10 tips for healthy eating

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How you cook is as important as what you cook when you have an eye on your health. You will also learn about tricks developed by professional chefs to save time and effort when preparing meals. You can ruin your long-term health if you combine nutritious food with too much salt, fat, sugar, and preservatives Learning to accurately double your recipes for company is also important, because some of your favorite recipes might not taste the same or turn out exactly as planned unless adjusted correctly.

  1. Limit sugar and salt: If you are eating wholesome, unprocessed foods, your sugar and salt intake should be minimal anyway unless you add these ingredients yourself. Sugar causes a slew of health concerns and is linked to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Salt is often overused, and this excess can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The body does need between ½ and 1 teaspoon of sodium per day, so use sea salt sparingly and watch added salt in the food you eat. [1]
  2. Simplify your food expectations: Healthy eating is a long-term commitment to yourself, so the plan you put in place to achieve this goal needs to be sustainable. You certainly don’t want to be measuring, weighing, and chronicling your food intake for the rest of your life, so toss out those expectations. Look for fresh, wholesome ingredients, eat a range of colors every day, and find simple-to-prepare recipes. [2]
  3. Eat vegetarian meals half the time: You don’t have to convert to a complete vegetarian lifestyle, but research is piling up that indicates a vegetable-based diet can improve general health and add years to your life. Fruits and vegetables are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. Eating a diet high in the saturated fat found in meat and dairy products can increase our risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. So ditch the meat and poultry at least three times a week. [3]
  4. Fruits and vegetables should be your diet base: The majority of your plate should be made up of a broad range of colorful, nutrient-packed produce. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, so it is difficult to overeat and gain weight when you make them the majority of the meal. [4]
  5. Eat healthy fat: Fat is not the enemy. You need healthy fats for almost every system in the body. Assuming you are a healthy weight, you should eat between 25 and 30 percent healthy fats per day. Healthy fats are monounsaturated fats (almonds, olive oil, seeds) and polyunsaturated fats, which include omega-3 and omega-6 (walnuts, flaxseed oil, fatty fish such as salmon). You should also eliminate or reduce saturated fats from your diet (mostly from animal sources) and trans fats (found in processed foods). [5] [6]
  6. Include protein in your diet: Protein contains the building blocks of the body in the form of 20 amino acids. The body can make most of these amino acids, but there are nine that only come from the food you eat. That means getting protein is important, but it should only represent about 30 percent of your diet. Quality sources of protein include lean poultry, lean meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, and soy products. [7]
  7. Watch your portion sizes: Healthy food can still cause weight gain when you eat too much of a good thing. You might have to weigh your meats, fish, and seafood initially so you get a good idea of what 5 or 6 ounces looks like on your plate. With a little practice you should be able to eyeball a healthy portion size. [8]
  8. Eat with company and no distractions: One of the true pleasures of eating is to share the meal with a person you love. This type of intimate, casual interaction is crucial after a stressful day. Eating together means talking, looking into each other’s eyes, and leaving the electronics away from the table. Mindful eating without the distraction of TV or other devices means you pay attention to your food and are less likely to overeat. [9]
  9. Plan to succeed: Meal planning is critical to maintaining a healthy diet because if you know what you are eating and have the ingredients on hand and the time to cook, it is unlikely you will pick up fat- and sodium-laden fast food or takeout.
  10. Read nutrition labels: Whole-grain pasta, lentils, and tomatoes are packaged products that you will probably buy for convenience. It should be second nature to scan the nutrition label on ingredients for hidden sugar, saturated fat, and sodium.

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