Many people think that if they want to dramatically improve the quality of their diet, they need to reduce their enjoyment of food. And yes, many foods that taste great are unhealthy. But you can easily retain your love of food and cooking as well as eat healthier if you want to. It’s all about thinking about which bad things you are eating and what you can replace those bad things with.
When you add up a lot of small changes to how you cook your food, it accumulates to one pretty big change overall. Making those first steps can be difficult though. We all have our routines, habits, and quirks when it comes to our diet. And that makes breaking away from them even more difficult. It’s certainly possible if you’re willing to take the challenge seriously though. Here’s how you can do it.
Rethink Portion Sizes
One thing that you can do that doesn’t involve changing what you do is reduce your portion sizes. Most of us simply pile the food on our plate without thinking about what the correct amount to eat is. This means why can end up eating much more food than we need without even really noticing what we’re doing. Most foods that you buy from a shop will give you recommended serving sizes. You should definitely take notice of these. And you should apply the same logic when you are cooking food from scratch. By reducing the portion sizes of your meals a little, you could reduce your calories intake massively.
Get More Creative with Snacks
Snacks tend to be unhealthy, but that doesn’t need to be the case. If you shun the saturated snacks and chocolate biscuits, you can start to explore the alternatives. The great thing about this is not only done it improve your diet and health, but it also allows you to try something new in the kitchen. There are all kinds of healthy snack options. Some people like to mix spices and chickpeas before roasting them to create a small snack. And you don’t even have to cook anything if you don’t have the time for that. Simply snacking on fruit and nuts is a good way to snack in a healthier way than usual.
Add Calcium to Your Diet
For people who don’t drink much milk, it’s very easy to become calcium deficient. This is when you’re not giving your body the calcium it needs to stay strong and healthy at all times. There are many sources of calcium aside from milk though. Many leafy vegetables contain calcium, for example. Kale, celery, broccoli, fennel, and cabbage are all packed full of it, so add some of those foods to your existing diet. Beans are another perfect source of calcium that you should take advantage of. Black beans, pinto beans, and black-eyed beans all have lots of calcium in them. So, you don’t have to drink milk to get the calcium you need, which is what many people assume.
Make Sure You Get Enough Fiber
There are so many health benefits of fiber, so you simply have to have plenty of it in your diet. A lack of fiber can also lead to lots of unpleasant bowel problems, which nobody wants to deal with. There is an important rule to remember when we’re talking about fiber. The more processed the food product is, the less likely it is to have any fiber in it. Fiber is something that you find in natural ingredients. Tomatoes, nuts, berries, and wheat-based foods are all great sources of fiber. But there is no fiber in things like meat and things like white bread have most of the fiber removed from. If you do improve the amount of fiber in your diet, you will have less chance of having heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.
Get Your Vitamins from the Food You Cook
It is dangerous to think that you can replace a healthy diet by consuming lots of supplements. This is not the case, and that’s not how it works. Supplements can be good for certain things. But it is much wiser and much healthier to eat the kinds of foods that naturally give you what supplements give you. Foods also include other things in them that supplements can never provide. All you need to do is research which foods give you which vitamins and that put these foods into your diet. It’s much better to cook and enjoy the food that you create rather than rely on boring supplements. It’s easy to incorporate new foods into your diet, so there’s no need to rely on supplements.
Consume More Whole Grains
Most of the grains that are in your diet should be whole grains. They are better for you than other kinds of grains. The main types of whole grains that you should consume are whole wheat, barley, and oats. You should buy bread and other items that are labeled as 100% whole grain. If they’re not labeled that way, then this means that they are not fully whole grain. A simple change to make is replacing the white bread in your diet with whole grain brown bread. Refined wheat is what you should try to stay away from when you are looking for products in a shop. This might also be referred to as white or enriched.
Cook More Fish and Less Red Meat
Unsaturated fats are very important, and they are found in foods like nuts and fish. This is one of the many reasons why you should think about swapping red meat for fish more often. It’s a very simple change, but it can make your meals much healthier. Fish are full of good fats and Omega 3. They are also a lot of fun to cook for people who have never tried it before. There are so many different types of fish out there, and you can cook them in different ways. It will make a change from relying on the same old red meats like steak, which are not very good for your health.
Cook with Less Salt
It’s easy to casually throw in some extra salt when you are preparing a meal for the family. It adds a little extra taste, and we all have salt in our cupboards. But this is not a very healthy move. And it might not even be necessary. There are many other things you can use instead of salt. You just need to think about what kind of flavor you want to create and then decide how to achieve that. Salt is a good shortcut, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only option out there. There are many herbs and spices that can be used to add that little extra something to the food that you’re preparing. And those things are much healthier than salt, which is bad for your heart.