A healthy diet can go a long way in illness prevention and quality of life, but demonizing foods and restricting diets isn’t the answer. Stigma and societal beauty standards are still highly present in many conversations about nutrition and diet culture. This article looks at the factors that can contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle with all bodies in mind. Keep reading to learn how to incorporate some healthy and delicious habits into your daily routine!
Positive ways to approach healthy eating
Every single body is unique in its nutritional needs. Still, there are some good rules to help guide your grocery list and encourage a feeling of good health in addition to preventing heart disease and strokes, diminishing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and reducing the strain on your organs such as the liver and stomach. Many people profit off of delivering advice on food – be wary of anyone who outright demonizes foods or ingredients! In many cases, these claims are unsupported and can make eating healthy feel impossible. Instead, these five guidelines can help make eating healthy a breeze.
1. Listen to your body
Your body is pretty good at telling you when you’re dehydrated, if you’ve been enjoying too much of one kind of snack, or if you need to add more dietary fibre into your day. Irregular bowel movements, headaches, dark or infrequent urine, upset stomach, bloating, dry skin, and brittle nails can all be indications to change up your daily meals. Experiment with your daily eating habits and add more fresh, raw fruits and vegetables to your day. In addition, ongoing research into the effect of your diet on your mood suggests there could be a link – more reasons to add a handful of carrot sticks to your lunch!
2. Moderation is a great strategy
Eating healthy foods need not be complicated. Finding a balance is the key to creating a good relationship with your daily menu. Nothing is off the table, especially if you focus on staying hydrated and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. For thinking about your daily meals, try to think of 60% fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
3. Choose foods that support your activity level
Regular physical activity is a part of a healthy lifestyle. If you start a new physical activity, you should adjust the amount and type of food you eat in a day. The more activity you engage in, the more energy your body will need! Restricting calories while engaging in physical activity can be dangerous, especially over time. In addition, cutting calories while exercising will lead to a loss in muscle density and slow your metabolic system. Try changing your meals to incorporate foods that have high protein and are nutritionally dense such as dark leafy greens, nuts, and eggs.
4. Choose whole grains
Whole grains are an effective complex carb that fills your belly for longer, as they are slower for your body to digest. In addition, they also provide greater nutrients and fibre content. Try oatmeal instead of cereal, whole grain rice varieties, and whole wheat pasta and bread. This simple change can make a huge difference!
5. Snacking is always a yes
Snacking is a great way to focus while working, enjoy a movie, or keep yourself fueled throughout the day. Choosing healthy snacks like nuts, fruits and vegetables, or legumes is a great way to fuel your body and make healthy eating accessible. Explore the many diverse foods available at your local grocery store, or learn to make your own dried fruits, roasted beans, kale chips and more! This is also a fun activity for the whole family and encourages everyone to play with new flavours and foods.
Easy ways to incorporate healthy food into your day
1. Boost your smoothie
Adding delicious ingredients like spinach, kale, parsley, and carrots to your fruit smoothie can add nutrition while still being sweet, cold, and delicious! In addition, yogurt, protein powders, and flaxseed are all great additions to boost the nutritional density of this tasty drink.
2. Snack a little
Prepping fruits for snacks can be a great way to make them easier to snack on throughout the day. Try adding a bag of strawberries or a container of melon chunks to your lunch! When things are easily accessible, and in view, they are often easier to enjoy.
3. Eat your breakfast
Breakfast is the meal that sets the tone for your day. You don’t have to eat as soon as you wake up, but always treat this meal as a vital part of your diet. Whole grains such as rice and porridge, fruits and vegetables, and protein from nuts, dairy, and eggs make a great breakfast.
4. Pack a lunch
Packing your own lunch doesn’t have to be a drag. Experiment with flavours, dishes, and ingredients to give life to your lunchbox. Ditch the conventional sandwich and try a bento box, pesto dip, charcuterie tray, or curry bowl––you can create incredible lunches easily.
5. Try adding fermented foods to your daily repertoire
From kimchi to Kefir, fermented foods provide gut support while making a nutritional snack. Foods like tempeh, miso, yogurt, and sauerkraut are packed with probiotics and flavour and can be a delicious way to bolster a healthy diet.
Play is the most key factor in healthy diets
Exploring the world of food is one of the best ways to encourage healthy eating. When we are restrictive, demonize certain ingredients, or lean on unsubstantiated claims for dieting and health, it can become stressful to eat every day––and reducing stress is a key player in dietary health. Play and curiosity encourage us to consume all kinds of foods from around the world and learn to enjoy eating with a balanced and diverse diet. From meal kits to farmers’ markets, there are many ways to try local, fresh ingredients and learn to find pleasure in cooking and sharing food.