To eat better, you don’t need to change your entire diet. Sometimes, all you need is a few tweaks and some basic nutrition knowledge. These are five simple tips, with recipes! These five easy tips (recipes included!) are a great place for you to begin.
It’s now easier to achieve your “get healthier” goal. There are no gimmicks or large outlays of time or money. There are simple changes that you can make in your daily eating habits, as well as tasty and nutritious recipes. These tips can be used to help you start your evening with dinner tonight.
1. Get rid of refined grains
Swap in Whole Grains
Even if your blood pressure is not high, it’s important to monitor your sodium intake. Most people consume more than the 2,300 mg recommended daily (or about 1 teaspoon of salt). Although it is not always possible to replace salt in your cooking, you can distract your palate by using chopped fresh herbs or spices to awaken other flavors. You can be creative with the seasoning mixes found in every seasoning aisle. Just make sure that they are “salt-free.” Are you not ready to give up salt? This is a good tip: If you don’t like salt, don’t add it. Salt can be added just before you serve, but it will go a lot farther if it’s not used immediately.
3. Swap out Farmed Atlantic Salmon
Swap In: Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon
Imagine a wild salmon swimming in the Alaskan waters, enjoying plankton and bugs, while also enjoying the natural beauty of the wild. Imagine a salmon being raised in a fish farm where it is fed high-fat, processed food to make bigger fish. What fish would you prefer to eat? This is not an easy choice. While there are more farms offering healthier and more sustainable options, most farmed Salmon still fall on Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch “avoid” list. Wild-caught salmon from Alaska has more omega-3s per serving than farmed salmon and is healthier for your heart. It is also more sustainable and has fewer contaminants and pollutants. It can be frozen or fresh-frozen if you don’t have it. You can also make it from canned.
4. Switch to Processed Meats
Swap in: Lean Meats & Plant-Based Protein
Do you remember those mystery-meat lunches that were served in the school cafeteria? Research has confirmed that these meals weren’t very healthy. The World Health Organization issued a warning in 2015: Consuming processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, corned beef, and bologna can increase the risk of colon cancer and may also be linked to pancreatic and prostate cancer. While we don’t recommend avoiding processed meats completely, if your favorite lunch option is a Reuben or BLT, then it’s time for you to reduce the intake. You can also try canned salmon or canned turkey, or chicken breasts without skin. You can eat more plant-based protein like peanut butter, hummus, and black beans. They are high in fiber and lower in calories, and offer a lot of health benefits. A 2017 study found that switching to plant-based protein for just one or two meals a day can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Bonus: It’s cheaper, too.
5. Milk Chocolate: Swap Out
Swap In: Dark Chocolate
A little bit of dark chocolate each day is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Flavanols are chemicals that researchers found can improve your heart health by lowering blood pressure and decreasing inflammation. Studies have shown that dark chocolate may increase insulin sensitivity, which could help to prevent diabetes. It is also rich in important minerals such as magnesium, iron, and copper. Look for varieties that contain at least 70% cocoa. The higher the percentage, it will have more antioxidants and other nutrients. Take it easy. Chocolate can be high in calories, sugar, and fat so you need to use a small amount.