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By Evelyn Wambua

The top 6 healthy eating habits that contribute to good health

Healthy eating practices are key to achieving good health and wellness. Knowing what and when to eat reduces the risk of developing health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Here are the top 6 healthy eating practices that you should adopt.

1. Avoid processed food

Processed foods are not healthy. They contain high preservative amounts, artificial colorings and higher amounts of fat, sugar and salt than freshly cooked food, while lacking fiber and nutrients. Meals prepared from fresh, unprocessed foods have plenty of health benefits. Instead of buying packaged foods, try cooking fresh vegetables, eggs and lean meat and eating fresh fruits, legumes and nuts. Stock the shelves and pantry with fresh beautiful ingredients so that they are at your reach whenever you want to eat.

2. Switch to whole grains

Whole grains provide far more fiber and nutrients than refined varieties. They have been proven to be effective in weight loss. This is because they contain a lower glycemic index that helps you stay feeling full for longer while maintaining your concentration and energy levels. They also have more nuttiness, flavor and texture than the refined ones. Replace white bread with wholegrain or wholemeal bread and white rice with brown rice, and add whole grains like buckwheat and quinoa to meals and salads to increase the nutrient content.

3. Adopt healthy methods of cooking

Over-cooking and over-boiling foods such as vegetables drains their color and consequently, their nutrients, while deep-frying adds unnecessary calories to your food. Try these healthy methods of cooking.

  • Barbecue or grill fish, meat and vegetables.
  • Stir-fry vegetables and meat in a small amount of olive oil, or spray them lightly with vegetable cooking oil.
  • Replace salt with spices, ground pepper and herbs.
  • Use lemon juice or balsamic vinegar for dressing.
  • Use fresh tomatoes to make home-made sauces. You can combine them with spices and herbs.

4. Eat healthy food portions

It is hard to tell how healthy portions of food look like, especially in today's world where everything is super-sized. All adverts seem to be encouraging you to drink and eat a lot. So you might find yourself consuming more than your body requires. Start off your day with a healthy breakfast that constitutes proteins (boiled eggs, milk or yogurt), wholegrain carbohydrates, and fruit and vegetables. For an ideal lunch, fill half of your plate with vegetables or salad, one quarter with lean meat, and the other quarter with wholegrain carbs. Your dinner should be half the lunch portions.

5. Keep a diary

Writing everything you drink and eat in a diary will help you know the amount of food you are consuming, whether or not it is healthy, and where improvement is needed.

6. Eat healthy at parties and bashes

It is not possible to avoid birthday parties or work gatherings where plenty of alcohol and good food are offered. Setting up healthy eating practices for these occasions help you stay on the right track.

Final take

Developing healthy practices will help you achieve a good health and maintain healthy weight levels. It will also help you stay full for longer and have enough energy you require to perform all your daily duties.

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