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Do you make healthy food choices?

Having a healthy diet has a lot of benefits. It can help you lose weight or maintain your desired weight. It also can lower your cholesterol & prevent certain health conditions. In general, a healthy diet keeps your body running on a daily basis. Learn how to make healthier food choices.

Path to improved health

Choices you make about what you eat and drink matter. They should add up to a balanced, nutritious diet. We all have different calorie needs based on our gender, age, & activity level. Health conditions can play a role too, including if you need to lose weight.

This is 'Healthy Chicken Curry', just one of the meals from my healthy recipe collection.

Simple Tips to Make Your Diet Healthier

A healthy diet has been scientifically proven to provide numerous health benefits, such as reducing your risk of several chronic diseases and keeping your body healthy. However, making major changes to your diet can sometimes seem very overwhelming. Instead of making big changes, it may be better to start with a few smaller ones. This article discusses 25 small changes that can make a regular diet a little bit healthier.

Slow Down & Chew your food The pace at which you eat influences how much you eat, as well as how likely you are to gain weight. In fact, studies comparing different eating speeds show that fast eaters are up to 115% more likely to be obese than slow eaters (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source). Your appetite, how much you eat and how full you get is all controlled by hormones. These hormones signal your brain whether you’re hungry or full. However, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to receive these messages, so eating more slowly would give your brain the time it needs to perceive that you are full. Choose Whole-Grain Bread — Not Refined You can easily make your diet a bit healthier by choosing whole grain bread in place of traditional refined-grain bread. As opposed to refined grains, which have been linked to many health issues, whole grains have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Just make sure to read the label to ensure that your bread is made with whole grains only, not a mixture of whole and refined grains. It’s also preferable that the bread contains whole seeds or grains. Don’t Shop Without a List There are two important strategies to employ when you go grocery shopping: make your shopping list ahead of time and don’t go to the store hungry. Not knowing exactly what you need makes room for impulse buying, while hunger can further exacerbate your impulses. To make sure you don’t give in to your impulses, plan ahead and write down what you need beforehand. By doing this and sticking to your list, you will not only buy healthier items but also save money and have healthier foods around the house. Eat Eggs, Preferably for Breakfast Eggs are incredibly healthy, especially if you eat them in the morning. They are rich in high-quality protein and many essential nutrients that people often don’t get enough of, such as choline. When looking at studies comparing various types of calorie-matched breakfasts, eggs come out on top. Eating eggs in the morning increases feelings of fullness. T Increase Your Protein Intake Protein is often referred to as the king of nutrients, and it does seem to have some superpowers. What’s more, protein helps you retain muscle mass, which determines the rate of your metabolism. A high protein intake may increase the number of calories you burn by 80–100 per day. Aim to add a source of protein to each meal and snack. It will help you feel fuller for longer, curb cravings and make you less likely to overeat. Good sources of protein include dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, eggs, beans and lean meat.

Drink Enough Water Drinking enough water is important for your health. Many studies have shown that drinking water may benefit weight loss, weight maintenance and even slightly increase the number of calories you burn daily. People who drink mostly water have been shown to consume 200 fewer calories per day, on average, than those who drink other beverages. Bake or Roast Instead of Grilling or Frying The way you prepare your food can drastically change its effects on your health. Healthier cooking methods include baking, broiling, simmering, slow-cooking, poaching, pressure cooking, stewing and sous-vide. Try at Least One New Healthy Recipe Per Week Deciding what to have for dinner can be a constant cause of frustration, which is why many people tend to use the same recipes again and again. Chances are you’ve been cooking the same recipes on autopilot for years. Whether these are healthy or unhealthy recipes, it’s always healthy to try something new. Aim to try making a new healthy recipe at least once per week. This can change up your food and nutrient intakes and hopefully add new and healthy recipes to your routine. Alternatively, try to make a healthier version of a favorite recipe.

Baked Potatoes Over French Fries Potatoes are very filling and a common side to many dishes That said, the method in which they’re prepared largely determines their health effects. Replacing your french fries with baked or boiled potatoes is a great way to shave off calories and avoid these harmful compounds. Eat Your Greens First A good way to ensure that you eat your greens is to eat them as a starter. By doing so, you will most likely finish all of your greens while you are the hungriest and be apt to eat less of other, perhaps less healthy, components of the meal. This may lead you to eat fewer and healthier calories overall, which may result in weight loss. Furthermore, eating vegetables before a carb-rich meal has been shown to have beneficial effects on blood sugar levels.

Eat Your Fruits Instead of Drinking Them Fruits are very healthy. They are loaded with water, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Because fruits contain fiber and various plant compounds, their sugars are generally digested very slowly and do not cause major spikes in blood sugar levels. However, the same does not apply for fruit juices. Many fruit juices aren’t even made from real fruit, but rather concentrate and sugar. T Become More Active

Replace Your Sugary Beverages With Sugar-Free or Sparkling Water Sugary beverages might possibly be the unhealthiest thing you can drink. They are loaded with liquid sugar, which has been linked to numerous diseases, including heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes Doing so will shave off the extra calories and reduce your excess sugar and calorie intakes.

Stay Away From “Diet” Foods So-called “diet foods” can be very deceiving. They‘ve usually had their fat content reduced dramatically and are often labeled “fat-free,” “low-fat,” “fat-reduced” or “low-calorie.” However, to compensate for the lost flavor and texture that the fat provided, sugar and other ingredients are often added. Therefore, many diet foods end up containing more sugar and sometimes even more calories than their full-fat counterparts Instead, opt for whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Get a Good Night’s Sleep The importance of good sleep cannot be overstated. Sleep deprivation disrupts appetite regulation, often leading to increased appetite, which results in increased calorie intake and weight gain. Therefore, it is important to try to get adequate amounts of good-quality sleep, preferably in one bout

. Eat Popcorn Instead of Chips It may be surprising that popcorn is a whole grain that’s loaded with nutrients and fiber. For healthy popcorn, try making your own popcorn at home (not microwave popcorn varieties) or purchase air-popped popcorn. Many commercial varieties prepare their popcorn with fat, sugar and salt, making it no healthier than potato chips.

Eat From Smaller Plates It has been proven that the size of your dinnerware can affect how much you eat. Eating from a large plate can make your portion look smaller, while eating from a small plate can make it look bigger

The Bottom Line Completely overhauling your diet all at once can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, try to incorporate some of the small changes in this article to make your diet healthier. Some of these tips will help you keep your portion sizes reasonable, while others will help you add nutrients or adapt to something new. Together, they’ll have a big impact on making your overall diet healthier and more sustainable, without a huge change in your habits.

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