10 Ways to Add More Healthy Foods to Your Diet

10 Ways to Add More Healthy Foods to Your Diet

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to subsist off brown rice and broccoli all day every day—in fact, it’s quite the opposite! Healthy foods don’t have to be boring or bland. By adding just a few more nutrient-dense foods to your diet, you can improve the nutritional value of your meals while still enjoying them. Here are 10 ways to add more healthy foods to your diet today.

1) Breakfast

Breakfast is by far one of the most important meals of your day, and it’s a great way to start adding more healthy foods. Whether you prefer oatmeal or eggs and bacon, adding protein and whole grains can have many health benefits. Consider rotating different breakfast options each morning for variety.

2) Lunch

The most important meal of your day. Or at least, it should be. Skipping lunch breaks our daily calorie-burning pattern and makes us more prone to overeating later in the day. Even if you do have a small appetite, make sure that you’re eating enough throughout each day so that you don’t feel sluggish and drained by 3 p.m. every afternoon. You can also try packing yourself a healthy lunch as often as possible—it will save you money and keep you from hitting up fast food joints for last-minute meals.

3) Dinner

If you eat dinner at home, find ways to create healthy dishes with fewer calories. Some simple ideas: grill chicken or fish instead of using oil; steam your vegetables rather than sautéing them in butter; use whole-wheat pasta and low-fat cheese instead of regular pasta and regular cheese. If you go out for dinner, choose a restaurant that has healthier options on its menu. You’ll still have to pay attention to portion sizes and calorie counts (many restaurants don’t provide nutrition information), but it will be easier than choosing a high-calorie option from an all-you-can-eat buffet.

4) Snacks

Everyone knows that snacks help curb hunger and prevent overeating, but it’s common for people to overdo it when snacking. Instead of eating a few handfuls of nuts, grab a piece of fruit instead. Not only will you be preventing overeating (and avoiding the calories that come with it), but you’ll also get your daily intake of vitamins and minerals from things like oranges, apples, carrots and grapefruit. 

Nuts contain plenty of protein and good fats—so enjoy them in moderation as an occasional snack, not as a meal replacement. And make sure you have something on hand that can give you a quick boost of energy when your afternoon slump hits! Try one or two slices of whole-grain toast topped with nut butter or hummus; they provide healthy fats to keep your energy levels up while giving you a dose of fiber so you stay full longer.

5) Desserts

There’s no reason you can’t indulge in a sweet treat now and then, but it’s important to pick healthy sweets. Instead of indulging in a candy bar, try fresh or dried fruit. It’s better for your body, and has plenty of antioxidants that will benefit your overall health.

6) Beverages

There are many unhealthy drinks you can choose from, such as soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks. In order to stay healthy, it’s a good idea to switch to low-calorie beverages whenever possible. These drinks include sparkling water with lemon or lime slices, unsweetened iced tea, skim milk (coffee included), and diet soda. These beverages will still give you hydration benefits without any extra calories.

7) Eat Out Less Often

In addition to being less healthy than home-cooked meals, eating out is more expensive and typically leaves you with less food than if you were cooking at home. If you’re serious about losing weight and getting healthy, it’s a good idea to start making your own meals instead of frequenting restaurants. That way, you have complete control over what goes into your food—not to mention a lot more money in your wallet.

8) Takeout can be healthier

We all love food delivery, but that can be a major stumbling block for maintaining a healthy diet. We usually order whatever sounds good at the time, without much consideration for what it does or doesn’t have in it. If you’re trying to put more healthy foods into your diet, takeout meals are a great place to start—as long as you make some healthy choices (more on that later). And there are plenty of great options out there. Just keep these tips in mind

9) Exercise First Thing in the Morning

If you have time in your morning schedule, get up a little earlier and do a few stretches or 10 minutes of cardio. Studies have shown that people who exercise at least 5 times per week are more productive on average than those who don’t. Why? Exercising releases chemicals called endorphins (which are also released when we feel good) that make us feel better both mentally and physically.

10) Get Ready for Summer

Although it may seem like a lifetime away, summer is right around the corner. Luckily, there are ways you can prepare for beach season now so that when June rolls around, you’ll be all set for sunshine and salty ocean breezes. Incorporate more healthy foods into your diet by following these ten tips from nutrition experts. These simple swaps will make a big difference in your health habits!

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