8 healthy eating habits for a healthier life

We lay so much emphasis on what to eat, and it’s preparation. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s expedient that we also consider healthy ways of eating daily. A good number of us have inculcated bad eating habits, which affect our health.

If we don’t eat well, or we consume more quantity of food than we should, it poses a threat on our health. And we don’t want that.

In this article, we have outlined 10 important eating habits we should consider in our daily lives that will help us live healthier lives.

8 eating habits for healthier living

1. Drink enough water before and after each meal

Set a goal to drink water instead of sugar sweetened drinks.

To make this more efficient, write down how often you will make this choice e.g. 5 times a week.

2. Avoid rushing your food

Whenever you’re full, it takes your brain to send out signals that you are full. So, it’s important to eat slowly.

Take the extra time to pay attention to what you are eating and how much you’re consuming.

To make this more measurable, write down how often you will make an effort to take at least a half hour to finish your meal.

3. Eat fruits and vegetables

Set a goal to fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables at every meal.

Fruit and vegetables are naturally low in saturated and trans fat, and rich in dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.

4. Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke, when they consume too much salt.

Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much.

About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces So, reduce the quantity of salt you add to your food.

5. Do not skip breakfast

Some people skip breakfast because they think it’ll help them lose weight.This is false.

But a healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet, and can help you get the nutrients you need for good health.

6. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

You need some fat in your diet, but it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you’re eating.

There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.

Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.

Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy, and if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.

Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies.

7. Do not eat late at night

Eating late at night can lead to several health hazards like increase in blood sugar levels, heart diseases, obesity and acidity.

Basically, the later you eat, the less your body is prepared to sleep, which can also have adverse effects on your memory and efficiency for the next day.

8. Base your meals on higher fibre starchy carbohydrates

Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals.

Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on.

They contain more fibre than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer.

As insignificant as the above points may look, they all have adverse effects if neglected. Eat right today!

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