Improve your life by improving what you eat
Healthy eating is one of the most important things you can do to improve your general health.
If you’ve been promising yourself that you will start to eat healthier and get your family to eat healthier, but have been putting it off not knowing where to start, here are some tips:
- Think variety.
You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and no single food supplies them all. Unless you have any food allergies or sensitivities, your daily food selection should include: bread and other whole-grain products; fruits; vegetables; dairy products; and meat, poultry, fish, and other protein foods.
- Look for the word ‘whole’.
When buying grain products look for whole grain as the first ingredient on the food package. Whole grains include whole wheat, whole oats, oatmeal, whole grain corn, wild rice, brown rice, buckwheat, whole rye, bulgur, cracked wheat, whole-grain barley, and millet.
- Add in some veggies.
Try adding extra vegetables to foods such as meatloaf, lasagna, omelettes, stir-fry dishes, and casseroles. Frozen vegetables such as spinach, peas, and carrots are easy to add. You can also add dark leafy greens, like kale or swiss chard, to give sandwiches an extra kick.
- Break salt and sugar addictions.
Substitute salt with flavour additives such as herbs, spices, lemon, lime, and vinegar. Substitute white sugar with natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, or fruit juice.
- Look for healthier versions.
If you like to eat luncheon meat sandwiches, try a reduced-fat version. If you like the convenience of frozen dinners, look for ones with lower sodium. If you love fast food meals, try a salad as your side dish instead of fries.
- Make better fat choices.
When buying meat, poultry, milk, or milk products, choose versions that are lean, low-fat, or fat-free. Choose lean meats like chicken without the skin and lean beef or pork with the fat trimmed off. Use olive, sunflower, or canola oils instead of lard or butter. Bake, grill, and broil food instead of frying. Try eating more meatless entrees.
- Fill up with fibre.
Most Canadians do not get enough fibre. Fibre is important in helping maintain regularity and control blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Eat a variety of fibre-rich foods everyday including: whole grains; fruits; vegetables; and legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils. As you increase your fibre choices, drink lots of fluids.
Courtesy of Homewood Health