With all of today’s diet fads and health crazes, it’s hard to get a good handle on what we should be eating and what we really should be avoiding. While some people are choosing to make full-time shifts to lifestyles such as paleo, vegan or gluten-free, others are simply choosing to change their lives through small, healthy choices each day. Here are some easy tips that will help clean up your eating habits and enhance your overall wellbeing:
Cut Your Sugar Intake: It’s no longer news that too much sugar will lead to poor mental and physical health consequences. If you are going to make any changes in your diet, let it be cutting down on the amount of sugar you ingest. This does not mean it is necessary to cut out sugar all together; it only means finding a few healthier substitutes for your favorite cravings. For example:
• If you rely on soda or other sugary beverages to get you through the day, try reaching for one of the many True Citrus drink mixes instead. These amazingly flavorful and completely satisfying drink options are much less debilitating to your health in the calorie and sugar departments.
• If you’re hankering for chocolate, opt for a piece of dark instead of milk. Dark chocolate is stocked with antioxidants and, if eaten in small increments, can actually lower your risk of heart disease.
Skip on Excess Fat: Fat is a necessary part of our diets, but some fats are way better for us than others. Cutting excess fat out of your life will not only help you shed extra pounds, but it will also help you feel lighter and more energetic throughout the day. Here are a few ways cut down:
• If your diet incorporates a lot of meat-based protein, tend toward grass-fed cuts and leaner types of meat such as turkey, chicken, or lean ground beef.
• Choose monosaturated & polysaturated (good) fats over saturated & trans (bad) fats. In other words, olive oil, sunflower oil, flaxseeds, peanut butter, nuts, avocados etc. INSTEAD OF butter, lard, cheese, red meat, ice cream, fried foods, shortenings, etc.
Limit Your Carbs: Though carbs have gotten a bit of a bad wrap these days, swearing them off completely is (generally) not the answer. Carbs play an essential role in providing the long lasting fuel that keeps us satisfied for longer. However, too many carbs can lead to serious weight gain, so here are a few healthy tips when it comes to eating carbs:
• Choose wisely! Make sure you are going for the “good” kind of carbs (complex) instead of the “bad” kind (simple). Examples of complex carbs are: whole-wheat pasta, whole grain breads, brown rice, legumes, oatmeal, vegetables, etc. Examples of simple carbs are: white bread, white pasta, white rice, pastries, sugary fruit juices, cake, candy, sugary cereals, etc.
• There are some amazing ways to substitute healthier alternatives for simple carbs. For example, try making zuchinni noodles (zoodles!) instead of white pasta. Swap French fries for sweet potato fries (an amazing source of fiber!). Or reach for lightly salted popcorn (which is actually a whole grain!) instead of potato chips.
Through the practice of making more small, health-conscious decisions each day, you will slowly shift your lifestyle in a way that is easy and sustainable, leading to a healthier, happier, more radiant YOU! Comment below, and tell us which foods you choose to eat and which you choose to avoid for a healthier life.
[Credit: Klein, Sarah “8 Carbs You Should Be Eating.” Huffington Post.]
[Credit: “Choosing Healthy Fats.” Help Guide.]
[Credit: “8 Ways to Eat Healthy: Choose Lean Sources of Protein.” The President's Challenge.]
[Credit: “8 Healthy Alternatives for Your Favorite Comfort Foods.” The Daily Eight.]
[Credit: Walton, Alice G. “Exercise Can't Save Us: Our Sugar Intake is the Real Culprit.” Forbes.]