Habits for Healthy Eating

July 10, 2024

First Stop Health

Three Basic Rules for Healthy Eating

  1. Nutrients are what counts. Countless studies demonstrate that it’s the quality of the food you eat that determines whether what and how you eat is healthy or not. Pretend you never heard the word “diet.” Instead, work toward a lifestyle built on healthy choices that are going to work for the long-term. In order to achieve that goal, find nutritious foods that you enjoy eating. Food should be something you relish and that nourishes you. It’s not just fuel.
  2. It’s all about you. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating.
  3. Food is pleasure. Rigid diets and complicated eating strategies take the fun out of meals. Food is more than just nourishing. It’s also delicious and fun. It can bring you closer to people and teach you about the world.


Habits to Support Healthy Eating

Choose whole foods. Whole foods are as nature made them, without added fat, sugar or sodium. Eating more whole foods will help you cut down on calories from the added fats and sugars we get from processed and fast foods. Add at least one fruit and/or vegetable to each meal with the goal five servings each day. This could include:

  • One medium-sized fruit
  • 1⁄2 cup raw chopped fruit or veggies
  • One cup of raw leafy vegetables

Eat the Rainbow. Eat foods with color! Adding color to your meal not only makes your dinner plate more attractive, but it helps ensure you get a range of healthful nutrients. Red, yellow, orange, purple, white and green.


Don’t starve yourself. This strategy is not only unhealthy — it nearly always backfires. If you don’t eat enough calories throughout the day, you’ll be more likely to overindulge at night. When you focus your efforts all day on skimping on food, you set yourself up for an eating binge later on.


Cook. When cooking at home, you’re a part of the meal process from start to finish — the grocery store to the plate. It makes you far more in tune with the 
food you’re putting into your system. You’re also less likely to serve yourself restaurant-sized portions, which are often large enough to feed 2 or 3 people. People who cook at home more often, rather than eating out, tend to have healthier overall diets without higher food expenses.


Be Mindful. Sit down, slow down, and enjoy your food at mealtimes. Turn off the electronics. Savor your food and tune into your senses.


Have a plan when you go to the grocery store. Don’t go hungry, take a list and stick to it. Also, stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.


When buying packaged foods, choose items with five ingredients or less. Avoid anything that won’t eventually rot.


Ask questions when you eat out. Menus can be very deceiving, and even healthy-sounding entrées might be loaded with butter or smothered in a heavy sauce. Don’t be afraid to take control. Ask for details about how a dish is prepared, request sauces and dressings on the side and make sure the server knows that you’re looking for a simple, healthy selection.


Limit fast food to once a week to ensure that you are able to give your body what it needs without harming it. It’s perfectly fine to have an unbalanced meal here and again as long as that’s not your norm.


Be a label reader. Look for good carbs, low saturated fat and low sodium items. When trying to find the difference between a “good carb” and a “bad carb” scientists suggest a “10:1” ratio of carbs to dietary fiber. If a food has fewer than 1 gram of fiber for every 10 grams of carbohydrate (40 calories’ worth) avoid it and choose another bread, cereal, grain product or snack instead. Try to buy foods that have either 0 saturated fat or fewer than 5 grams, and those in which added sodium (salt) is less than 300 mg per serving


Care you will love


Originally published Jul 10, 2024 4:51:58 PM.