You truly are what you eat.
So, it’s perfect timing during National Nutrition Month to get us thinking about our daily diets.
A simple starting point is to reflect on how much real food you’re putting into your body. Real food is defined as food in its most natural state; essentially more a product of nature than a product of industry. Avoiding processed foods can be challenging, especially considering what is constantly available to us and oftentimes cheaper than real foods. Not to mention, processed foods, or foods with added fat or refined carbohydrates, are addictive.
Try these 5 simple ways to eat well and live well.
01 Read Labels
Understanding nutrition labels can help you make better choices. Real Simple offers a guide on reading the nutrition facts labels. Take a look at serving size, percent of daily value, fat, cholesterol and sodium. In general, try to avoid any foods with ingredients you don’t recognize or cannot pronounce.
02 Eat More Plants
A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil. Rather than focusing on what you’re eliminating from your diet, start by adding more of what you know is good. If you’re ready to fully embrace a plant-based diet, MindBodyGreen offers a wonderful guide for beginners.
03 Healthy Fats
Saturated fat increases cholesterol and can increase your risk for type 3 diabetes. You’ll find these fats from meat, seafood and dairy products. Rather than eliminating or minimizing fats from your diet completely, focus on eating the heart-healthy kinds. Avocados, raw unsalted nuts, nut butters, chia seeds and raw coconut oil are great sources of healthy fat.
04 Visit a Farmers Market
Not only will you be supporting your local community, you’ll be eating food that is in season and avoiding potential pesticides in your produce. Not to mention, it is great for the environment to purchase locally grown products. If Farmers Markets are out of season in your area, opt for organic produce at the supermarket.
People oftentimes confuse thirst with hunger. Before you munch, consider drinking a cup of water or mug of tea. Water keeps your metabolism moving and digestive system functioning well. There are many different opinions on how much water you should consume on a daily basis. It really depends on your size, weight, activity level, and climate. An easy rule of thumb is to drink between half and ounce and an ounce of water for every pound you weigh.
Got your own tips on eating and living well?