You are what you eat. This saying has been around for ages but its meaning keeps changing according to whatever health trend has exploded onto the scene. From detoxing to cutting carbs, intermittent fasting to calorie counting — how do we know what healthy eating habits are worth keeping? Here we look at eight, as listed by 24/7 Wall St. These eating habits are so good you may want to replace any fad diet or unsustainable diet with them.
- Eat smaller portions. It may seem like a no brainer but overeating, or eating larger portions, is an easy habit to get into. There are a few hacks to help you eat less though. When eating out, order an appetizer rather than main meal, or split your meal with a friend. At home, try to dish your food onto smaller plates.
- Ditch the sugary drinks. We all know that too much sugar is bad but what many people do not realize is how much of it they unknowingly consume through sodas and fruit juices. The issue is that a high sugar diet can put you at risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
- Reach for that coffee. Numerous studies have shown that drinking coffee in moderation comes with various health benefits. Experts believe it could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and even protect you against Alzheimer’s disease.
- Consume more fiber and probiotics. We underestimate just how important gut health is. The community of microbes in our intestines influence a range of bodily functions, including mood and immune system, which is why it is important to eat healthy foods that can help them flourish. Make sure your diet is high in fiber and that you take in active cultures either through supplements or fermented foods like sauerkraut.
- Eat healthy fats. Most of us are still wary of fat and this is largely thanks to an outdated belief that eating fat makes you fat, but the body actually needs certain fats from foods like nuts, avocados, and seeds to function optimally. Just be mindful of portion sizes.
- Eat more whole foods. Ideally you should eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. This means steering clear of processed foods and opting for whole fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains wherever possible. Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamins, and nutrients that can all go toward preventing cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and stroke.
- Don’t count calories, count nutritional value. There is truth behind the saying that not all calories are equal. A small chocolate bar and a bowl of fruit may contain a similar number of calories, but the fruit is far more nutritious and the way the body reacts to it is different to how it may react to the chocolate bar, which is crammed with sugar and will cause your blood levels to spike. Considering the nutritional value of foods, as opposed to the number of calories they contain, is a far more wholesome approach when it comes to healthy eating.
- Don’t diet or label food as bad. The idea that certain foods are “bad” or off limits is cultivating a negative diet culture and may also make you more likely to fall of the wagon. This is because labeling foods in this way could lead to fewer healthy choices, studies have shown. A restricted diet is also not sustainable in the long run, which is why it’s important to allow yourself a treat every now and again.