Healthy habits can positively impact your entire well-being. And one of the best ways for you to do is to improve your diet. Aside from that, you should also engage in physical activities as well as avoid your exposure from harmful substances. In this article, we will discuss some ways on how you can improve your diet and the benefits you can obtain from doing so.
Tips to Have a Healthier Diet
Do you know that your pace when eating can actually influence the number of foods you will consume as well as the probability of gaining weight? A study has shown that people who eat at a fast pace is 115 percent more to become obese compared to those who eat at a slow pace (1).
This is because your appetite that is regulated by hormones is responsible for controlling the amount of food that you eat and also signals when you are full. But then, your brain needs about 20 minutes for it to receive information that you are full. That is the reason why the more slowly you consume foods, the more likely your brain will perceive information that you are full and signal you to stop eating (2).
Furthermore, it was shown that eating slowly can help you reduce the number of calories you take, thereby helping you to lose weight (3). This could also be explained by another study that linked slow eating to chewing. It revealed that if you eat slowly, you have the chance to chew the foods more thoroughly, thereby helping you maintain weight (4).
Whole-grain bread is better than refined
Yes, you may be used to have refined-grain bread every breakfast or maybe during snacks. But do you know that it can actually lead to some serious health issues? Replacing it into whole-grain bread is healthier. This is because studies have shown that whole-grains can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes (5).
Whole-grains are also a good source of B vitamins, fiber, and various minerals, such as iron, zinc, manganese, and magnesium (6). There are many choices of whole-grain bread that you can choose from. In fact, some of these taste better compared to refined bread. But before you should buy one, you need to check the label and ensure that the bread is made of whole-grains, instead of a mixture of refined and whole grains.
Have some greek yogurt
Greek yogurt can be added to your diet. It is different from regular yogurt since it is creamier and thicker. You will notice that greek yogurt is quite watery. Don’t worry because it is natural and this is because it is strained in such a way that its excess whey is removed.
Greek yogurt is rich in protein and fat compared to regular yogurt. In one study, it was revealed that Greek yogurt contains more protein, specifically up to 9 grams per 100 grams, compared to regular yogurt (7).
The consumption of protein can help you feel fuller for a long period and this helps you regulate your appetite, thereby making you eat fewer calories (8). And because it is strained and excess whey is removed, this is good for those who are lactose intolerant as well as those who have a low-carb diet.
Have a list before shopping
There are two ways on how you can choose healthy foods when going to a grocery store- make a list of the things you need to buy and avoid being hungry during shopping.
If you don’t know what you are going to buy, this will lead you to impulse buying. On the other hand, if you are hungry while shopping, it will also lead you to impulse buying (9). For you not to give in to this impulse, you need to plan beforehand and write a shopping list. This will not only make you choose healthier items but also make you save more money.
Do you know that eggs can provide you healthy benefits especially if you consume them for breakfast? Eggs are rich in protein and other important nutrients, such as choline. According to a study, eating eggs in the morning can help increase fullness. This will make you eat fewer calories over a day, which only means that this can help you lose weight (10).
In another study, it was revealed that men who consumed egg experience less hunger and more fullness, which make them less likely to eat more as compared to those who eat croissant or cereal during breakfast (11).
Furthermore, those who eat eggs for breakfast consume fewer calories, around 270 to 470 calories lower, during lunch and dinner, compared to those who consume other foods for breakfast. This only indicates that replacing your typical breakfast to eggs will most likely help you obtain various health benefits.
Consume protein-rich foods
Do you know that protein is considered as the king of nutrients? This is because it has the ability to regulate your satiety and hunger hormones and it provides the most macronutrients (12).
A study has shown that increasing your protein consumption up to 30 percent can make you eat fewer calories the entire day, specifically by 441 calories lower. But the good news is that you don’t need to actively restrict your calorie intake (13).
Moreover, it can help you maintain your muscle mass, essential to ascertain your metabolism rate. High protein consumption can help you burn more calories about 80 to 100 calories every day (14).
This is also vital for you to prevent losing your muscle mass, which usually occurs due to aging and weight loss (15). That is the reason why every time you eat your meals or snacks, you should choose foods that are rich in protein. This will not only curb your cravings, but it will also make you feel fuller, which can make you avoid overeating. Also try other sources of protein such as peanut butter, nuts, dairy products, lean meat, and beans.
