HomeBusinessDietitians offer 5 easy ways to begin eating healthily

Dietitians offer 5 easy ways to begin eating healthily

In order to lead a healthy life, it is crucial to eat healthily. This can prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It is important to speak with your physician about the type of diet that is best for you based on your unique health needs. Generally, people should consume a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein sources. Let us help you get started with healthful eating by breaking it down into the basics.

1. Increase your fruit and vegetable consumption
Your body needs vitamins and minerals that are in fruits and vegetables, such as:

• Fiber helps with digestion and eases constipation.
• Calcium is essential for strong bones.
• Potassium plays an important role in maintaining a healthy heart.
• Vitamin A improves skin and eye health, and also protects against infections.
• A healthy skin and gums are dependent on vitamin C, which aids in iron absorption.

Eating healthy food is beneficial to your health. A large review from 2018 found that eating fruits and vegetables reduces the inflammation markers associated with chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. You need different amounts of fruits and vegetables based on your age, gender, and activity level. The following is the recommended serving size for the United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA):

Amanda Miller, a registered dietitian specializing in medical nutrition therapy and weight loss in Chicago, says that a serving size for most fruits is usually one whole fruit, like one peach. A medium banana is equivalent to about two fruit servings, and a serving of vegetables is roughly one to twelve cups.

2. Make your meals from whole grains
Whole grains are grains that contain the entire kernel of the grain. Whole grains contain nutrients such as:

• Fiber and B vitamins are found in the outer layer of the grain, known as the bran
• as well as the inner layer of the grain called the endosperm, which contains carbohydrates and proteins
• It is the core that contains vitamin E, B vitamins, and healthy fats

By removing the bran and germ from white or refined grains, the grain has a finer texture and improved shelf life, but it also loses fiber and B vitamins. In addition to carbohydrates and protein, whole grains contain fiber and micronutrients, and they are better for your health.

Consuming whole grains rather than refined grains reduced cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease, according to a 2020 review of randomized controlled trials. Miller believes that people should aim to consume at least half of their grains from whole grains each day. Depending on your age and activity level, you should drink three to eight ounce-equivalents of fluid each day.

There are many whole grains, such as:
• Breads made from whole grains
• Pasta made from whole grains
• White rice made from whole grains
• Quinoa
• Oats

3. Minimize processed foods
The original form of processed food has been modified and is either cooked, packaged, canned, or frozen. In addition to altering the nutrient content of these foods, fortifying and preserving them can also alter their nutritional composition. As a result, heavily processed foods tend to be low in nutrients and high in calories.

Heavy processing occurs during processing.

• Chips
• Cookies
• Candy
• Cakes
• Cured meats, like deli meat
• Hot dogs
• Refined grains and sauces high in sodium or sugar found in frozen meals

As a dietitian and nutrition consultant based in New York City, Alana Kessler says processed foods contain salt, sugar, and preservatives that can harm your health.

The association between ultra-processed foods, baked goods, and coronary heart disease was found in two large European studies. In addition, processed meat is classified as a carcinogen – a substance that causes cancer. Diabetes and heart disease have also been linked to processed meats.

Kessler recommends limiting your intake of processed foods by swapping them with healthier alternatives, such as:

• Sparkling water instead of soda, tea instead of coffee
• oats instead of cereal and yogurt instead of sugary cereal
• chips instead of plain popcorn

In a sense, packaged foods are processed foods, but Kessler says this doesn’t mean you need to remove them from your diet entirely. It can be convenient and easier to eat well by using packaged foods such as frozen fruit and vegetables.

4. Control portions when eating.
You control your portion size by eating the appropriate serving sizes throughout the day.
Choosing the wrong portion size can negatively affect weight, metabolism, hormone balance, and energy, says Miller.

Miller says you need to be mindful of what and how much you eat in order to practice portion control. It is also helpful to understand serving sizes in order to design a healthy plate that contains half fruit and vegetables, a quarter protein-rich food, and a quarter grain.

According to Miller, practicing portion control and understanding serving sizes is key.

• Know how much a serving is by reading the food label. Some foods expand when cooked, such as pasta and rice. Serving sizes are specified on the label if the food is cooked or uncooked.
• Put your food in a bowl or plate before you consume it right out of the bag or tub to keep yourself from overeating. According to Miller, if you have ever eaten ice cream straight from the tub, you have probably consumed far more than the recommended serving size. If you use the free-spoon method, you may consume two to three times the recommended serving size.”
• The label on a nut will typically suggest a serving size of one to two ounces, which is approximately 30 almonds. Nuts are very nutritious and high in healthy fat, but they are also high in calories.
• If you want to drink such a beverage, opt for the smallest size available, Miller advises. Sugar, syrups, flavorings, foam, and cream all add calories, fat, and sugar to your beverage. If you are craving such a drink, go for the smallest size available.

5. Consume more healthy fats
Kessler points out that fat is an important nutrient in a healthy diet. Fat aids metabolism and stores energy. However, not all forms of fat are the same, and some cause negative health effects.

• Foods such as coconut oil, full-fat dairy, and fatty pieces of meat contain saturated fat, which is typically solid at room temperature. Indulging in saturated fats at a moderate level can increase blood lipids or cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease, Kessler says. In general, it is recommended that you limit your consumption of saturated fat to less than 6% of your daily calories.
• At room temperature, unsaturated fats are typically liquid; nuts, avocadoes, olive oil, and fish such as salmon are examples. Unsaturated fats can improve heart health. One large study found eating less saturated fat and more unsaturated fat reduced the risk of coronary heart disease. It is recommended that unsaturated fats comprise 25% to 40% of total calories, according to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
• Fried and processed foods, such as frozen pizza, french fries, and donuts, previously contained trans-fat but have since been banned by the FDA. You can get heart disease from consuming trans-fat, which has no nutritional value.

Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids are also an important component of a healthy diet. Fish, flaxseed, and vegetable oils, such as canola oil, contain omega-3s and aloe vera that make up the components of cells and boost your heart and immune system.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have not set a daily omega-3 intake recommendation for women and men yet, but they do recommend ALA – a type of omega-3 fatty acid found mainly in plants – to adult males and females.



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