7 simple ways to make healthier food choices

Maintaining a healthy diet is much easier than you think, if you know how to make smart food choices

7 simple ways to make healthier food choices

1. Keep it simple.

Generally, the closer a food is to its original form the better. Focus on foods that haven’t been highly processed and that have a short ingredient list. You can’t get any shorter than ‘apple.’

2. Make it convenient.

The best way to encourage these food groups is to keep them on hand, ready for snacks and meals. If you can’t eat fresh, frozen is the next best thing for maximum nutrient content.

3. Experiment with new flavours.

On your next visit to the grocery store or local farmers market, pick up fruits, vegetables and grains you’ve never had or try preparing your favourites in new ways.

4. Think ‘plant-based diet.’

A plant-based diet is packed with nutrients and helps fill you up and boost your fiber intake. Look for whole grains and whole grain products. Go for fruits and vegetables with deeply coloured flesh such as mangoes, blueberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, red peppers and dark leafy greens since they generally have more micronutrients. Eat edible skins ad peels (thoroughly washed) to increase your fibre and nutrient intake.

5. Practice moderation.

Because they are generally less nutritious, eat refined sugar-containing products in moderation.

6. Be aware of portion sizes.

Carbs are important nutrients, but it’s essential to pay attention to the size and number of servings you eat. A bagel may be three to five servings of bread, and a large plate of spaghetti may be three or more servings of pasta. Pay attention to your hunger and fullness levels; your body knows when it has had enough.

7. Be mindful of how carbs are prepared.

Toppings, sauces and condiments boost flavour, but be aware that they can also add significant calories and fat.

Excerpted from Eat What You Love Love What You Eat. Copyright © 2010 by Michelle May, M.D. Excerpted by permission of Greenleaf Book Group.

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