Healthy Eating Tips Everyone Can Followby Victoria Le Maire, RD, LD
If you feel overwhelmed by all the competing information that exists on various diets and lifestyles, you’re not alone! We’re here to tell you that one eating plan isn’t universally or automatically better than another, because nutrition doesn’t have a “one size fits all” solution!
However, no matter which lifestyle or specialty diet you choose to explore, we have a few healthy eating tips that are universal and can help you on your way to living a healthier life.
Consider quality of food, not just calories
When looking to change your eating habits, choosing the best quality of food and minimizing low-quality foods is a great place to start. High-quality foods include minimally processed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, heart-healthy fats and healthy sources of protein.
For example, choosing foods high in protein will provide you with energy and satisfaction to help fuel your day and your mood. High-quality protein comes in many different options that can suit different lifestyles and specialty diets; whether you choose ground turkey, fish or tofu, stick with an option that’s low in saturated fat.
Moderation doesn’t mean automatically cutting out foods you love – yes, even on a specialty diet, there can (and should!) be room for culinary flavors and textures that bring you joy.
What moderation really means is only eating as much as your body needs. Eating high-quality foods should leave you feeling content, but not stuffed, at the end of your meal. Aim for smaller, more reasonable portions of each food. When plating a meal at home, visual cues can help with portion control. A serving of protein is approximately the size of a deck of cards. Half a cup of rice or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb.
Fill up on foods high in fiber at the start of your meal to feel more satisfied as you decrease overall portions. High-fiber foods can be found on virtually any eating plan, and include things like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Keep it simple
A lifestyle change shouldn’t add additional stress or complications to daily life; aim to keep things as simple as possible as you introduce new foods into your diet.
Prepare your own food at home to help take charge of what you’re eating and monitor what goes into your meals. Focus on the variety and freshness of your foods, and give yourself time to explore and enjoy them.
Create new habits, like incorporating meal prep time into your schedule, to maintain long-term and sustainable changes. Meal prep looks different for everyone, so have fun with it! It can be as simple as cutting up fruits and vegetables to have them ready to go before the week starts.
Whether you’re just starting your healthy eating journey or looking for ways to maintain or adopt good habits, keep these simple tips in mind – and be sure to take a peek at our specialty diet recipes for even more healthy eating inspiration!