Drink plenty of water
You are already aware that water is very important to your health. A lot of studies have shown how drinking water can help you maintain weight, lose weight, and even burn calories (16).
Drinking plenty of water before meals can help in reducing your calorie intake as well as your appetite (17). This only shows that water is the best option that you should drink instead of opting for other beverages. Besides, water consumption can reduce your sugar intake (18). Those who drink plenty of water will most likely consume 200 fewer calories compared to those who drink other beverages (19).
Either roast or bake
There are many ways on how you can prepare your foods. But do you know that it has an effect on your health? For instance, the most prominent methods of preparing meat and fish are broiling, grilling, and frying.
But these cooking methods can lead to detrimental effects on your health. When you cook using these methods, various toxic compounds may be formed such as advanced glycation end products, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and heterocyclic amines (20).
If these compounds are included in your foods, you will most likely be at risk of several diseases such as heart disease and cancer (21). If you want a healthier way to cook, you can try methods such as simmering, broiling, baking, poaching, pressure cooking, slow-cooking, sous-vide and stewing. These methods are said to be healthier ways to prevent the above-mentioned compounds, thereby making your foods healthier (22).
Take vitamin D and Omega-3
Do you know that about 42 percent of people in the US are deficient in vitamin D (23)? Vitamin D is crucial for your bones and immune system. Besides, the cells in your body are considered as a receptor for vitamin D (24). Vitamin D is usually found in seafood.
On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids have various roles in your body, such that it reduces inflammation, promotes brain function, and maintains heart health (25). The Western diet, for instance, is a good source of omega-6 fatty acids that can help in preventing various chronic diseases and inflammation (26).
A study has shown how Omega-3 can help in fighting inflammation and keeping your body in a balanced state (27). So if you are not fond of seafood, then you need to take supplements, such as those rich in vitamin D or Omega-3.
Eat fresh fruits
Yes, it is already of common understanding that fruits are healthy. This is because fruits are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and water. Several studies have revealed that fruits can help you reduce your risk of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease (28).
Most fruits contain fiber, which means that even if it contains sugar, the latter is digested very slowly, that is why it has no significant effect on your blood sugar levels. But it is noteworthy that eating fruits is different from drinking fruit juices.
Do you know that most fruit juices you find in supermarkets are not made from real fruits? This means that fruit juices are rich in sugar. In fact, some of these fruit juices contain more sugar compared to soft drinks (29). That is the reason why if you want to get the utmost benefits of fruits, you need to choose whole fruits rather than fruits juices.
Benefits of Having a Healthy Diet
Having a healthy diet can affect your mental, physical, and emotional health. Healthy habits can help in improving your entire well-being, thereby making you feel good. So if you are willing to take some of the tips mentioned above to improve your diet, you will most likely reap the benefits of a healthy diet. Here are some of the benefits of having a healthy diet:
It can help control your weight
If you eat right, you will less likely to gain weight. Aside from a healthy diet, you also need to be physically active to achieve your weight-loss goals. It can help boost your immune system, improve your cardio, and maximize your energy level (30).
You can also eat healthy foods to start your day and this will make you feel fuller for longer periods. Try to include fruits and vegetables in your diet. These foods can also help you reduce your calorie intake without compromising the nutrients your body needs.
It can improve your mood
Eating right can help boost your mood. It aids in the production of endorphins, a chemical that makes you feel more relaxed and happier. Moreover, it can help you build a better physique, thereby boosting your self-esteem and confidence (31).
It helps combat diseases
Having healthy habits can minimize your risk from various health issues such as stroke, heart disease, and hypertension. Having a healthy diet can keep your blood pressure as well as your cholesterol level within a safe range. Moreover, it can help you deal with other health problems such as depression, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, and cancer (32).
It helps boost energy
A healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. Eating the right foods can fuel your body for you to obtain sufficient levels of energy. These foods can also help promote better sleep which is linked to various health benefits, such as boosting your energy (33).
It promotes longevity
Having a healthy diet can promote longevity, together with a healthy lifestyle. That only means that you need to consider changes in lifestyle, such as engaging in physical activities regularly for you to get the benefits of a healthy diet (34).
You can practice a lot of ways for you to improve your diet such as increasing your protein intake, taking vitamin D and omega-3, drinking plenty of water, slowing down, and many more. Having a healthy lifestyle can help you get various health benefits, such as controlled weight, improved mood, boosted energy, and promoted longevity.