy becomes much more important to maintain. But developing and sticking with healthy eating habits doesn’t have to be restrictive or overwhelming. By taking small steps every day you can improve your diet and your health and wellness along with it.

Definition of a Healthy Diet
The first part of building a healthy diet is to make sure to incorporate a balance from each of the food groups at every meal. Selecting healthy options from these sources will sustain a healthy body.

Protein
Protein is an energy source that sustains lean muscles mass. It also contributes to mood and cognitive function. The latest research suggests that many of us are not getting enough protein in our diets, especially as we age. You can get your required amount of protein through lean meats, and also through some plant based sources.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Most of your carbohydrate intake should come from complex, unrefined sources such as vegetables, whole grains, or fruit. You should consciously cut back on refined carbs that have been stripped of nutrients (white bread, pastries, starches, and sugar). These types of carbohydrates can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, fluctuations in mood and energy, and a build-up of fat, especially around your waistline.

Fat
It is a general misconception that all fat should be eliminated from a healthy diet. But your body actually needs a certain amount of good fats in order to function at its best. Sources of good fats can include fish, nuts, and beans. Fish, in particular, carries omega-3s that are vital to your physical and brain health.

Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. The recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables is at least five servings. An example of a serving is half a cup of raw veggies or a small apple or banana. Most of us are not getting enough fruits and vegetables in our diets.

Fiber and Calcium
There is often a lack of both fiber and calcium in most American diets. Eating foods high in fiber like grains, fruit,and beans can help you stay regular and lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Calcium builds strong bones and teeth. Not getting enough calcium in your diet can lead to osteoporosis.

Setting yourself up for success
Keeping up with a healthy diet doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you remain too strict in your approach you’re liable to abandon it all together. Realizing that this is a more of a lifestyle change rather than a diet will release the pressure of it. You don’t have to cut out your favorite foods
entirely, just enjoy them with more moderation. One of the best tips you can use to set yourself up for a healthy lifestyle transition is to plan ahead.

Prepare more of your own meals at home to avoid excess sugars, salts, and hidden fats that can come from eating out.

Take small steps when cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet. Replacing some of your favorite foods with healthy alternatives will make a positive difference to your health. There are many healthy diet recipes online that taste delicious but avoid the chemical additives, sugar, and
unhealthy fats that can leave you feeling tired, bloated, and irritable.

Focus on how you feel after eating. Rather than getting too caught up in labels, scales, and journals, you can focus instead on how you feel after eating certain foods. If there is significant bloating, nausea, or fatigue after a meal you know to cut back on these options. However, if you feel energized after eating these options should remain a part of your day. The healthier the food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal.

Drink plenty of water. This is often an overlooked aspect of a healthy diet. Drinking enough water helps to flush out our systems and eliminate waste products and toxins. Not consuming enough water will leave you dehydrated which causes fatigue and headaches. Drinking enough water can also leave you feeling fuller longer which is helpful when shedding pounds.

Healthy eating does not mean deprivation. It’s a few simple changes, made daily, to help your body perform at its best for many years to come. By incorporating simple tips you can learn how to create tasty, varied, and nutritious meals that leave you feeling full, satisfied, and energized.

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