Eating healthily is not easy.
Yet, in this day and age of readily available food and fast food, we have more choice over what to eat than ever before in human history.
The problem is, a lot of the food is not healthy.
McDonalds may be popular in virtually every country on the planet, but no one could argue their food is healthy.
It’s simply convenient.
The majority of us don’t intend to eat poorly, we are simply lazy and eat what is quick and easy.
The problem is quick and easy often means unhealthy, and if we repeat this process over days, weeks and then months, the effects can quickly snowball!
The path to a healthier diet is simply developing good habits when it comes to food instead of bad ones.
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to eat healthily!
1. Drink More Water
“Thousands have lived without love, no one without water.” — W.H. Auden
It’s incredible to think our bodies are 70% water, yet most of us don’t drink enough of it.
We, mistakenly, believe by drinking fizzy and energy drinks, we are getting enough water.
The truth is, we are not.
These type of drinks are terrible for our bodies. They are full of acids which corrode our teeth, irritate our insides and make us anxious.
These drinks have only been around for around 100 years, yet water has been around longer than us.
Which one do you think is better for your body?
It’s certainly not modern concoctions like Coca-Cola!
It should be obvious that we need to drink water, but a lot of us simply don’t drink enough!
Staying hydrated is essential if you want to be at your best physically and mentally.
Drinking more water will flush toxins out of your body, improve your skin complexion and boost your immune system.
You only have to look at videos of Coca-Cola causing teeth to rot to understand it doesn’t any of the above.
If you want to become healthier, drinking more water is simply essential!
2. Cut Down on Sugar
Sugar is ubiquitous and a big part of most people’s diet today, but it wasn’t always this way.
Prior to the seventeenth century, very little sugar was consumed in England.
In fact from 1710 to 1770, the amount of sugar consumption in England increased fivefold!
This is quite the increase, and one that has huge ramifications for our bodies. They have simply not evolved to process the huge amounts of sugar that is present in our diets today.
When you eat sugar, your insulin spikes, and your liver turns the sugar into fat.
The liver then releases the sugar into your bloodstream, which causes your blood pressure to rise.
This causes a similar effect to heroin on your body, as it causes dopamine levels to rise.
High levels of insulin causes your levels of glucose to plummet, and as a result your body gets tired and craves more sugar to offset this imbalance.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Small quantities of sugar are fine in moderation, but if you’re indulging your sweet tooth too much, it will affect your body and your mood.
Swap sugary snacks for fruit instead. There are lots of natural sugars in fruit, which contain all the sugar we need in our diet.
Reduce your sugar intake, and you will notice a marked difference in a few days.
3. Reduce your Red meat intake
I have drastically cut back my intake of red meat over the past year.
There are a number of reasons for this.
One is that the links between red meat and numerous diseases, such as cancer and coronary disease, were too much to ignore.
Secondly, after reading about the cattle industry, and the way it treats animals, I started to view the meat in a different light.
Red meat is bad for you, especially if you consume a lot of it.
Eating burgers everyday is a surefire way to set you on the road to hear trouble, whereas eating one every so often is not much of an issue.
It’s all about moderation.
But a lot of us eat more red meat than we realise.
Cutting back on it will not only improve your health, but help the planet too.
Methane released by cows is a contributing factor to global warming. Add into the unethical nature of cattle farming, and you have some good reasons to give up red meat.
It might not be feasible for you to completely give up red meat straight away. A more gradual process would be necessary.
But, cutting back on how much red meat you consume will benefit you immensely in the long run!
4. Eat more Fruit and Vegetables
Here in the UK, it’s recommended we eat five portions of fruit and veg a day.
This is an arbitrary figure, but the overall premise is sound.You want to be more fruit and veg in your diet, if you aren’t already.
If you don’t eat enough fruit and veg, you run the risk of developing nutrient deficiencies which can have a drastic impact on your health.
One area that is underrated in its importance to our body is that eating more fruit and veg helps to maintain a healthy gut.
They are an excellent source of dietary fibre and will relieve and prevent constipation and other digestion problems.
Fruit and vegetables are such an integral part of our diet, it’s amazing to think a lot of us don’t eat enough of them.
I would contribute this to fruit and veg being seen as less trendy than other foods, in particular fast food.
What sounds more trendy eating at McDonalds or nibbling on Carrots at home?
Yet, the truth is whether t hey are trendy or not, they are vital for our health and overall well-being.
When it comes down to being trendy or healthy, there is only one choice!
5. Eat Less Salt
We all eat more salt than we realise.
Our meals are laden with salt. Walk around any supermarket aisle, take a peek at the figures on the back of products, and you will be amazed by how much salt we consume.
I should make it clear that salt in itself is not unhealthy, but consuming too much of it is.
If you’re consuming over 6g of salt a day, you’re eating too much salt.
This can lead to adverse effects on your health.
Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure you’re more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.
One easy way to cut down your salt intake is to not add any to your food.
For a lot of us, it’s instinctive to add salt to our food. However, 75% of our food already contains salt. Taste it first before adding any, as it may be perfectly fine.
Salt is a silent killer, next time you’re out or cooking food, check the labels before you add any salt.
Don’t completely stop eating salt, a little bit of sodium is necessary for our body to function properly.
Just be conscious of what you’re consuming and think twice before adding any more salt to your food.
It will do wonders for you in the long term!