Simple, Healthy & Easy – Top Tips For A Balanced Diet Part 3
If you missed it, be sure to head to last week’s blog posts for the first and second installment of this posting before reading on!
Transitioning to a healthier diet can often seem overwhelming. However, starting out small will see you make great leaps in improvements to your health one step at a time.
Eating a healthy diet will:
- Improve overall health and wellness
- Reduce risk of chronic disease such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- Improve blood pressure, body fat, visceral fat and cholesterol
- Increase productivity and concentration
- Improve mental wellbeing
- Strengthen immune system
- Boost mood and sleep quality
- Decrease lethargy and fatigue
- Increase motivation and energy
1. Choose a bowl of fruit instead of juice
Fruit is loaded with water, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants and is therefore extremely beneficial to overall health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that fruit is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. However, fruit juices may contain as much sugar as a soft drink, leading to spike in blood sugar, and a far less satisfying. Juice is also very easily over-consumed, so if this is something you choose to drink, be sure to dilute it by adding 50% water.
2. Make healthy versions of your favourite treats
Having a little of what you fancy can go a long way when it comes to motivation and maintaining a healthy diet day-to-day. But this needn’t mean that you undo all of your hard work. Improvising with healthier alternatives of your favourite treats will hit the craving spot but won’t cause any long or short-term health compromises.
- Try dipping your some fresh fruit such as berries or pineapple into a little dark chocolate. Eat immediately or freeze for a later date.
- Baking fresh fruit will release the sugars, making it seem like a special treat. Bake an apple or banana and top with chopped nuts and a little Greek yoghurt.
- Nut butters can make great treats on the go. Combine with unsweetened coconut, spices, dark chocolate, oats, coconut/almond flour, chopped nuts or dried fruit. Rolls into bite-sized balls and pop in the fridge so they are ready whenever you want a sweet treat.
3. Get colourful
The natural colours of fruit and vegetables represent the vast and varied nutrients that they contain. In order to eat a well rounded and balanced diet, eating a varied colour of food is essential. An easy way to do this is with a salad or stir-fry.
4. Keep your kitchen stocked up
Staying prepared with plenty of choices of ingredients in your fridge and kitchen cupboard is a vital element when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet with ease. This needn’t mean that you risk wasting food, try to ensure fresh food that you purchase is incorporated into your meal plan for the week ahead. Grains, canned beans and frozen fruit and vegetables have an extended shelf life.
5. Get experimental in the kitchen
We know that time is tight, but aim to try one new healthy recipe each week. We often find ourselves relying on the same meals week in week out, seldom varying our choices. Aim to switch autopilot off once a week and try a new recipe that can hopefully be incorporated into your batch of go-to dishes.
6. Reassess your coffee habit
It has become ever more common to order a milk-based coffee with added syrup, sugar or sweeteners. Forget a quick afternoon caffeine fix, this is a dessert! Coffee does provide health benefits such as lowered risk of diabetes, mental decline and liver disease, so needn’t be eliminated from your diet, but try to keep a maximum of 4 cups per day. Opt for black coffee, add a small amount of milk if you prefer, but avoid sweetening it.
7. Prepare ahead of time
Meal preparation is key when it comes to making life easier. Plan your meals for the week ahead and buy your ingredients accordingly. Set aside an hour or two to prepare all of the foods that you can ahead of time in order to avoid that temptation to stop for convenience food at 6pm on a Wednesday evening.
8. Shop with a plan
When entering the supermarket, you will have your shopping list to hand. This list will help to keep you on track, but bear in mind to stick to the perimeter of the shop, as this is where the fresh food is stored. As a general rule, you will enter to fruit and vegetables, followed by fresh meat and fish counters. Drop infrequently into the aisles for items such as Greek yoghurt, nuts, canned beans and oats.
For full details of our Employee Nutrition Services, please find our brochure here and to chat through how this may be implemented in your workplace please call Anna on 07778 218009.