5 Tips to Improve Your HealthBalance and moderation are at the core of our 5 best tips to improve your health. By simply limiting the intake of processed sugars, bad fats, or alcohol, you can lead a healthier life your body and mind will thank you for. You will feel more energised, happier, and lighter. So, if you’re looking for easy ways to revamp your lifestyle, here’s how:
1. Eat a Balanced DietAs someone very wise once said, variety is the spice of life. However, it is not only that. Variety is also an essential element of a healthy diet. Because our bodies and minds are incredibly complex, they require different nutrients for optimal performance. In essence, in order to be considered healthy, your diet should include various fruits, vegetables, and protein. No matter how healthy one single food is, it won’t be enough to satisfy all of your body’s nutritional needs. If you want to ensure you have a balanced diet, you should:
- Include a healthy mix of staple foods in your daily diet. Staple foods include wheat, rice, maize, and potatoes. You should also consume plenty of fresh fruit and veggies and legumes like lentils and beans. Your diet should also include foods from animal sources like meat, fish, eggs, and milk.
- For a healthier choice and to feel fuller for longer, pick whole grains instead of processed grains. You can choose unprocessed wheat, maize, oats, millet, and brown rice. All of them are rich in fibre and will help your digestive system perform.
As you will certainly also crave snacks throughout the day, use this opportunity to make even more healthy choices and have unsalted nuts, raw vegetables, and fresh fruit instead of foods that are high in sugars, salt, or fats.
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2. Limit Your Sodium IntakeAnother important way to improve your health is to watch your sodium intake. The reason why you should do this is that too much salt can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of stroke and heart disease. Sadly, most people tend to exceed the World Health Organization’s recommended daily intake of 5 grams of salt per day either by oversalting their food or without realising it, by consuming processed foods or even drinks that are high in sodium. Here are our tips to reduce sodium intake:
- Mind how much salt you add to your food both when you are cooking and when you are enjoying it.
- In addition, limit the use of salty sauces like soy sauce, stock, or fish sauce.
- Choose healthier snacks instead of snacks that are high in sodium like chips.
- Avoid consuming large amounts of over-processed foods and generally check the labels of food products. Where you can, replace them with options that are lower in sodium. This tip also applies to canned fruits and vegetables and dried nuts and fruit that often have added salt and sugars.
3. Limit Your Oil and Fat IntakeNext on our list of ways to improve your health is limiting your intake of oils and fats. It’s important to mention from the get-go that not all oils and fats are bad for you. And that you won’t need to completely cut them out of your diet if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, you will have to pay extra attention to what oils and fats you are using and how much. Too much of the wrong kind of oil or fats can increase your risk of obesity, stroke, and heart disease. Among them, you should definitely steer clear of industrially-produced trans fats. They come with the highest risks for your health, especially your heart health. Here’s how to reduce fat and oil consumption:
- Use healthier oils like olive, canola, soybean, or sunflower oil instead of butter, lard, and ghee.
- Do not over-indulge in processed meats as they contain not only a lot of sodium but also trans fats.
- Also, avoid margarine and packaged snacks, fried, baked, or fast foods.
- Eat leaner meats like poultry and fish instead of red meats.
- Steam or boil foods instead of frying them.
- Check the labels of the foods you consume to check their trans fat content. If they contain industrially-produced trans fats, choose a healthier option.
4. Say No to Processed SugarsAnother ingredient you should avoid over-indulging in if you want to improve your health is sugar. Processed sugars in particular can be very bad for you. They can cause cavities as well as increase your risk of obesity and weight gain, which can, in turn, lead to chronic health problems. Just like sodium, many of the foods we eat and the drinks we enjoy have added sugars. And, in many cases, we may be totally unaware of this. Believe it or not, even bread has added sugars, while a can of soda can contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for these things, check the labels, and limit your intake where you can. Here are our top tips to reduce sugar intake and improve your health:
- Limit your intake of sugary drinks, especially energy and sports drinks.
- Check the sugar content of fizzy drinks, fruit juices, concentrates, ice teas, and flavoured water or milk and, if they have high sugar content, choose a healthier option. Plain water is always the best choice.
- Limit your intake of sugary snacks and other types of processed foods. Instead, choose healthy snacks like fresh fruit and veggies.
Do not give sugary treats or foods to children under 2. If they are above the age of 2, limit their intake.
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