Are you one of those persons who believe that you can’t afford to adopt a healthy diet because eating healthy is very expensive? I hear that a lot but guess what, you can in fact adopt a healthy diet without it costing you any more than your usual grocery bill. Not convinced? Well, take a look at these tips that show you the Best Ways to Start Eating Healthy,
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Not only are fruits and vegetables delicious, they provide you with loads of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants which fight off the free radicals in the body.
There are so many benefits to eating fruits and vegetables. They’re an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help to prevent constipation and other problems of the digestive tract. A diet high in fiber can also reduce your risk of colon cancer.
It’s not hard to eat more fruits, is it? After all, they are so tasty. Even children love them.
Aim for 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Eat less refined and more whole grain foods
The more refined the food, the more nutrients and fiber have been removed so keep this in mind when you are doing your grocery shopping.
If you need bread? Grab the whole wheat and leave the white bread on the shelf. Choose brown rice over white, whole wheat flour over white flour, whole cornmeal instead of the refined one. Experiment with other grains such as Bulgar and quinoa.
A diet rich in whole grains contains lots of nutrients and fiber and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer.
Eat less processed foods and more whole plant foods
The processed food industry has taken the world by storm. The beginning of the industry saw foods processed in very simple manner. Drying, canning, pasteurizing were earlier methods of preserving food but nowadays lots of chemicals are used in the preservation process.
Processing foods have gone past the idea of preserving food. A lot of processed foods are now ready to eat foods. Pull and eat directly from the pack or toss in the oven for a few minutes. It makes life easier but definitely not healthier because nowadays instead of food, we are eating……we know not what. We can’t even pronounce the names of the things we are consuming. Instead of our food coming from the farm, it is coming from a lab.
Be assured that the food that comes out of the ground is the real deal. After all, that is what the creator of man provided for man to eat. And He should know.
So you want to eat healthy…..cut down on the processed foods and increase your intake of whole plant food.
Increase intake of seeds and nuts
Nuts and seeds are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide protein and healthy fats. They are also a very good source of fiber. Nuts make delicious and healthy snacks as well. Instead of going for the donuts, try a handful of pistachio or roasted almonds.
Toss some sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds into the oven and roast for a few minutes. These are delicious as a snack. Or you may make your snack even more interesting by adding some roasted nuts such as cashew, pecans and almonds along with some raisin and dried cranberry. Delicious, healthy, guilt-free snack. Roasted peanuts are great too (even though peanut is not really a nut)
Don’t forget your nut loaves and nut butter.
Cut down on your sugar intake
You probably don’t even think you eat too much sugar but just pause and think over what you had today. Did you have a donut or two, maybe some other cake or pie, Maybe you had some ice cream or a chocolate bar. All right. Maybe you didn’t have any pastry. You only had a couple cans of soda. Not good at all. Guess what? It all adds up. Before you know it you have had way too much sugar.
Cut down on salt
Too much salt is really not good. Worse if you have high blood pressure or are at risk for the disease. The recommended daily allowance for salt is 2300 mg or approximately 1 teaspoon per day. Unfortunately, most people far surpass that amount each day. You might be saying “But I don’t eat a lot of salt”. You are probable unaware of the amount of salt you are actually consuming.
Let’s say you missed breakfast this morning and stopped by a fast food establishment and ordered two pancakes with butter and syrup. Can you guess how much salt you would consume in that meal? Approximately 1104 mg. Can you imagine that. Let’s say that to start off your lunch you had a cup of canned vegetable soup…the nice chunky type. Well that’s another 1010 mg of salt. So you have consumed a grand total of 2114 mg of salt and you have not yet finished lunch and dinner is to come.
Pay attention to your choice of food or your method of preparation. It is so easy to go way over your daily recommended allowance.
Sea Salt: the way to go.
While we are on the subject of salt, substitute the unhealthy table salt for some good sea salt such as Himalayan Pink Salt or Celtic Salt. These salts contain over 80 minerals and trace elements and are actually healthy for you when taken in the right amounts.
