One of the best ways to achieve good health is a balanced diet. However, a lot of people have been misled by self-proclaimed fitness gurus and dieting experts about what a balanced diet should be. Many think it means counting your calories and depriving yourself of certain types of food. A balanced diet is all about giving yourself the energy and nutrients you need to improve your health.
You don’t need to take nutrition courses to achieve a balanced diet, although it certainly helps. The amount of diet and nutrition advice on the Internet can overwhelm most people. An article would say that eating this specific food is good for you, and you’d find another article saying the exact opposite. While it is true that some types of food have beneficial effects on your body, your focus should be on your overall diet.
Cut through all the confusion and follow these simple tips for creating a healthy, balanced diet. Let’s begin.
1. Don’t eat too fast
Your speed directly affects your consumption, which in turn determines how likely you are to gain weight. Some studies have shown that fast eaters are twice as likely to gain weight than those who controlled their eating pace.
Hormones are responsible for your appetite, the amount of food you eat, and whether you’re full or not. Once you start eating, it takes around 20 minutes for your brain to receive these signals. You could already be full, and your brain wouldn’t know it. Eating slowly allows your mind to catch up to these signals.
2. Avoid refined grains
Another way to make your diet a bit more balanced is to choose whole-grain products instead of refined grains. Some standard products made from refined grains include white bread, degermed cornmeal, white rice, and white flour. Refining grains gives them a smoother texture and longer shelf life, but the process also removes fiber and minerals that your body needs.
On the other hand, studies have shown that whole-grain products such as whole-grain bread impart many health benefits such as a reduced risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases. If the taste is an issue for you, don’t worry: Whole-grain products often taste better than refined grains.
3. Shop with a list
There are two things you should keep in mind when buying groceries. One, don’t leave your home without a shopping list. And two, grab a quick snack before going to the supermarket.
If you’re hungry and don’t know what you need, you’re more likely to buy something on impulse. That’s how people end up with a shopping cart full of high-calorie, processed junk. To limit your impulse purchases, write your shopping list ahead of time. Doing this allows you to focus on the essentials and saves you more money in the long run.
4. Don’t grill or fry
Your methods of cooking also play a huge role in your health. Some of the most popular food preparation methods include frying, grilling, and broiling. However, certain compounds that have been linked to cancer and heart disease are formed when cooking using these methods.
To ensure a healthier diet, stick to stewing, poaching, and slow-cooking. We’re not saying that you should quit fried food, but try to minimize intake.
These pointers will help you create a healthy, balanced diet for you and your family. You don’t have to overhaul your diet to stay healthy. Small changes are more realistic and allow you to transition to a healthier lifestyle slowly.