A healthy, balanced diet consists of meals rich in fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, and fat-free products. It means eating lean meats, beans, eggs, nuts, and fish while limiting the intake of saturated fats, sodium, or added sugars.
We all know the importance of these foods. However, it can be difficult to include them in your regular meals. It’s all about making small changes one day at a time.
Here are four quick and easy changes that you can start implementing today that will improve your diet drastically:
- Consume Healthy Fats
Your body depends on healthy fat such and its omega 3s and omega 6s for survival. 50 to 70% of your calories should be from healthy fat; mostly saturated fat. Grass-fed butter, pastured eggs, avocados, fatty fish, mct oil, coconut oil, nuts, and grass-fed meat are all examples of healthy fats.
When shopping for meats, ethically raised grassfed beef is a much better option as opposed to factory-farmed meat. When you purchase humanely raised animal products, not only do you know that the animals were treated well and not confined in cramped feedlot spaces, but that they were cared for with grass-fed diets.
What does this mean for you? With grass-fed beef, you’ll enjoy a product that’s better for the environment and less fatty. It even reduces the risk of heart disease. The quality of your meat is important for optimal health. These foods are high in nutrients, healthy fats, and are usually free of added hormones and antibiotics. Plus, they fill you up so that you eat less.
- Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Water
Coffee is a great pick me up for many people. However, too much coffee can lead to high blood pressure, a precedent of heart disease, and may bring on side effects like shakiness, an abnormal heartbeat, or headaches.
If you’re not drinking water, you’re either drinking juices, soda, coffee, or sports drinks. This also means you’re overloading on calories and sugars that your body does not need.
It’s all about balance; however, when it comes to drinks, water is the best way to go!
- Don’t Forget Your Fruits & Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are important in every stage of our lives. Did you know that they alone should fill half of your plate at every meal? This is because they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They make it less likely to have high blood pressure, get heart disease, and fight off some cancers.
Make it a daily goal to eat 2 cups of fruit every day as well as 2.5 cups of vegetables. If this sounds like a lot, break these amounts down within each meal.
Make yourself a fresh fruit smoothie, vegetable soup, or add some chopped veggies to your pasta sauce or meatloaf.
- Eat More Fiber
Increasing fiber intake leads to weight loss, more energy, and it lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Fiber-rich foods include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. You’ll notice that fiber will make you feel fuller longer, which is great if you’re trying to keep off those extra pounds!
A few changes you can make to increase fiber intake include:
- Eating more veggies with each meal
- Eating more nuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds
- Try avocado smoothies!
You don’t have to implement all of these changes at once. Begin replacing certain foods for healthier alternatives little by little. You’ll notice these changes are so easy to make and your family will hardly notice the difference!