21 Ways to Eat Healthier Today
Eating healthy does not have to be a chore. At Central Drugs, we are here to help you fine-tune your diet to ensure you are getting the nutrition you need. Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help you live a longer, healthier, and happier life. To improve your diet, follow these 21 nutrition recommendations. If you would like to schedule a free nutrition consultation with one of our friendly pharmacists, please click here.
1. Eat five (or more) fruits and vegetables a day
Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Since no single fruit or vegetable can provide all the nutrients you need, it is important to diversify your diet and experiment with different foods.
2. Drink more water
Drinking extra water can help you consume less fat, sugar, salt, and calories throughout the day. It can also support normal kidney function and help you lose weight by replacing empty calories from soda, juice, and other sugary drinks.
3. Eat protein first thing in the morning
Protein reduces appetite and hunger levels, increases muscle mass and strength, and boosts your metabolism. Eating high-protein foods in the morning will help keep you full throughout the day.
4. Choose whole-grain bread
Replacing refined grains with whole grains can help you lower your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancers. Whole grains are also full of nutrients including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.
5. Swap regular yogurt for greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt. It is also lower in sugar and has more protein. Both are packed with probiotics that help support gut health.
6. Swap chips for popcorn
Popcorn is a whole grain that is low in calories and high in fiber. By swapping out potato chips for popcorn, you can fulfill your salty cravings and reduce your consumption of unhealthy fats.
7. Cook with extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil
Olive oil is a kitchen staple that is made up almost entirely of monounsaturated fat, which is high in antioxidants. Avocado oil is great for salad dressings and cooking, and is also composed primarily of monounsaturated fat. Coconut oil has a high smoke point, which makes it ideal for searing or sauteing.
8. Eat more fish
Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2. The best fish to eat for your health are salmon, cod, herring, mahi-mahi, and rainbow trout. Eat fish twice a week to lower your risk of heart disease and boost your brain health.
9. Cut down on saturated fat
You can do this by eating more fruits, vegetables, chicken, and fish, and reducing your consumption of full-fat dairy products and thick cuts of meats. Reducing your saturated fat intake can reduce your risk of obesity, high blood cholesterol, and heart disease.
10. Reduce your intake of sugar
When you eat too much sugar, you can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, and heart disease. The average person should consume no more than 24 grams of added sugar per day. To reduce your sugar intake, avoid sweetened beverages, processed foods, and prepackaged foods.
11. Add more fiber to your diet
Fiber is an essential nutrient that helps maintain your bowel health and control your blood sugar levels. Fiber also helps you maintain a healthier weight over time.
12. Eat regular meals
Eating regular meals can help you lose weight and boost your metabolism. By creating a regular routine, you can keep your energy levels up and stabilize your mood.
13. Add fresh herbs to your meals
Adding fresh herbs can improve the flavor of your meal and may provide anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour properties.
14. Swap sweets for fresh fruit
Fresh fruit is naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. It is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
15. Eat foods with phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are natural compounds found in plant foods. These compounds help prevent disease by neutralizing free radicals and enhancing your immunity. Citrus fruits, onions, broccoli, kale, celery, garlic, and hot peppers have high levels of phytochemicals.
16. Cut out soda
Soda is high in sugar and calories, which can contribute to weight can and other metabolic issues. Sugar-sweetened beverages have also been shown to accelerate the aging process at the cellular level.
17. Drink less alcohol
If you drink alcohol, you should consider limiting your intake to no more than one drink per day. Excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and serious health problems.
18. Skip store-bought salad dressings
Store-bought salad dressings often have extra calories, sodium, sugar, saturated fat, and preservatives. Next time you make a salad, skip the store-bought and use a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey instead.
19. Sneak in superfoods
Superfoods include salmon, blueberries, broccoli, eggs, greek yogurt, beans, walnuts, and oatmeal. These foods are high in fiber, antioxidants, and disease-fighting nutrients.
20. Cut down on sodium
High sodium intake can force your kidneys to retain excess fluid. To reduce sodium, use fresh, rather than packaged, vegetables and meat. Cook from scratch and add onions, garlic, herbs, and spices for extra flavor.
21. Slow down when you eat
Eating slowly and chewing your food properly can help you savor your food and reduce the overall amount of food you eat. When your food is fully chewed, it is also easier for your body to break down and absorb nutrients.
If you have any additional questions, please reach out to one of our pharmacists. We would be happy to discuss your overall diet and schedule you a free nutrition consultation! At Central Drugs, our business is your good health.