With the availability of plenty of healthy choices, knowing what to eat can be challenging. The food we eat can either nourish our bodies or can make us ill. Well, we all have different calorie needs based on gender, age, and activity level.
According to K-State, more than 37% of Americans are suffering from cardiovascular disease. Not only this, yearly 678,000 deaths in the US are related to nutrition-related diseases. Why does this happen? It is due to unhealthy food choices. These statistics clearly state that eating healthy food is not only important for our health but our overall well-being.
Apart from eating a healthy diet, it is also important to keep your body moving on a daily basis.
By making healthy food choices and keeping your body active, you can give yourself both the comfort you need and the daily nourishment your body needs to perform at its best.
5 Ways To Make Healthier Food Choices
The food choices we make matter a lot. They should add up to a fair, healthy diet. It includes eating plant-based foods than choosing highly-processed or ultra-processed foods.
However, you can choose food from all five groups and follow the tips below.
Consider whole-grain foods such as whole-grain bread and crackers, brown or wild rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and hulled barley. Whole-grain foods are rich in fiber, protein, and vitamin B which helps you stay healthy.
Choosing whole-grain food will be the right choice rather than choosing processed or refined grains like white bread and pasta. Try to avoid sweets, such as rolls, muffins, etc. These foods are rich in calories and made up of more than 50% fat. Lighter diets, such as food cake can satisfy your sweet tooth without adding fat to your food.
2. Fruits & Vegetables
Research has proved that eating fruits and vegetables are important to promote good health. In fact, fruits and vegetables should be the reason for a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Eating fruits and vegetable more often can help you reduce the risk of:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
Remember, never add unnecessary fats to vegetables and fruits. Simply avoid consuming margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Instead, you can use yogurt, healthy oils, and herbs.
Are you eating enough protein which is important for your body? If not, then start eating today! Proteins play a crucial role in the production and preservation of every cell in our bodies. It strengthens our cells and powers the body.
Nancy Waldeck, a chef and a dietitian at Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness at Piedmont, said “our bodies do not store protein. It is important to intake protein daily, which helps in keeping our cells in a good state,” she added.
Here are some diets which are rich in protein:
- Poultry – Chicken breasts are a healthy choice because they are low in fat and high in protein.
- Fish – Fish consists of Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and cold-water trout. If possible, it would be best to eat seafood twice a week.
- Beef, pork, veal, and lamb – Baking, broiling, and roasting are the best ways to prepare these meats.
Dairy products offer a unique combination of nutrients that work together to provide multiple health benefits, including optimal growth and development in children and minimize the risk of chronic disease. These nutrients include calcium, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, riboflavin, and more.
You can choose skim or non-dairy milk like soy, rice, or almond milk. Skim ricotta can substitute cream cheese on a bagel or in a vegetable dip. Use 1% cheese for salads and cooking. String cheese is a low-fat, high-calcium meal choice.
Try to avoid buttermilk, yogurt made with whole milk, ice cream, regular cream cheese, and regular cottage cheese.
5. Fats, Oils & Sweets
Certain diseases like diabetes, cancers, heart disease, and osteoarthritis are linked to diets high in fat. If you consume high amounts of saturated food, you are more likely to exhibit high cholesterol and coronary heart disease.
It is essential to stay hydrated for your well-being. However, sugar-sweetened drinks consist of lots of sugar and calories. It includes fruit juices, soda, sports, and energy drinks, sweetened or flavored milk, and sweet tea.
Apart from these, precise water requirements vary based on your weight and activity level. However, you should drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. Try to avoid cookies, butter, grease pans, regular dressing, and mayonnaise.
The primary motive of eating healthy food is to nourish our bodies as best as we can. A healthy diet is important to keep yourself away from several health issues. Many diseases such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, and stroke can be prevented through your choice of eating healthy food.
If you are worried about where to start, try making small changes to your diet over time. Also, you can consider a professional dietician who will give you the best and healthy diet according to your body type.
Efrat Vulfsons is the Co-Founder of PR Soprano and a data-driven marketing enthusiast, parallel to her soprano opera singing career. Efrat holds a B.F.A from the Jerusalem Music Academy in Opera Performance.