Healthy eating habits are fundamental, regardless of what the latest fad diet is, some tips for nutrition never go out of style. Popular diets like Paleo, Gluten-Free or South Beach focus on cutting certain foods out of your diet. While they have the right idea to some extent, truly healthy nutrition isn’t so much about what you cut out of your diet, but rather, what you put into it.
When you are eating a healthy, balanced diet overall, there’s no need to cut out the foods you love, so long as you keep it in moderation. Here are 5 ways to make that happen.
Health groups, like the American Heart Association, claim that saturated fat contributes to heart disease and high cholesterol. However, your body does need some fat to function at its optimal level. The trick is: instead of saturated fats, reach for mono or polyunsaturated fats instead.
These include things like substituting butter for olive oil or snacking on nuts instead of fried foods. Healthier fats work to lubricate your joints and fuel your body without packing on excess pounds.
Eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables is a key component for a healthy diet. Aim to fill your diet with foods in as many different colours as you can. Each colour of the rainbow contributes its own set of vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. As an added benefit, fruits and vegetables fill you up without contributing too many excess calories, helping you to keep your weight in check.
When shopping, go organic whenever possible. For products that you eat the skin, you’ll save yourself from ingesting pesticides. For products that you peel, only eating the inside, it’s fine to buy regular ones.
Carbohydrates get a bad rap because so many popular diets restrict them. However, your body needs carbs for energy. The key to incorporating carbs into nutrition is to focus on whole-grain versions, rather than processed, white versions. Whole-grain carbs provide more energy, keep you feeling fuller for longer, and add plenty of fibre to your diet to keep your digestive system running smoothly.
Eating more carbs will give you the energy you need to power through your workouts to keep your body in top shape.
To give more power to your workouts and to help build muscle, you need to fill up on lean proteins. This includes things like chicken, fish and lean beef. Try to stay away from overly fatty cuts of meat, like the belly and rump cuts. When you have plenty of protein in your diet, your body has the fuel it needs to burn off fat and keep your energy up throughout the day.
Protein takes a while to digest so that full feeling stays with you longer.
When it comes to creating healthy eating habits, most people break down when it’s time to do the grocery shopping, just grabbing whatever looks good and throwing it into the basket. However, this is a recipe for disaster. Come up with a shopping list before you head to the market to keep yourself on track with healthy foods.
Another trick to keep you motivated is to shop for food after you have just finished a workout. You’ll be more motivated to continue to make healthy choices. Stay around the outside edges of the store, because that is where the healthiest foods are. Try to stay out of the processed food-filled middle.