It’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and nutrition. Even qualified experts often seem to hold opposing opinions, which can make it difficult to figure out what you should actually be doing to optimize your health.
Yet, despite all the disagreements, a number of wellness tips are well supported by research.
Here are 10 health eating tips that are based on scientific evidence.
1 : Take Charge of Breakfast Time
We believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but also realize that it can be the most difficult to fit in. Trying to make a quick and healthy breakfast while tending to the kids and their needs, then fighting through your commute, and rushing to way-too-early morning meetings? Not something you want to encounter every day!
Regardless of how hectic your morning routine is, cooking a good homemade breakfast is now something you never need to worry about. Here’s to your future of powerhouse mornings!
2: Eat More Veggies
Balance out your meals with the healthy and good-for-you carbs – veggies! Reducing the amount that you eat can be unfilling, so rather than going for a second serving of pasta or meat, add more veggies to your dish. You’ll still be able to enjoy your grains and meat, but you’ll also be able to eat your fill.
3: Take Advantage of Herbs & Spices
Healthy meals do not have to be bland and boring. A simple way to incorporate more flavor into your dishes is to add dried spices or fresh herbs. They virtually have no calories, so seasoning your food properly maximizes flavor without adding more pesky calories.
Add flavor and freshness to your cooking!
4: Use Small Amounts of Fat
Don’t compromise taste just because an ingredient is high in calories. You can still enjoy richness and flavour by cutting the amount of fat called for in recipes. For example, if a recipe calls for coconut milk, which tends to be high in calories, we use a small amount, so that we can still enjoy the taste, but with fewer calories. Likewise, when cooking with butter or oil, you really don’t need a lot. If you’re worried about the food sticking to the pan, use a non-stick pan.
5: Try these breakfast options!
Pick something ‘grainy’ and add protein, eg, porridge or Weetbix with fruit and light blue milk.
Try wholegrain toast with eggs or baked beans or banana and peanut butter.
6: Eat regular meals – at least 3 each day
Why? To help manage hunger and extra snacking.
Include some starchy carbohydrate (bread/rice/potato), protein (meat/fish/egg/beans/dairy) with veges and fruit.
Take lunch from home to work – it’s cheaper and means you’re not tempted by less healthy options.
7: Have smarter snacks – and only if you need them
Why? If you’re not hungry between meals, you don’t need snacks. If you do feel peckish, reach for one of the following snacks:
- a piece of fruit or a small handful of nuts (30g)
- a cup of soup
- a cup of low-fat milk or yoghurt
- vegetable sticks or grainy crackers with hummus or cottage cheese.
8: Be mindful – take your time and notice what you eat
Why? Eating quickly while you’re on the run and distracted can mean you eat more food than you need.
It takes 30 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full.
Many of us eat for reasons other than hunger – recognising this is the first step in making changes.
Slow down and wait for meals to digest.
Sit at the table, with friends or whānau.
Minimise distractions such as phones and TV.
Enjoy your food.
Some people find it helpful to write down what and how much they eat and how they feel before and after.
9: Portion sizes matter
Why? Eating too many healthy foods can still cause weight gain.
How much you eat is key to keeping a healthy body weight.
A good rule of thumb is food that will cover your palm is 1 serving.
For a healthy evening meal, picture your plate divided into 4: one quarter is for meat or a meat alternative, one quarter for grains or a starchy vegetable and a half for non-starchy vegetables.
10: Think about what you drink – undefined water is always best
Why? It’s free from the tap, healthy, good for the environment and good for you.
You need 6–8 cups of fluid each day.
Some of these can be from food, coffee, tea, milk as well as from water.
Other drinks often add empty calories – and they don’t fill you up as well as food.
Cordials, fruit juice, sports drinks and fizzy drinks are all loaded with sugar – a 300ml glass or bottle of fizzy drink has 8 teaspoons of sugar in it!
Alcohol adds up too – a 350ml can or bottle of beer has 155 calories and a 150ml glass of wine has 124 calories.
Now you know healthy eating tips for healthy living!