Healthy eating habits are an important part of healthy aging. Aside from getting enough sleep and exercising regularly, making a few simple changes to your food choices can increase the amount of nutrition you are getting. Instead of reinventing your diet, or making radical changes, try some of these simple swaps to make healthy eating a part of your normal daily habits.
Healthy recipes are everywhere, but making big changes and sticking to it is the hard part. The trick is to take the recipes that you already love and foods that are a staple in your house and swapping a few for healthier alternatives. You still enjoy your favorite meals but you get a healthy boost.
7 Ways to Start Eating Healthier
Drink it. Lots of it.
OK, maybe water ins’t a food, but you’d be surprised how many calories and sugar a day are consumed in what you drink. Replace pop, juice, flavoured waters, fizzy drinks – all of it – with water. If you need something to snazz it up try adding cucumbers, lemon wedges, strawberries or any other frozen fruit you have on hand. Freeze berries or lemon in ice cubes trays and pop in your glass when you refill. A pretty drink tastes even yummier.
Smoothie a Day
Losing lean muscle is a normal part of aging, but including enough protein in your daily diet is a proven way to slow the process and help repair and build new muscle as you age. Adding a protein smoothie into your daily routine is a great way to get 20-30grams of protein with minimal effort. A high quality protein powder like Boomer Nutrition ENERGY and NEW Organic Vegan Protein is great tasting and without the chalky texture and can be shaken with just water or milk. For added nutritional benefit, blend with fruit, hemp or flax seeds and even spinach or kale to make it a meal.
Go natural. All natural. Like one ingredient on the label natural. Peanuts. Peanut butter can be a healthy protein to add to any snack but only when it does not contain added sugars and hydrogenate vegetable oils.
Go whole grains all the time. Whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, whole grain cereal, whole wheat flour, and brown rice. Remove white starchy everything from your pantry. You will be rewarded with extra fiber and B vitamins without compromising taste or flavour.
Almonds are a great go-to snack when you just need something to munch on. Buy them dry roasted or make your own if plain blanched almonds do not have enough flavour. They make a healthy snack, have protein to fill you up and satisfy the craving for crunch.
Switch to yogurt or vinegar based salad dressings. Look in the refrigerated section near the produce at the grocery store. There are some incredible tasting creamy dressings with only 1-2 grams of fat per tablespoon (compared to a whopping 6 tbsp in regular ranch dressing) that go great with your kale salad. Better yet, make your own dressing at home with rice wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, a little extra virgin olive oil and using lemon or pressed garlic for added flavour.
Quickly becoming my least favorite stop in the grocery store, there are so many confusing choices! Beware of Fat Free on the label, it usually means chemicals have been added to keep the taste after they removed all the fat. Go for Greek yogurt that has so much more protein but watch for high sugar content. Best to buy natural plain yogurt and add your own berries on top and a sprinkle of chia seeds for fiber.
The idea of healthy eating is not to necessarily change everything you eat but to choose the healthier alternative of your everyday foods. Go for water, protein, whole grain, natural, and add your fruit to be on your way to healthier eating with minimal effort.
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