Keys to a Healthy Diet
By Sara Butler
Creating healthy eating habits isn't as restrictive or complicated as you may fear. There are some easy, but essential, steps you should take to develop a healthy eating plan for yourself. Here are a few tips to help you create a healthy diet that fits your lifestyle and preferences.
Aim for Variety
To stay healthy, you should eat a wide assortment of whole foods. Choose different vegetables and fruits to try each day to help ensure you're getting what your body needs. If you eat the same thing every single day, then your diet can fall short of delivering the vitamins and minerals that are important for good health, so vary your food choices -- it'll help you from getting bored too!
Focus on Fiber
No diet is complete without fiber! Add beans, whole grain, fruits, and vegetables to your diet in order to get the fiber your body needs to be healthy. Fiber helps to keep your blood sugar steady by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates and it also helps you to feel fuller for longer. Three-quarters of any plate should be filled with fiber-rich foods such as legumes, whole grains, and fresh produce. Live by that rule of thumb and you're off to a fabulous fiber start.
Go Crazy for Vegetables!
Produce should be the bulk of what you eat each day. In fact, if you want to live up to dietary guidelines, then you should have two cups of fruit each day along with two and a half cups of vegetables. The great things about fresh vegetables is that they're low in calories, so you can go to town on them without hurting your daily calories goal too much. Also, remember to eat produce in a variety of colors so that you get a variety of nutrients in your diet too.
It's understandable that people tend to go overboard on sugar because it's in a lot of places you don't expect to find it. But you should try to cut out sources of sugar in your diet where you can.
Cut back on or eliminate soda pop, white bread, pasta, baked goods, and candy from your diet. If you eat too much sugar then you can fan the flames of chronic inflammation and insulin resistance in your body, which can lead to chronic disease. Plus, sugar has no real nutritional value, so cutting out leaves more room for other foods that deliver the vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy.
Healthy eating doesn't need to be complicated. A few simple tips can help you make big strides toward a healthier you!