5 healthy eating habits to adopt
The food and beverages we consume play an important role in our health. In addition to other benefits, good eating habits reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, strengthen the immune system, improve concentration and increase our energy. Here are a few tips for a healthy and balanced diet.
1. Diversify your diet
A balanced diet is essential to meet your nutritional needs. In fact, not all foods are equivalent: some are richer in fibre, others in minerals, etc. By diversifying your menu, you can get a proper intake of all essential nutrients. It also allows you to break the routine and take pleasure in eating well.
2. Drink water
According to the World Health Organization, we should ideally limit the consumption of free sugars to 5% of our total energy intake, which is roughly 25 grams per day. Considering that a 250 ml glass of orange juice can contain up to 23 grams of sugar and a soft drink can up to 40, it’s better to drink water when you feel thirsty.
Adults and children generally need about two litres of water per day. However, this amount may vary depending on the level of physical activity or other factors such as temperature.
3. Read labels
Processed or highly processed products often contain significant amounts of added salt and sugars, as well as unhealthy ingredients such as saturated fats. It’s important to read the information on the packaging. Pay particular attention to the Nutrition Facts table and keep in mind that a Daily Value of more than 15% is high. By understanding food composition, you will be better at making sensible choices.
4. Get cooking at home
Preparing food at home can be very beneficial. It saves you money, allows you to adjust your recipes to your liking, reduces your consumption of processed foods and allows you to control the amount of salt and sugar in your recipes. To avoid food waste and simplify your life, plan your meals and snacks at least a few days in advance.
5. Check out Canada’s food guide
Canada’s food guide offers valuable advice for developing and maintaining good eating habits. Since its update in 2019, the guide recommends, among other things, that you:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables and include them at every meal.
- Eat more vegetable protein (legumes, nuts, tofu, etc.).
- Choose whole-grain foods (quinoa, whole oats, brown rice, etc.).
Ideally, fruits and vegetables should make up half of your plate. The other half should consist of an equal amount of whole grains and vegetable or animal proteins.
It takes discipline to change your eating habits, but you’ll soon find that it’s well worth the effort. If you have a known health problem or need help with menu planning, don’t hesitate to consult a nutrition professional or talk to your doctor.