Healthy eating is part of the foundation for better overall health and wellness, which also impacts insurance rates and coverage. Healthy eating helps prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
There is a myriad of reasons why healthy eating is important for living your best life.
When it comes to the practical implications of healthy eating, essentials like life insurance, health insurance, and auto insurance can all be affected by chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. In fact, term life insurance for a diabetic person can be more costly and difficult to obtain.
Healthy eating is important for improved overall health. It also helps with weight loss and weight management. Healthy eating helps improve energy levels and is necessary to fuel physical activity.
Nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water are needed for energy, metabolism, and many other physiological functions. A well-balanced and varied diet will give you the nutrients needed for good health.
Here are ten simple healthy eating tips to help you look better, feel better, and live your best life.
1. Start with a Glass of Water
Staying hydrated is important for your health. Water is important for metabolism, removing toxins, regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients in the blood, and most other body fluids are made from water.
Dehydration can occur when you don’t consume enough water and can cause headaches, fatigue, weakness, and can interfere with many cellular processes in the body.
Water is a calorie-free and sugar-free beverage, so it can help with weight management. It can help with weight loss if you are replacing sugary beverages with water. Additionally, it is free or inexpensive, and convenient.
2. Keep Fruits and Veggies Ready-to-Eat
You can buy many fruits and vegetables already sliced, washed, or prepared, so they are ready to eat. You can also prepare them to save some money. Either way, preparing ahead of time makes it much easier to reach for healthy foods when you need a quick snack.
When you make fruits and vegetables the convenient option, you are more likely to reach for these nutrient powerhouses. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, fat, and sodium and full of nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Getting a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet is also helpful in getting antioxidants and phytonutrients, which can prevent diseases, boost immunity, and keep your cells healthy.
3. Be an Occasional Vegetarian
Meat is nutritious, but including vegetarian meals on occasion can help save money, expand your nutrient horizons, and is also better for the environment. Soy-based foods like tempeh, tofu, and edamame can make vegetarian meals nutritious and tasty.
Try tempeh or tofu in place of chicken in a stir-fry recipe. You can include broccoli, carrots, and the seasonings of your choice to round out the meal. Serve on a bed of brown rice or quinoa to get more fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
4. Enjoy Simple, Nutritious Meals
Find some breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals that are simple and nutritious to enjoy often.
- For example, oatmeal with fruit and sprinkled with nuts plus a glass of skim milk is a quick and tasty breakfast.
- For lunch, a spinach salad with turkey, carrots, tomato, cheese, and topped with vinegar and oil is simple and nutritious.
- For dinner, salmon with quinoa and vegetables is a tasty combo.
Add some fruit and yogurt for dessert. Snacks can fill the gaps with any food groups missing from your daily meals.
5. Read Food Labels
The nutrition facts label is the best resource to tell exactly what is in your food. You can see the serving size, servings per container, calories, individual nutrients, and how these nutrients fit into your daily calorie recommendation.
The ingredient list is helpful for a number of reasons. Typically the longer the ingredient list, the more processed the food has been. A shorter ingredient list, especially with ingredients you can pronounce and recognize, is typically less processed.
6. Have Fish Twice a Week
Fish like sardines, tuna, and salmon are great omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The American Heart Association recommends two fish servings per week, which is about 6 to 8 ounces of fish.
Fish is also quick and easy to prepare. Frozen fish is quick to thaw and great to keep on hand and pair with vegetables and grains for a healthy and quick meal. Canned tuna is a budget-friendly food and can be added to salads or served with whole-grain crackers for a light meal or snack.
7. Cut Back on Added Sugar
Added sugar has been added to foods but does not occur naturally. Fruits and dairy products have naturally occurring sugar, but those foods also have a lot of other nutrients. Foods with added sugars lack nutrition. Added sugars are now listed separately on the new version of the Nutrition Facts label.
Sugary beverages like coffee drinks, soda, and juices offer very little in terms of nutrients but have a lot of added sugar. Beverages are some of the biggest contributors to added sugars to our diets.
8. Get Plenty of Bone-Building Nutrients
Calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K are all important nutrients for bone health. Calcium and vitamin D are highest in dairy products and plant-based milk. Leafy greens and green vegetables have some vitamin K and some calcium. Magnesium is found in nuts, seeds, avocados, beans, tofu, grains, and leafy greens.
You should be consuming three servings of dairy products each day to get your calcium and vitamin D. Low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, or plant-based milk are those important dairy products.
These nutrients also have important functions outside of just bone health. For example, vitamin D and magnesium can help control mood swings, and vitamin K is important for blood clotting.
9. Try Whole Grains
Whole grains are readily available and can be incorporated into many recipes. Whole grains include oats, quinoa, brown rice, and barley. There are also many varieties of whole-grain bread, crackers, tortillas, pasta, and cereals. Popcorn is even considered a whole grain.
Whole grains are less processed and have more nutrients than their non-whole grain counterparts, like white rice or white pasta. Whole grains have more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
10. Take a Prebiotic and Probiotic
Prebiotics and probiotics are important for gastrointestinal or gut health. Probiotics are live healthy microorganisms that live in our gut and can protect us against diseases and boost health. Prebiotics feed healthy bacteria, so they flourish within our gut.
The best probiotic sources are yogurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, kefir, and kimchi. The best prebiotics in our diet are onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas, whole grains, and apples.
These healthy foods can help improve your digestive system’s health and protect you against harmful microorganisms and diseases.
The Best Diet is Balanced and Varied
These ten tips will help you get a balanced and varied diet, so you feel energized and put your best foot forward. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you reach your full potential in all aspects of your life and help you live your best life every day.