Healthy Eating Tips and Habits
Eating more healthily can be difficult, there are no two ways about it. Thankfully, there are a few simple changes that you can make to your diet to ensure that you’re eating as healthy as possible.
In this article, we’re going to let you know what our favorite small tips and tricks are for simple healthy eating.
Try to base your diet around starchy carbs
In the ideal healthy diet, roughly a third of everything you eat should be starchy carbs. ‘Starchy carbs’ includes a number of different foodstuffs, but mostly the best ones to aim for are potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, and cereals.
Generally speaking, it’s worth trying to choose higher fiber or whole grain varieties of these foods, as they will keep you fuller for longer. Also, diets that have a higher level of fiber in them lead to better bowel health than diets where people don’t have sufficient fiber intake. Great examples of easy swaps to high-fiber versions of food could be standard dried pasta to whole wheat pasta, or perhaps white rice to brown rice.
With each main meal that you have throughout the day, try to include at least one starchy food. This may seem excessive, because of a common misconception about the calorie content of fibrous food.
Generally speaking, people often think that fibrous food is more fattening than an equivalent with less fiber. This isn’t the case! In fact, gram for gram the carbohydrate in starchy food provides fewer than half the calories of fat.
Something to bear in mind when cooking or serving starchy carbs is the fat content of anything that you add. For example, adding oil to chips, butter to bread, and creamy sauces to the pasta will all increase the overall calorie count.
Fruit and Veggies
Fruit and vegetables are great sources of a huge number of different vitamins and minerals that you need to stay healthy. It’s recommended that you try to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg a day, in whatever form you like best. These portions can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or juiced - this can make actually getting the fruit and veg into your system much easier.
Getting your five a day is a lot easier than you might initially think. For example, why not chop up a banana over your breakfast? You could also swap out one of the snacks that you have in the day with a piece of fresh fruit - it will fill you up, and it will also be much healthier than a bag of crisps.
One portion of fresh, canned, or frozen fruit is eighty grams. A portion of dried fruit (generally, try to keep dried fruit to mealtimes) is thirty grams, due to how much food can shrink and lighten during the drying process.
Also, a single portion of fruit juice or smoothie is 150ml. This is a great amount, make sure to stick to it - those types of drink are especially high in sugar and acid, and can damage your teeth over time.
Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish
Fish is a fantastic source of everything good that you need in your diet, and it’s daily low in fat too. Primarily, fish is a great source of protein and contains a great number of vitamins and minerals.
Ideally, try to aim for two portions of fish in a week, and make one of them a portion of oily fish. While that might seem like a lot, you could try to have a tuna sandwich one day, and salmon fillets for dinner another - it isn’t too much when you start to take a step back and look at it a little more abstractly.
Oily fish are notoriously good for you, as they’re high in omega-3 fats, which may help prevent heart disease. Oily fish is also known to be good for the general health of your brain, which is always good.
Some great examples of oily fish are salmon, trout, and sardines. Personally, we love to eat salmon with honey and garlic sauce, it’s delicious! Non-oily fish include haddock, cod, and tuna. Tuna steaks have gained popularity in recent years, and they’re great - give them a go!
Cut down on saturated fats
Up until this point, we’ve been focussing on what would be a great thing to add to your diet. This point is going to be about things that you would be wise to avoid.
To cut a long story short, there are a number of different types of fats out there, and while some of them are beneficial and necessary, it’s worth avoiding certain other types.
The two main types of fat are saturated and unsaturated. Having too much saturated fat in your diet can increase the amount of cholesterol in your body, which, in turn, increases your risk of heart disease. As a rule of thumb, men should have no more than thirty grams of saturated fat per day.
On the other hand, women should have no more than twenty grams of saturated fat a day. Saturated fat is found in many different foodstuffs. To be on the safe side, try to avoid foods that contain an excess of butter, hard cheese, cream, or lard. This includes fried foods, as well as foods heavy in pastry or fatty cuts of meat.
In your diet, you can try to replace these unhealthy fats with ones that would be better for your body - a greater intake of unsaturated fats is wise and healthy. Great foods with unsaturated fats are vegetable oils, oily fish, and avocados.
There is a jumper of different things that you can do to eat more healthily in your day to day diet, and these are just a few of them. Try making a few of these small swaps that we suggest here, and we’re sure that you’ll see the benefits in no time at all!
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