If you want to lead a healthier life, developing nutritious eating habits is key. Doing so can reduce your risk for serious illnesses like heart disease and cancer.
Maintaining a diverse diet is essential for optimal health. Include plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans), nuts and seeds in your meals for added nutritional benefit.
1. Eat a variety of foods
A diet consisting of foods from all five major food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and dairy products – can ensure you get all your essential nutrients. It may also reduce your risk for developing certain health conditions and keep you feeling your best.
Maintaining a balanced diet requires more than just what you eat. Experiment with different recipes and ingredients to keep things interesting.
Some people enjoy eating the same meal every day, but this can lead to nutritional deficiencies and leave them feeling bored and unsatisfied.
2. Eat less saturated fat
One of the most detrimental eating habits for your health is an excessive consumption of saturated fat. This type of fat solidifies when exposed to room temperature and can be found in items like butter, lard, full-fat dairy products, meat products and cheese.
Saturated fats can raise your levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), which has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should limit saturated fat intake to less than 10% of total daily calories.
3. Eat smaller meals more often
Eating smaller meals more frequently has many advantages, including stabilizing blood sugar levels, relieving hunger and cravings, and aiding weight loss. It’s essential to consult a registered dietitian before making any changes to your meal pattern, however.
Smaller meals can also help with digestive issues like bloating or heartburn. Plus, eating smaller amounts more frequently makes it easier to meet your daily nutrient needs.
4. Drink water instead of sugary drinks
According to a new study, drinking water instead of sugary drinks may help you shed pounds. Replacing one serving of calorically dense soda with water can reduce daily calorie intake by around 240.
Sugary drinks like sweetened soda, sports drinks and energy drinks are high in calories and may lead to weight gain. Furthermore, they have been linked to health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
5. Eat when you’re hungry
Maintaining a healthy relationship with food is essential for reaching your weight loss objectives. Paying attention to your body’s hunger signals and learning how to eat in a way that supports you will give you the edge needed to succeed.
If you’re feeling hungry, make sure you eat a balanced meal with plenty of veggies, lean protein and healthy fats to stay satisfied and in control. Avoid foods that cause an abrupt spike in blood sugar levels such as cookies, candy, ice cream or soda; these will only lead to weight gain!
6. Get enough sleep
Sleep is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health. It has numerous benefits, from weight management and metabolism to brain function and mood regulation.
Even one night of poor sleep can have lasting consequences the following day, leaving you fatigued, moody and less productive at work or in your relationships.
In addition to good sleep hygiene (going to bed and waking up at the same time each day), your eating habits are also critical for quality sleep. Eating a diet low in fiber and high in saturated fat may reduce how much deep, restorative sleep you get.