The first step on the road towards better nutrition is education. Gaining the knowledge of what is unhealthy to eat and what nutritious items you can replace those choices with will help you to achieve your fitness goals. Below are some fundamental tips to help you get going.
When cooking, use as little butter as possible. Instead, use olive oil. It contains monounsaturated fats which are actually healthy and beneficial to your health. Butter is loaded with saturated fat, something that is harder for your body to burn through and increases your risk of heart complications. So, use olive oil as a substitute for butter, whenever possible.
Baking a cake? Put down that sugar! There are so many other options that you can use that will make your cake just as tasty. You can substitute half of the necessary sugar with applesauce or carrot juice. This also adds the extra benefit of getting extra fruit and vegetables in your diet. If the cake doesn’t taste right to your liking the first time, experiment with adding other sweet fruits you enjoy or adjust the sugar to fruit ratio to your liking.
Go ahead and eat some chips or candy. A diet built around depriving yourself of the things you love, will never last. If you love chocolate or chips or a steak, go ahead and indulge yourself. The key to a splurge is moderation. If you let yourself have a small treat every once in a while, you will be much more likely to stay on track, the rest of the time.
Carbs are not the enemy. Your body needs carbs to survive and by cutting them out, you can cause your organs damage or even cause them to fail. That said, there are good and bad carbohydrates. The good ones tend to be complex carbs like whole-grain and other fiber-rich foods.
Legumes are superstars of the nutritional world. They provide protein and help balance blood sugar. But they may seem dull. Just dress them up in a good recipe and they are superstars of taste also: lentils become a good veggie burger, chick peas become hummus, beans excel in Mexican dishes, and there is nothing better than a bowl of homemade pea soup on a cold winter day!
If you want to add to the amount of vegetables that your child gets in his or her diet, find ways to incorporated them in favorite dishes like macaroni and cheese. This is a great way to get them to try something new, and then they will be more likely to try the foods on their own later.
When trying to add the nutrition of grains to your diet, be sure to read package labels carefully. Products that claim to contain nutritious grains may not be providing the whole grain that is essential for good nutrition. Look for the words “whole grain” on the label to make sure you are making the most nutritious choice for your body.
As part of your nutrition plan, see if you can reduce drinking soda. You’ll reduce your sugar and calorie intake and avoid unnatural, artificial sweeteners. Drinking plain water is unappetizing for some people, but most enjoy the clean, natural taste. If you must, you can add small amounts of fruit juice to add a bit of flavor.
If you eat cereal for breakfast but find yourself hungry soon after, you might do better with a different type of cereal. Try one that contains more fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer. A whole grain cereal is not only healthier, but it’s also more filling. And if you’re eating one that’s high in sugar, a lower-sugar cereal will help avoid a sugar crash, that can contribute to that empty feeling.
Salads need color and texture to catch the picky eater’s eye. Don’t be content with just lettuce. Add spinach or any young green to keep things interesting. Top it all off with some grape tomatoes or tomato wedges, baby carrots, green pepper, mushrooms, mandarin oranges and a few nuts.
When you are looking for something to snack on, open the refrigerator. You will most likely find choices that are more healthy than anything you can find in your pantry or freezer. Try filling your fridge with fruits and vegetables so you always have easy access to a snack.
Bread isn’t the only food with a healthier whole grain counterpart; pastas like elbow macaroni, spaghetti, angel hair, and linguine are best consumed when made from whole grains instead of refined pastas. The difference in taste and texture between refined and whole wheat pastas is negligible, and even the pickiest eater would be hard-pressed to tell them apart.
You should never stop learning when it comes to nutrition; make it a lifelong goal. Use these tips as your beginner’s guide in learning how to eat more nutritiously for long-term health. Find more information, so you can feed your body and mind.