salad with chicken / Brodie Vissers / burst / CC0
Proper nutrition is an essential step to improving your self-care routine.
With the rush of completing your daily to-do list, it’s often easier to grab a quick snack and eat while continuing your work. Although eating is necessary for your overall well-being, putting in time and effort towards meal planning is not always on top of our list of priorities.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 17% of children and adolescents are obese, which can lead to an increased risk of health issues such as heart disease and type two diabetes. However, even those at a healthy weight increase their risk of experiencing these issues if they do not eat properly. No matter your weight, a proper, nutritious diet will help you stay healthy.
An average person needs to consume about 2,000 calories daily, although the number for every person varies based on age and level of activity. That being said, it is important to make sure you limit your intake of “empty calories” as they do not contain any nutritional value. These foods include foods high in fats and sugar.
Here are some tips to help you start eating healthier and having a more balanced and nutritious diet:
East fruits and vegetables
Instead of eating chips as a snack, eat some fruit instead. Things like apple slices or a fruit salad provide way more vitamins and nutrition than an unhealthy snack would, plus they are naturally sweet and would help you limit your sugar intake.
When it comes to vegetables, it is easy to incorporate them into your lunch and dinner. For example, you can eat some baby carrots as a snack and add some leafy greens such as spinach or arugula to your lunch or dinner.
Fruits and vegetables are great healthy options. They contain many vitamins and are smart to add to any meal.
Drink more water and avoid sugary drinks
Water is something we all need to drink to survive, and 64 fluid ounces is the recommended amount of water to drink daily.
Being dehydrated won’t help you get through the day, so making sure to drink water and staying hydrated is essential for you to be healthier and feel more refreshed.
Try to limit your intake of sugary drinks and coffee and stick with water instead. Sure, having a soda or an iced latte is fine, but drinking those instead of water is not something you should be doing. All the sugars in those drinks are just empty calories and won’t help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
Dairy is a good source of calcium, but too much of it is not good for you as it contains lots of fats. Try settling for low-fat or fat-free milk or even settling for dairy-free alternatives such as oat milk, almond milk, or soy milk.
Avoid junk food
When in a rush, it is often more convenient to order some junk food. A burger and fries or a slice of pizza are not that expensive and come prepared and ready to eat immediately. However, these food items have high amounts of fat and sodium and provide little to no nutritional value.
There’s nothing wrong with going out with friends or family to a local burger or pizza place, but eating junk food regularly will increase your risk of future health issues. So, whenever you can, try to choose a healthier alternative.
A balanced diet will help you ensure you are eating healthy, nutritious food. Making sure to eat more natural foods such as fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods such as foods containing lots of fats and sugars can help you improve your diet. However, make sure not to make any drastic changes to your diet without consulting your doctor.