10 ways to eat better every day
Finding it difficult to keep up a healthy diet? Try these 10 easy-to-remember hacks to help make healthy eating consistently achievable and fun!
1. Mix it up
Experts on healthy eating say one of the best ways to reach nutritional balance is to enjoy a variety of foods. Each basic food group - dairy, grains, fats, protein, vegetables and fruit - gives you different nutrients that are essential for the normal and healthy functioning of our bodies.
2. Bite down on breakfast
No, coffee alone doesn't count as breakfast! Kickstarting your day with a healthy breakfast (like eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes, or oats with fresh fruit and dairy) gives you the energy to get going. Research shows that eating breakfast every morning can help you control your weight as it can keep blood sugar levels stable and stop you from feeling cravings.
3. Chew on a rainbow
Veggies and fruit are filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, so eating your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day helps make sure you meet your nutritional needs. Try choose ones from each of the five vegetable subgroups:
Dark leafy greens (like spinach, turnip greens, kale, beetroot greens, green herbs and romaine lettuce)
Orange veg (carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut, pumpkin)
Legumes (beans, lentils, chick peas and split peas)
Starchy vegetables (mealies, potatoes)
Other (tomatoes, cabbage, celery, cucumber, lettuce, onions, peppers)
4. Portion caution
Stick to recommended serving sizes. Using smaller plates, bowls and glasses can help keep your portions under control. Remember to drink water and eat slowly so you don't go back for seconds before you realise you're actually full.
5. Move more
Enough regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. Physical activity is also key to staying healthy because it lowers blood pressure and helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise most days of the week.
6. Pack snacks
Healthy snacks can keep your energy levels up between meals, and prevent your eating too much of the wrong kind of food. Try a handful of unsalted nuts, a piece of fresh fruit with plain yoghurt, or a glass of milk.
7. Be a label junkie
Knowing which types of fats should be avoided and how much sodium or sugar per serving is too much, can help you buy and prepare healthier meals. A dietitian can help you read and understand food labels so you can make smarter choices quickly when you shop for groceries.
8. Brush up on food hygiene
To lower the risk of getting sick from your food, always remember to wash your hands properly before preparing and eating food. Make sure your food is properly cooked and refrigerate foods at a suitable temperature to slow bacteria growth.
9. Home bakes
Cooking and eating at home means you know exactly what goes into your food. This way, you can avoid eating too much sugar, salt and unhealthy fats without knowing about it. Plus, research shows that family meals promote healthier eating. So set the table, look away from your screens, and tune into each other.
10. Pack your lunch
Packing your own workday lunches means fewer (unhealthy) impulse buys, and it saves you money. If you're unsure how to eat right, ask an expert - that's what they're there for! A dietitian can help you bring all these tips together and create a personalised and sustainable eating plan for you and your family.
Start with one simple change today to make healthy eating a part of your life forever.