Eating healthier does not have to mean overhauling your entire diet; all it requires are some small modifications and the motivation and knowledge necessary for change. Here are five easy tips (with plans) as a starting point:
Reaching your “get healthy” goal has just become much simpler, without resorting to elaborate schemes or spending excessively of both money and time. Start making small but regular changes today that add flavor and nutrition. Check out the tips below starting tonight with dinner.
1. Swap Out: Refined Grains
Swap In: Whole Grains
According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Rules for Americans, approximately half of our daily grains should come from whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, quinoa and bulgur which all feature unblemished wheat grains containing more fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and other key vitamins and supplements than their non-whole counterparts.
It has also been observed that those who regularly eat whole grains tend to be thinner with lower risks of cardiovascular disease compared with non-eaters; additionally they contain more fiber B vitamins B Vitamins B complex vitamins as well as magnesium which are key vitamins for health benefits versus deficiencies caused by eating refined grains found elsewhere.
Searching for whole grains can be fun and engaging; just don’t be misled into thinking all bread or saltines labeled as multi-grain, stone ground or 100% wheat are healthy! In order to ensure you are receiving enough whole grains in your diet, look for items with “whole grain” prominently listed among their ingredients list.
2. Swap Out: Salt
Swap In: Herbs and Spices
While watching sodium consumption may not directly relate to high blood pressure, it can still be wise to reduce our sodium consumption–most people get far beyond the suggested 2,300 mg (about one teaspoon) a day. While not a perfect replacement for salt consumption, herbs and spices can help alleviate cravings by stimulating different flavors while decreasing sodium usage in recipes. Be creative by finding “non salt” mixes from flavoring walkways; but remember only purchase ones marked “without sodium.” If this sounds daunting then don’t try cutting back gradually over time or completely eliminating salt altogether just start gradually decreasing how much you take!
Try this: If you can’t taste salt in a recipe, don’t add it. A pinch goes a longer way when added shortly before serving so cut back while cooking.
3. Swap Out: Farmed Atlantic Salmon
Swap In: Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon
Imagine a wild salmon happily splashing about in Alaskan waters, snacking on insects and small fish for sustenance. Now imagine being introduced to one raised in a fish ranch, where its diet includes being carefully managed in order to produce larger specimens. Which fish would you rather consume? Making an informed choice shouldn’t be hard.
although more homesteads provide healthier and more sustainable options, most farmed salmon is listed on Monterey Sound Aquarium’s Fish Watch as something to avoid. Alaskan wild-caught salmon provides more heart-healthy omega-3s per serving and has less calories than farmed varieties, while being more manageable due to less contaminations and toxins present. If in doubt about whether it is fresh or frozen, try canned varieties instead!
4. Swap Out: Handled Meats
Swap In: Lean Meats And Plant-Based Protein
Recall those secret meat snacks served up at school cafeterias? Even back then, most likely realized they weren’t exactly ideal for our health, and now scientific research backs this up. In 2015, the World Health Association issued a clear warning: eating processed meats such as franks, wieners, corned hamburgers, bologna and bacon can increase your risk for colon disease as well as prostate and pancreatic malignant growths.
No need to give up all your favorite lunch options altogether, but if your go-to lunch options include BLTs or Reubens it may be beneficial to reduce intake by replacing some elements with canned fish such as salmon, or turkey/chicken breast without its skin.
Add plant-based proteins like hummus, peanut butter and dark beans into your daily diet; these plant-based options offer many health advantages ranging from fiber richness and reduced calories to decreasing coronary risk – plus it’s cheaper! According to one 2017 review study, even substituting two daily meat servings with plant-based options can significantly decrease cardiovascular illness risk; plus there’s less expense involved.
5. Swap Out: Milk Chocolate
Swap In: Dark Chocolate
Substitute Dark Chocolate Enjoy sweets while simultaneously improving your health: snack on dark chocolate regularly to satisfy both cravings and improve health. Packed with flavanols – chemical compounds found to improve cardiovascular health by lowering circulation pressure and alleviating tension – dark chocolate contains many other important components too, like magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and phosphorus – high concentrations provide even more cell reinforcements and supplements! Just bear in mind though, as chocolate contains lots of sugar!