Drinks lots of water
I am sure you know this already. The body needs water to keep it healthy. Water flushes body waste, lubricate joints, acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord, regulates body temperature, keeps mucosal membranes moist and there are many other functions. So many functions. No wonder the body is made up of almost 70% water.
We lose water constantly through respiration and excretion. We have to ensure that we replace it so that the body will not become dehydrated. Aim for at least 8 glasses per day. Ditch all those sodas and sugary drinks. Water is so much better for you.
Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is often the one that gets skipped because someone is running late. Not a good habit at all.
After your body has been resting and fasting all night it needs the boost to get the metabolism going. In fact, studies have shown that breakfast is good for your overall health. In addition to the energy it provides for you to go through your day, breakfast is known to improve memory, mood and concentration.
I had a pre and post breakfast experience several years ago while at university.
I had skipped breakfast that morning and now I was in class. The professor was giving his lecture and I was trying hard to make some notes but I could not concentrate. Every time I thought to jot down something I lost my train of thought completely and could not remember what I wanted to write. I was really worried. I wondered if something had gone wrong with my brain. Fortunately, we got an early mid-morning break and I got something to eat. When the class resumed….wonder of wonders…..I was able to make my notes without any problems. The difference was so remarkable. If at any time I doubted the importance of breakfast, that experience certainly convinced me.
Eat regularly scheduled meals
Following on the breakfast thought, try to eat regular meals at regular times. One thing that does is to ensure that you don’t get too hungry because you have missed a meal and then end up overeating to get rid of the hunger pains. Also, when you allow yourself to become too hungry you easily fall into the temptation of grabbing the nearest unhealthy food.
Hold back on the eating between meals
This will be much easier to accomplish if you eat regularly scheduled meals as suggested above. The stomach needs a good 4 to 5 hours between meals to rest. If you eat between the meals the stomach will be overtaxed due to lack of rest and this can result in ill health.
Don’t eat a large meal shortly before bedtime….
Unless your aim is to experience confusing dreams and nightmares.
In addition, the body’s metabolism slows down while you are asleep. Because the digestion process is slowed, the food remains undigested in the system for a long time. You don’t want to have all that undigested food putrefying in your stomach do you? I didn’t think so.
Try to have your last large meal at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
Don’t eat and drink at the same time
This is hard to do if it has been your practice all your life but guess what it is do-able. That used to be my habit many years ago but I so got over it. I am sure that you can do it too.
Are you wondering why you should not eat and drink at the same time? Well what happens is this.
When you eat, digestive juices act on the food to break it down. When you drink, the digestive juices are diluted and become less efficient in the digestive process. This results in the food remaining in the digestive tract too long and this can result in health issues.
Cut down on the fried foods
Although it is so tasty, eating a lot of fried foods is associated with a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Eating fried foods may also contribute to high blood pressure and decreased HDL (good) Cholesterol.
Also the oils that are most times used for frying are usually unstable, unhealthy hydrogenated oils.
Don’t think you can live without your french fries? Pop you potatoes in the oven for some baked “fries”. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Chew your food properly
Not many persons consider chewing their food a function of healthy eating. Afterall it is such an obviously necessary action. The fact though is some people don’t chew their food properly. Have you ever seen someone appear to be drinking their food? By the time the forkful is placed in their mouth, they swallow.
That food is definitely not properly masticated and the food does not spend enough time in the mouth for the digestive process to start. This gives the body more work to break down the food.
What can we conclude?
If you adopted all those habits listed, how much more would it cost you at the grocers?
Even though many persons have the misconception that eating healthy is an expensive venture we can conclude that it is more about developing good habits than it is about buying expensive foods.
You can start eating healthily today without it costing you a cent more. As a matter of fact, you can even save by eating healthier and we have not yet even factored in the decreased doctors bill that will result.
What’s holding you back?
Start eating healthy today.
Do you have any further tips that you can suggest? Please share them in the comments section below. We would certainly appreciate it.