4 Steps for Eating Healthier
Changing the way you eat can improve your health. It can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and help you stay at a healthy weight. Your diet doesn't have to be bland and boring to be healthy. Just watch your calories and follow these steps:
1. Eat fewer unhealthy fats
- Choose more fish and lean meats instead of fatty cuts of meat.
- Skip butter and lard, and use less margarine.
- Pass on foods that have palm, coconut, or hydrogenated oils.
- Eat fewer high-fat dairy foods like cheese, ice cream, and whole milk.
- Get a heart-healthy cookbook and try some low-fat recipes.
2. Go light on salt
- Keep the saltshaker off the table.
- Limit high-salt ingredients, such as soy sauce, bouillon, and garlic salt.
- Instead of adding salt when cooking, season your food with herbs and flavorings. Try lemon, garlic, and onion.
- Limit convenience foods, such as boxed or canned foods and restaurant food.
- Read food labels and choose lower-sodium options.
3. Limit sugar
- Pause before you add sugars to pancakes, cereal, coffee, or tea. This includes white and brown table sugar, syrup, honey, and molasses. Cut your usual amount by half.
- Use non-sugar sweeteners. Stevia, aspartame, and sucralose can satisfy a sweet tooth without adding calories.
- Swap out sugar-filled soda and other drinks. Buy sugar-free or low-calorie beverages. Remember water is always the best choice.
- Read labels and choose foods with less added sugar. Keep in mind that dairy foods and foods with fruit will have some natural sugar.
- Cut the sugar in recipes by 1/3 to 1/2. Boost the flavor with extracts like almond, vanilla, or orange. Or add spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.
4. Eat more fiber
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
- Boost your diet with whole grains. Go for oats, whole-grain rice, and bran.
- Add beans and lentils to your meals.
- Drink more water to match your fiber increase. This is to help prevent constipation.