Simple ways to incorporate more nutrients in your diet.
When you’re looking for tips to eat healthier, it can feel like the “advice of the day” changes all the time. What’s deemed “bad” one day may be considered healthy for you the next! So today, we’re going to nix the trends and fads to hone in on the tried-and-true tips to eat healthier.
Try these simple, science-backed tips to eat healthier:
- Choose whole foods over processed
- Eat the rainbow
- Save sugar for special occasions
- Keep healthy snacks on hand
- Drink water instead of soda or juice
- Enjoy heart-healthy proteins
- Opt for whole grains over empty carbs
Let’s dive into these tips to eat healthier!
Choose whole foods over processed
Whenever it’s possible to choose foods in their most natural form, your body will appreciate it! Try to choose unprocessed or minimally processed foods rather than ultra-processed packaged foods, which are often loaded with extra salt, sugar, fat, and chemical additives. Think about the difference between a potato vs. a bag of potato chips or a homemade dinner vs. a pre-packaged microwave meal.
Eat the rainbow
It’s a fun challenge to try to fit as many colors into your daily diet as possible, especially since the most colorful foods in nature are usually fruits and vegetables!
Here are some ideas for your rainbow:
- Red: strawberries, cherries, raspberries, red peppers, apples
- Orange: carrots, oranges, mangos
- Yellow: bananas, pineapples, squash
- Green: broccoli, leafy greens, avocados, asparagus, spinach, kiwi, and many more
- Blue/purple: blackberries, blueberries, eggplants, plums
- White: onions, garlic, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes
Eating the rainbow also has the excellent side effect of filling your body with various disease-fighting, health-boosting phytonutrients!
Save sugar for special occasions
If you’re used to having dessert after dinner every day, or a mid-afternoon cookie or candy bar sugar boost, changing those habits alone can do wonders for your health. Eating too much sugar puts us at risk of heart disease, obesity, chronic inflammation, diabetes, and other not-so-sweet problems.
Try to take a month for a complete sugar detox instead of trying to swap sugar substitutes. Over time, you might find that your body recalibrates, so you aren’t craving sweets as often.
Keep healthy snacks on hand
When those midday snack cravings hit, make sure you have some healthy options on hand to reach for so you aren’t tempted to grab chips, crackers, or candy. Healthy snack ideas include fresh fruit, a handful of nuts, and sliced veggies with a healthy dip like hummus or guacamole.
Drink water instead of soda or juice
Liquid calories can be sneaky — we don’t even realize how much sugar we might be casually sipping every day. For instance, specialty coffee drinks can have almost as many calories as a meal! Check out this resource to see how much sugar is in common beverages: a single can of cola packs 10 teaspoons, and so does a glass of orange juice. Water is always the best choice to stay hydrated.
If you love sipping fruity flavors, think about using fruit to make infused water. Or, swap out your usual breakfast some days for a smoothie made with fruits and veggies. With a smoothie, you get the whole fruit’s nutrition, not just the fructose and added sugar you’d get from a bottled juice.
Enjoy heart-healthy proteins
When it comes to protein, quality matters more than quantity since the average American currently consumes about double the amount they need. Instead of choosing red meat at dinner every day, consider heart-healthy proteins like fish, beans, nuts, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, whole grains, and optionally some low-fat dairy or poultry.
Opt for whole grains over empty carbs
With popular grains like wheat and rice, you usually have a choice between brown or white. The difference is that the white kind has the high-nutrient bran and germ part removed, while the brown whole-grain type preserves the entire grain. Whole-grain options typically have far more fiber, vitamins, and minerals to keep your body healthy and satisfied. Avoid foods like white bread and flour, white rice, standard pasta, and pastries, which are often referred to as “empty carbs” and won’t keep you full for very long.
Excited to start implementing these tips to eat healthier? Keep browsing our health and wellness blog for more nutrition and exercise ideas!