By now, everyone knows the basics of healthy eating. Beyond just helping keep excess weight off the waist, eating healthy boosts the immune system, regulates energy levels, and improves cognitive function.
That is why most dietary advice focuses on helping consumers decide which food items should be in their fridge or pantry.
However, there is more to healthy eating habits than the advice we are usually given. Eating is about more than just nutrition. Often, the reason we reach for a plate has more to do with taste than sustenance.
Our daily dietary choices are often influenced by everything from stress levels, budgets and the time we have to prepare a meal. If you’re mindful of those factors, it’s much easier to stick to a healthy plan.
Here are a few tips to help you commit to eating more nutritious food:
Don’t Sacrifice Taste
Far too many people are okay with eating a bland meal if it’s nutritious. However, there is no need to sacrifice taste for nutrition. It’s far easier to keep to a healthy eating plan when the food on the menu has been cooked to perfection. Seasoning is the easiest way to add a flavour profile to any dish.
Focus on Your Food
Most eating happens in front of a screen: cellphones, laptops and TVs are just some of the electronics that distract us when we eat. There’s just one problem with that habit: it’s likely to make your meals feel less filling. A study found that being distracted while you eat increases the likelihood of overeating. A simple solution to this is practising mindfulness. Taking small bites, chewing well and pacing yourself lets you enjoy a meal long enough for appetite hormones to let your brain know that your stomach is full.
Taste Food Before You Add Salt
Adding salt to a meal is an unconscious action for many people. Eating too much salt causes a host of health problems, so it’s important to moderate your intake. Nibbling on your meal before you add salt lets you determine whether your food needs any seasoning at all.
Bake and Roast, Don’t Grill and Fry
The method used to prepare food has a massive effect on how healthy it is. Although grilling and frying are popular ways of cooking meat and fish, these cooking methods create toxic compounds which have been linked to cancer and heart disease. Healthier cooking methods such as baking, slow-cooking and poaching do not create these compounds and make your food far healthier.
Try One New Healthy Recipe a Week
Deciding what to cook for dinner can be frustrating, which is why plenty of people cook the same set of meals for years. Whether or not those recipes are healthy, it’s always a good idea to try new foods. Try to prepare a new recipe at least once a week. This can change your nutrient intake and breathe new life into your cooking routine. Alternatively, you can prepare a healthier version of your favourite recipes.
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