America's Energy Doctor
I recently wrote a post offering 10 of the most fundamental, easy-to-implement tips for eating healthy. Click through if you missed it and start there. I got such a positive reaction to it, I thought I’d write up another 10. Plus it’s such an important topic, and I love to cut through all the confusing nutrition and healthy eating information out there for my patients and readers. Because really, eating well isn’t nearly as complicated as it’s often made out to be.
So, whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight, reduce your risk of all sorts of chronic health problems and diseases, boost your mood and energy levels, improve your general health—or all of the above—let these articles be your guide. Again, these steps are so simple to incorporate into your lifestyle, and they’ll have a big impact.
Easy Tips for Eating Healthy
- Eat at least two servings of seafood per week. Fatty, oily fish and shellfish are best. These are simultaneously healthy protein sources and healthy fat sources. Salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, halibut, herring, sardines, anchovies, Arctic char, cod, shrimp, oysters, and mussels are all good picks for satisfying this step.
- Make legumes the protein source in at least two meals per week. These too are great sources of healthy protein and fats, as well as dietary fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Most are also relatively low in calories, and they have no saturated fat.
- Look for at least 1 gram of fiber per 10 grams of total carbohydrates. This is easy to check on nutrition labels. It’s the ratio that naturally occurs in whole grains, so it’s a convenient way to confirm that what you’re eating has good carbs, and not just bad carbs from refined grains or added sugar.
- Use healthier cooking methods. It’s not just what you cook—it’s also how you cook it. Deep frying and frying add lots of calories and possibly saturated fat, thanks to all the oil and butter. Baking, broiling, and grilling are some healthier cooking methods.
- Add in herbs and spices! Herbs and spices make your food taste better and help keep you from feeling deprived when transitioning to healthier eating habits. But they also supply all sorts of antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds.
- Snack on a small handful of nuts every day. Also great sources of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and a variety of other nutrients, and effective at boosting energy, nuts are a power snack. They also help control your appetite and can reduce your risk of certain diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. They are high in calories, though, so watch the serving sizes.
- Find ways to swap in lower-calorie, healthier alternatives. You don’t even have to eat less to eat for better weight control; you just have to eat smarter. For inspiration, take a look at these beneficial food substitutions.
- Don’t rely on vitamins and nutritional supplements. These can be useful for preventing and treating deficiencies, and for helping alleviate certain symptoms and conditions. But they’re not a substitute for getting nutrients through a healthy diet consisting of whole foods.
- Don’t eat things with artificial trans fat (trans fatty acids). This fat, found mostly in fried and baked goods, is terrible for you. It’s usually listed in the ingredients as “partially hydrogenated oils,” which aren’t even classified as “generally regarded as safe” by the FDA anymore. Check near the top of nutrition labels to verify products contain 0 grams of trans fat.
- Do not follow fad diets. They aren’t good for you, they sap your energy and lower your mood, and they don’t work. Here’s more information about why you should avoid fad diets. Remember, permanent positive lifestyle changes—not diets—are the key to successful, lasting weight management and improved health.