One of the main problems both in dieting and in enjoying a healthy and fit life is to follow an equally healthy and balanced diet. Eating healthy is something that almost becomes a question to take into account, especially when we suffer from cardiovascular disease, we must lose weight, or because we want to eat in a much healthier way.
For this reason, we know that eating healthy may not be an easy option to follow, since if we were used to eating anything, it may be a somewhat difficult idea to follow.
However, several basic tips and tricks can help you know how to eat healthily.
Useful tips for eating healthier
Follow a varied and balanced diet
Many times we make the mistake of eating anything, to get out of the way, especially when we are away from home or when we are even in the house but do not have much time to prepare ourselves to eat. It is common to think that, to eat healthily, it is necessary to spend hours on food. However, did you know that to prepare something healthy you don’t need a lot of time, nor do you need to make it too complicated? But let’s take it one step at a time.
The best thing is to follow a varied diet, eating everything, but above all those foods should be natural and healthy. This means that we must forget about those foods that are rich in fat and sugars (especially processed), and substitute them with fresh and natural foods.
For example? Choose especially the following food groups:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: especially for seasonal foods, rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients essential for our body, not only for its proper functioning, but also for our health.
- Cereals, especially wholemeal: wholemeal cereals (and we are not referring to the typical breakfast cereals) are always the best option, as they are especially rich in fibre, and also provide us with complex carbohydrates (or, what is the same, slowly absorbed carbohydrates). Oats, wheat, rye… and other popular cereals such as quinoa, couscous… stand out.
- Legumes: they are delicious, as well as tremendously nutritious. For example, they are especially rich in fiber, and complete our daily nutrition almost without a doubt. You can choose from lentils, chickpeas, beans…
- Fish: they are always suitable, as well as being very nutritious. However, it is advisable to opt for small-sized fish (due to their low or almost zero mercury content). And if you opt for larger fish, such as salmon or tuna, eat them in small quantities several times a week.
- Meat: it is always preferable to opt for lean and white meat, rather than red meat (do not forget that the World Health Organization itself has recently considered it a type of food whose excessive consumption can increase the risk of cancer, especially colon cancer).
- Nuts: it is advisable to eat about 25 grams of nuts a day (that is, more or less as much as you can carry). They are rich in healthy fats, which help protect both heart and artery health.
Opt for seasonal food
As you surely know, each season provides us with specific seasonal foods, which give us those nutrients our body needs for that particular time of year.
For example, during the summer we can enjoy foods that are especially rich in water, which is -precisely- what our body needs during the hottest days (watermelon, melons, mangoes, coconut…). However, during the autumn, foods with a higher energy contribution stand out, such as figs.
Eat quietly and slowly. And try to spread out the meals
Try to eat slowly and enjoy the food, chewing it well. In this way, you will not only learn to taste what you eat, but also feel every bite, every texture, and every flavor. You will also get better digestion since you must not forget that the process of digestion begins precisely by the mouth.
In addition, it is advisable to divide the meals and daily intake into 4 or 5 meals, trying to have a strong breakfast, a convenient lunch, and not too strong dinner.
Respect your meal times and try not to skip them. But avoid snacking between meals.
Opt for healthier ways of cooking
It is not only important to make healthy food choices. We must also look at the way we cook them. For example, it is advisable to avoid frying and to choose much healthier ways of cooking, such as replacing frying with grilling, roasting… or other ways such as steaming or baking.
In addition, we must avoid not only fried foods but also battered ones.
Avoid these foods
As well as looking at which foods are particularly suitable for healthy eating, it is also extremely important to consider which other foods – or food products – we should eliminate from our diet, or consume in smaller quantities.
The most important are foods such as fried and battered foods, pastries and sweets, sweetened drinks, ice cream… In short, eliminate all those products that are rich in saturated fats and sugars.
Reduces the amount of sugar
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) reduced the amount of sugar we could consume each day, limiting it to 12 spoonfuls per day, not exceeding 10% of the daily caloric intake, after warning of its obvious relationship with the increase in cases of obesity and overweight in most developed countries.
However, even though we control the amount of sugar we consume per day, understood as the spoonfuls we add to our cup of coffee with milk or the tea we drink in the middle of the morning, do you know how much sugar we are eating, because it has been added to unsuspected food products? An obvious example is the case of packaged and industrial tomato sauces, yogurts with added sugar, packaged fruit juices… Or even bread.
Therefore, the key is not to reduce the number of spoonfuls of sugar we consume, but to watch the labeling of the food we eat every day: if we observe among its ingredients elements such as sugar, glucose syrup, sucralose… The best thing is to avoid them. And don’t be fooled: neither brown sugar nor panela is healthier.
…And follow an active and healthy lifestyle
There is little point in eating healthier if we follow an unhealthy lifestyle. That is, if, for example, we smoke or drink alcohol, or spend hours sitting in front of the computer or television and don’t exercise at all.
A healthy, balanced diet must also be complemented by the pursuit of an equally healthy lifestyle. It is essential to avoid tobacco and alcoholic beverages and to exercise more often, which will provide us with outstanding benefits both for our health in general and for our bodies in particular.
And it will also help us feel better about ourselves. Did you know that physical exercise, practiced often and regularly, brings us happiness and helps improve our mood?
If eating healthy is expensive… how can we save on the shopping cart?
Although we are at a terrible time in terms of the economic and financial crisis, we must not forget something even more important: our health. And not just our health, but the pursuit of a healthy diet that helps us to do just that: to enjoy good health.
However, indeed, in times of crisis it can even be difficult to follow a balanced diet to some extent, probably because the budget we have is not the same as what we had before, especially if we do not have a job, we receive unemployment benefit or our salary has been cut. Follow some useful tips that will help you eat healthy while saving money:
- Buy only what you need: it is often said that you should never buy on an empty stomach. And that’s a maxim you should live up to, as it’s been proven that people who go to the supermarket hungry eventually end up buying more food products than they originally intended. A good option is to take your shopping list with you and buy only what you have written on it.
- Buy seasonal products: such as fresh fruits and vegetables, which in addition to being healthy and nutritious, generally always have a very good price.
- Opt for private label products: did you know that many of the private label products sold by many supermarkets have been produced by well-known brands in the food sector? They have an added advantage: they are cheaper and provide the same nutritional values.
- Buy the most organic meat: it is better to opt for good fresh meat than frozen. Therefore, the recommendation is to try to adapt to the most economical meat.
- Frozen fish: although the ideal is to consume it fresh, many food companies offer customers frozen fish with higher quality, and at economic prices.
- Eliminate pre-cooked foods from your diet: they are not healthy, and also tend to be more expensive than if you opt for healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.
- Eat at home: although it is essential to indulge yourself from time to time, such as going out for a drink with friends or eating out, it is best to always try to eat at home. You will save money.
This article is published for information purposes only. It cannot and should not substitute for consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.