To stay healthy and reduce the risks of developing certain diseases, a nutritious, balanced diet is necessary. Nutrition is also important if your goal is to maintain a healthy weight and control cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, not all people know how to maximize their nutritional intake. Here are some tips to help you improve yours:
1 Determine Your Calorie and Nutrient Needs
Find out the number of calories you need according to your activity level, gender, age, height, and personal weight goals. You can consult a health care provider to help create a safe calorie goal as well as design an eating plan. You may also work with a fitness professional or a dietitian to give you advice and help you achieve your goals. You can also check out online resources such as this website link which contains useful information about health, fitness, and nutrition.
2 Eat Slow to Eat Less
You can enjoy your food more if you take time chewing and tasting it. Mindful eating is when you pay attention to what you’re eating and is believed to make you feel satisfied quicker, so you don’t overeat. Mindless eating, on the other hand, can lead to eating more than what’s necessary.
3 Consume the Recommended Amounts
Be mindful about the recommended amount of food you eat daily. For example, you should eat more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products and limit your intake of caffeine and sugary foods and drinks.
Here are some recommendations:
- Half of your plate during meals should be fruits and vegetables, which help provide essential nutrients. These foods are also rich in fiber—which aid in digestion—and are low in fats and cholesterol.
- The other half of your plate should contain a healthy protein source such lean meats, seafoods, eggs and poultry. You can also eat plant-based protein sources such as peas, beans, soy products, seeds, and nuts.
- Ensure that you only eat whole grains, which are healthy sources of fiber and energy. Read food labels and packaging to help you choose your food wisely.
4 Ensure Enough Calcium Intake
To have healthy teeth and bones, ensure that you include in your diet foods that are rich in calcium. Dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yoghurt, offer the most absorbable calcium sources and are part of a healthy diet. Calcium is also an essential part of bones and teeth. Calcium deficiency during early life increases the risk of bone illnesses such as osteoporosis. Thus, it’s essential to get enough amounts of calcium.
- Select low-fat dairy products to avoid added fat while still obtaining the needed calcium.
- If you can’t eat dairy products, you can use calcium supplements.
- Make fruit smoothies by adding low-fat yoghurt and low-fat milk to your choice of fruit.
5 Limit Sodium Intake
You can minimize your salt intake by limiting your consumption of packaged, canned, and other processed foods. Look at their labels if you can’t help but choose these kinds of foods and opt for the low-sodium ones. Another common source of added sodium to your diet are restaurant meals.
6 Minimize Intake of Unhealthy Foods
Reduce your intake of foods known to contain high levels of trans and saturated fats as well as added salt and sugar. These foods contain lots of calories and are very low-nutrition. Examples are ice cream, cookies, candy, sugary drinks, or hot dogs. You may have these foods as occasional treats, though.
7 Choose Varied Foods
To ensure that you enjoy the best nutrition that food can provide, eat a variety of foods. Different foods provide different nutrients and making your plate as colorful as you can will help maximize your nutritional intake. To improve the variety of foods in your diet, try the following:
- Create a healthy meal plan that considers a variety of foods every day.
- Serve food from different food groups with every meal.
- Serve dairy with each meal because the calcium in it is more easily absorbed when taken with other food sources.
- Eat a new kind of vegetable or fruit each week.
- Eat different kinds of vegetables each day including orange vegetables, leafy greens, dark greens, legumes, and raw salad veggies.
- Eat fruits and vegetables for snacks instead of chips or sweets.
- Eat the skin of fruits as these are rich in fiber.
8 Drink Water
Avoid sugary drinks such as sweetened fruit juices, soda, sports and energy drinks. Instead, make it a habit to keep yourself hydrated with water. Follow your body’s signs and drink water right away when you feel thirsty or when you feel hungry.
Adequate nutritional intake is crucial to maintain a healthy body and mind. Whether you’ve developed an unhealthy eating habit out of a lack of information or lack of preparation time, it’s never too late to change. Choose varied food sources to provide you adequate nutrition and only consume what your body needs.