Do you know what is the one thing that you do each day that can sustain or ruin your health in the long run? It’s eating. The food you put in our mouth day after day can keep you healthy, or even destroy your wellbeing in the long run. To eat healthier means to stay healthy, to live longer – and happier! And these are the things you should start with.
1. Eat less salt
Salt is the most important source of sodium in our diet. We need sodium to survive: it helps muscles contract (so we can move), it helps nerve impulses travel through our body (so our brain can tell our muscles to contract), and it regulates fluid balance, so we can stay hydrated.
But too much sodium in our diet is harmful.
Too much sodium will attract water into the bloodstream, raising your blood pressure. This subjects your arteries, veins and heart to extra effort, damaging them in the long run, and making you susceptible to heart disease.
A tablespoon of table salt contains about 2.300 milligrams of sodium – and most people eat more than that a day. To eat healthier, limit your daily sodium intake to about 1,500 milligrams a day.
2. Eat less added sugar
Refined carbs are long known as “the enemy”. Sugar is easy to digest, it gives you quick energy, and it’s very easy to overeat – it’s sweet, after all. The excess sugar you put into your body floods it with energy, which is stored for later as fat. And your fat deposits are the direct cause of a series of health conditions.
According to the American Heart Association, you should limit your daily added sugar intake to 8 to 9 teaspoons (32 to 36 grams), depending on your age, gender and lifestyle. For reference, an 8-oz can of cola can contain up to 8 teaspoons of added sugar.
To eat healthier, be careful how much sugar you introduce into your system. Switch sugar-laden soft drinks for water, and avoid desserts as much as possible.
3. Eat healthier fats
While fat is not the worst thing you can eat, it is among the nutrients that can have a major impact on your health. Some types – like trans fats, the ones found in certain hydrogenated vegetable oils – have been proven to harm your health in the long run. Others – like the ones you can find in certain fatty fish – are beneficial.
Choosing the right kinds of fat and integrating them into your diet can turn it into a healthier one.
4. Eat more fiber
Most people eat less fiber than they should – and the result is constipation, weight gain, fluctuating blood sugar and in extreme cases nausea and tiredness. High-fiber foods, like rolled oats, have carbs that are digested slower, releasing energy for longer. Besides, fiber absorbs a lot of water and helps loosen up your stool.
5. Eat less
An average adult human needs between 1,500 and 3,000 calories a day. But most people eat more than that and don’t consume the difference through physical activity. Which leads to weight gain. Which leads to a series of health issues.
To stay healthier in the long run, you should better control your portions. Eat as much as necessary, and eat slower – it will help you feel full sooner, and keep your weight normal in the long run.