better eating habits

Clinical studies have shown that maintaining good health at any age involves consistently staying active and eating healthy.  If you’re anything like me, saying no to a sweet treat is a daily challenge. Still, incorporating nutritious eating habits into your lifestyle is easier than you may think and can offer protection against chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, just to name a few. Plus, you’ll have the added benefits of slowing the aging process – and looking and feeling your best!

Healthy eating is not just about what you eat but when and how you eat.

Eat every three to four hours. As we age, our metabolism begins to slow, making it harder to lose or maintain weight. Eating throughout the day keeps appetite hormones balanced to avoid overeating and increases metabolism.

Control portion sizes. Eating the right amount of food will also help you to maintain a healthy weight.

Develop healthy cooking techniques. Instead of frying your fish, try steaming, baking, roasting or sautéeing it. If you have difficulty cooking or simply don’t like to cook, there are many prepared and semi-prepared meals, or pre-cut ingredients to reduce prep time. If your tastes have changed, try new recipes; adding spices, herbs and lemon juice can make foods more flavorful.

Enjoy your food. Although this seems simple, most of us don’t do it. Savor the tastes, chew slowly, put your fork down between bites, and stop eating when you feel full.

Now that we have determined how to eat, let’s talk about what to eat.

Adding protein to every meal, optimally 20 to 30 grams, will help maintain muscle mass. Fish, lean meats, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds are all wonderful sources of protein. Choose whole grains for more nutrients and fiber, and reduce your salt intake to under 1,500 mg daily. Replace salt with herbs and spices for a flavorful way to reduce your salt consumption.

Opt for nutrient-rich whole foods, which have the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need, rather than processed food or empty calories. Eat the rainbow. Make your plate a colorful culinary delight by adding fruits and vegetables to provide your body with essential nutrients such as fiber, which will help you stay fuller longer and control weight.

Add supplements. Check with your physician; you may need a multivitamin with vitamins B-12 and D, calcium and omega-3.

Stay hydrated. Drinking eight to 10 glasses of water or non-caffeinated drinks per day will prevent irritability, fatigue and confusion.

Developing healthy eating habits that will help you stay active, provide energy, reduce the risk of disease and look your best is essential to vital living!

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