Eating a balanced, healthy diet is very important, especially for maintaining good health. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult either. In order to get started, just follow these 11 healthy dieting tips.
1. Consume starchy foods
It is highly recommended that you consume starchy foods. It should make up around 1/3 of the foods you consume. Starchy foods include bread, rice, pasta, cereals, and potatoes.
Choose wholegrain varieties when you can, because they can help you feel full, and contain more fiber. Most people don’t eat enough starchy foods. You should try to include at least one starchy food with each main meal.
There are many people who think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbs they contain provide fewer than half the calories of fat.
2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
According to many experts, it is highly recommended that we eat at least 4 portions of different types of vegetables and fruit a day. This is easier than it actually sounds.
A single glass of unsweetened fruit juice can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count. Why not swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit, or chop a banana over your breakfast cereal? Go to your local grocery store and buy vegetables and fruits you like. Use them as your main dish or as a snack between meals.
3. Eat more fish
Fish contains many minerals and vitamins and is a good source of protein. It is recommended that you eat at least two portions of fish each week, including at least one portion of oily fish.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in oily fish, which can help to prevent heart disease. You can choose from canned, frozen and fresh, but keep in mind that smoked and canned fish can be high in salt.
Oily fish include pilchards, sardines, fresh tuna, herring, trout, mackerel, and salmon. Non-oily fish include hake, skate, tinned tuna, cod, plaice, and haddock. If you are eating lots of fish, try to choose as wide a variety as possible.
4. Cut Down on saturated fat
All of us need some fat in our diets. But, it is very important to pay attention to the type and amount of fat we are eating. Saturated and unsaturated fat are two main types of fat.
By consuming too much-saturated fat you can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood. This can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Saturated fat can be found in many foods, such as cakes, sausages, hard cheese, cream, biscuits, lard, butter, and pies.
You should try to cut down on your saturated fat intake, and choose foods which contain unsaturated fats instead, such as avocados, oily fish, and vegetable oils. For a healthier choice, use just small amount of reduced-fat spread instead of butter, ghee or lard or vegetable oil. When you are having meat, cut off any visible fat and choose lean cuts.
5. Cut down on sugar
Today, most people eat and drink too much sugar. Sugars drinks and foods, including alcoholic drinks, are usually high in energy, and if eaten too often, can contribute to weight gain.
In addition, the can also cause tooth decay, especially if consumed between meals. Cut down on sugary fizzy drinks, sugary breakfast cereals, biscuits, cakes, alcoholic drinks, and pastries, which contain added sugars. This is the kind of sugar we should be cutting down on, rather than sugars which are found in things, such as milk and fruit.
6. Eat less salt
You may still be eating too much salt, even if you don’t add it to your food. About ¾ of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as sauces, bread, soups and breakfast cereals. By eating too much salt, you can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to have a stroke or develop heart disease.
You should use food labels to help you cut down on salt. If a certain food contains more than 1.5 grams of salt per 100 grams, it is high in salt. It is recommended that adults and children over 11 eat no more than 6 grams of salt per day. Younger children should consume even less.
7. Get active
Eating a balanced, healthy diet is important in maintaining a healthy weight, which is an important part of overall health.
Being obese or overweight can lead to health conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain cancers. On the other hand, being underweight could also affect your health.
Most adult people need to lose weight and need to eat fewer calories to achieve this. If you are trying to lose weight, be more active and aim to eat less. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, and aim to cut down on foods which are high in sugar and fat. Keep in mind that alcohol is also high in calories. Therefore, cutting down can help you to control your weight.
8. Don’t get thirsty
It is recommended that we drink about 1.5 to 2 liters of fluid each day to stop us getting dehydrated. Don’t forget that this is in addition to the fluid which we get from the food we eat.
Although all non-alcoholic drinks count, lower-fat milk and especially water are healthier choices. You should try to avoid fizzy and sugary soft drinks which are high in added sugars as well as calories, and are also bad for your teeth. Try to limit even unsweetened fruit juice, because it is also sugary. Drink no more than one glass of fruit juice each day.
9. Don’t skip breakfast
There are many people who think that by skipping breakfast they will lose some excess weight. However, the truth is opposite. Many studies have shown that eating breakfast can help people control their weight.
A healthy breakfast provides some of the minerals and vitamins we need for good health and is an important part of balanced diet. A whole grain, lower-sugar cereal topped with fruit slices is a nutritious and tasty breakfast idea. You can find more ideas in cookbooks, or you can search online.
10. Snack smart
According to many nutritionists, there is no need to skip a snack to lose excess weight. All you have to do is choose the right snack. Researchers have found that people who ate a snack containing about 25 grams of protein felt fuller and were also less likely to snack later in the day, particularly on unhealthy foods which are high in fat and sugar. Search online for many tasty and healthy snack ideas.
11. Stick to the plan
Should you cut fats or cut carbohydrates? Should you eat only 3 meals a day or 7 meals? You might be confused by sorting through the myriad of diets.
But, you can increase your chances of losing excess weight as long as you stick to one healthy-eating plan. In one study, researchers have analyzed the results of more than 6,000 obese and overweight adults who followed either low-fat and low-carb diets.
After a few months, the low-fat group lost 17 pounds more and the low-carb group lost 19 pounds more than those who didn’t follow a diet at all. However, both diet groups lost the same amount of weight by the end of the year. This was still significantly greater compared to the group which didn’t stick to a plan. Consistency is the key. Choose a diet which fits within your lifestyle, and achieve your goals.