Most people know that diet affects your health, but often that fact doesn’t become real until you’ve had a health scare. Going forward you know you need to make positive changes in your diet to prevent further problems and to stay well. There are some easy steps you can take.
Reduce Fast Food
An occasional fast food meal, say, when you’re taking a road trip, won’t hurt you, but frequent consumption of these foods can have a cumulative effect. Fast food products tend to be high in sodium, saturated fats, and calories. It also lacks sufficient fiber and nutrients found in vegetables and fruits.
Cutting down on your fast food intake is just a matter of planning ahead. Pack your own lunch to take to work. Make dinner menus at the beginning of the week and stick to it. If a fast-food breakfast is your downfall, substitute quick morning foods like boiled eggs or yogurt.
Eat More Vegetables
Vegetables are good carbs, meaning that they contribute natural energy that burns slowly and won’t raise your blood sugar. They’re also packed with fiber and micronutrients that contribute to cardiovascular and digestive health.
If you’re a picky eater when it comes to vegetables, start by eating one small salad each day. Salads are a great source of nutrients that you’re unlikely to get otherwise. You don’t have to stick with plain lettuce; add flavor with nuts, seeds, and fruit such as strawberries or grapes.
Reduce Sugar Naturally
The typical modern diet contains a tremendous amount of sugar. It’s often found in surprising places, such as bottled salad dressing, instant oatmeal, and granola bars. Start your effort to reduce sugar by reading labels and identifying sugars such as dextrose, lactose, fructose, and glucose.
Then, start substituting natural foods for sugary snacks and foods. Whole grain bread with natural nut butter makes a healthier breakfast than packaged cereal. Keep fresh fruit on hand for quick snacks; these will satisfy your craving for something sweet. Avoid artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and aspartame because these are associated with numerous health problems.
After a health scare, you are highly motivated to eat healthy, but you want to make sure the changes you make are sustainable for the future. Adding good foods to your diet while reducing unhealthy ones is the best way to make a permanent lifestyle change for the better.
Check out this article on how to ensure healthy development for your kids!