If I may ask, do you consider healthy eating habits especially when your life is busy? When you’re constantly on the go it can be hard to find time to make consciously healthy decisions about your daily eating habits. But, no matter how rushed you feel between home, family and work life, it’s vital to make nutritionally smart decisions to keep your body healthy and your mind active.
The risk factors for adult chronic diseases, like hypertension and type 2 diabetes, are increasingly seen in younger ages, often a result of unhealthy eating habits and increased weight gain. Dietary habits established in childhood often carry into adulthood. So, teaching children how to eat healthy at a young age will help them stay healthy throughout their life.
Surprisingly, there’s a big link between good nutrition and healthy eating. Especially, for controlled weight, reduced chronic disease risk, and overall health which is too important to ignore. By taking steps to healthy eating, you’ll be on your way to getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, active, and strong.
Why is Healthy Eating important?
Your food choices each day affect your health — how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Good Nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promote your overall health.
Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the whole World. Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death. These include heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.
As with physical activity, making small changes in your diet can go a long way, and it’s easier than you think!
What are the Goals of Healthy Eating?
Important to realize, it’s easier than you think to start eating healthy! Take small steps each week to improve your nutrition and move toward a healthier you. Small changes can make a big difference in your health.
As an example, if you love a smoothie, opt for those that are high in fiber, which will keep you feeling fuller for longer. As well as drinks containing natural fats to buffer the blood-glucose response. Commit to incorporating one new healthy eating goal each week over the next six weeks. You can track your progress through PALA+.
On the other hand, busy people often drink a lot of coffee to get through the day. Try combining your daily hit of caffeine with some medium-chain triglycerides (like coconut oil and butter). Add one teaspoon to your hot coffee in place of milk and whisk it up to make a beautiful creamy, nutrient-rich coffee.
Here are my topmost tips for eating healthy when your life is busy:
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables:
Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for your meals.
Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to be healthy.
Make half the grains you eat whole grains:
An easy way to eat more whole grains is to switch from a refined-grain food to a whole-grain food. For example, eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread.
Read the ingredients list and choose products that list whole-grain ingredients first. Look for things like: “whole wheat,” “brown rice,” “bulgur,” “buckwheat,” “oatmeal,” “rolled oats,” quinoa,” or “wild rice.”
Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk:
Both have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but fewer calories and less saturated fat.
Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease, and stroke. Also, being underweight could affect your health.
Choose a variety of lean protein foods:
Meat, poultry, seafood, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the protein foods group. Select leaner cuts of ground beef (where the label says 90% lean or higher), turkey breast, or chicken breast.
Compare sodium in foods:
Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose lower sodium versions of foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals. Select canned foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”
Drink water instead of sugary drinks:
Cut calories by drinking water or unsweetened beverages. Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks are a major source of added sugar and calories in American diets.
Try adding a slice of lemon, lime, or watermelon or a splash of 100% juice to your glass of water if you want some flavor.
Equally important, all non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, lower-fat milk and lower-sugar drinks, including tea and coffee, are healthier choices.
Eat some seafood:
Seafood includes fish (such as salmon, tuna, and trout) and shellfish (such as crab, mussels, and oysters).
Seafood has protein, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids (heart-healthy fat). Adults should try to eat at least eight ounces a week of a variety of seafood. Children can eat smaller amounts of seafood, too.
Cut back on solid fats:
Eat fewer foods that contain solid fats. The major sources for Kenyans are cakes, cookies, and other desserts (often made with butter, margarine, or shortening); pizza; processed and fatty meats (e.g., sausages, hot dogs, bacon, ribs); and ice cream.
Avoid foods and drinks that are high G.I.
Foods that are high on the glycaemic index (G.I.) will spike your blood glucose and cause a rapid insulin response that can be problematic to your health in the long term.
Many processed foods and packaged fruit juices have higher G.I. levels because of the sugar content. I suggest you avoid these and try to pack in as many wholefoods as possible.
In addition, try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, as they’re high in calories. They’re also bad for your teeth.
Smoothies are always a good option:
You need to drink plenty of fluids to stop you from getting dehydrated. It’s recommended that you drink 6 to 8 glasses every day. This is in addition to the fluid you get from the food you eat.
When you’re time-poor, blending a smoothie is an amazing way to boost your nutrient intake for the day. However, your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day, which is a small glass.
Pack your drink full of nutrient-rich foods. Such as spirulina, chia seeds, cacao, coconut oil, egg, maca, chlorella, bee pollen, walnuts or buckwheat kernels to put a spring in your step.
Prepare healthy snacks ahead of time:
Make healthy treats such as nut butter with superfoods such as coconut oil, macadamia butter, Manuka honey, and shredded coconut. And keep them in the fridge or freezer.
Cut up some celery and carrot batons ahead of time and grab your nut butter as you head out the door before school, work or the gym. Packed full of natural fats they’ll also keep you feeling fuller for longer.
As well as eating healthily, regular exercise may help reduce your risk of getting serious health conditions. It’s also important for your overall health and wellbeing.
Some people skip breakfast because they think it’ll help them lose weight. But, a healthy breakfast high in fiber and low in fat, sugar, and salt can form part of a balanced diet. In the end, helping you get the nutrients you need for good health.
The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you’ll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. And if you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.
By the same token, you should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs. It’s recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). While at the same time, women should have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules).
I hope the above-revised guide on healthy eating will be helpful for your future dietary plans. But, if you’ll have additional contributions, suggestions or even questions, please Contact Us and let us know how we can help.
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