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EAT: 10 Easy Ways to Eat Healthier!

Eating healthy doesn’t take shopping at a fancy grocery store or never eating pizza again. Making a few small changes to your weekly food choices can deliver big health benefits.

1. Drink more water.

Water helps your body function properly. Without the appropriate amount, your body can become dehydrated, which leads to hunger, low energy and can cause digestive issues. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day.

2. Eat breakfast.

According to research, people that don’t eat breakfast are hungry late in the day and tend to eat more, late at night. It’s also shown that men who skip breakfast increase their risk of heart disease while women who skip breakfast increase their risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

3. Pack durable fruit as a snack.

Fruit has been called “nature’s candy,” but it’s much better for you than candy, it boasts vitamins, minerals, and fiber. When you need an energy boost, choose a piece of fruit and enjoy the natural sweetness it provides.

4. Eat a vegetable with every meal.

Pack your fridge with vegetables and when making dinner, take three to five minutes to steam or sauté some veggies as a side dish. Vegetables take little time to prepare but provide essential nutrients for good health.

5. Put down the processed snack foods and choose whole grains instead.

Instead of processed snack bars or a bag of chips, which often have little nutritional value, choose whole grain snacks. Avoid anything that has the word “enriched” on the label and instead, look for the words “whole, rye, barley, wheat, bulgar, etc.” as one of the first ingredients (ingredients are listed by volume).

6. Be a little nutty!

A small handful of nuts can have a positive impact on your health. Research shows that people who eat nuts (in appropriate portions) tend to have lower body weight, reduced risk of obesity, and reduced risk of coronary heart disease. Nuts contain good fats that support your overall health!

7. Cook once, eat twice.

When you cook a healthy meal, make enough food for two to three meals. Store the extra servings in a seal tight container and enjoy for lunch or dinner the next day as well.

8. Add some green to your smoothies.

Take a handful of leafy green vegetables, like spinach or kale, and add it to a fruit smoothie. The sweetness of the fruit will hide the taste of the greens, and your health will benefit from all the powerful disease- fighting phytochemicals.

9. Eat a salad with calorie dense foods.

Add a salad to any meal, especially when eating rich foods. For example, if you order a pizza, instead of eating two to three slices, eat one slice and a salad. The same goes with pasta, instead of several servings, have just one serving and pair it with a green salad.

10. Practice portion control.

Your hand can be a helpful guide to measuring your portion sizes. For vegetables, grains, beans, and fruit, use the size of your fist. For lean meats, use the size of your palm, without your fingers. For nuts and seeds, use half of your palm. For healthy oils like olive oil or canola oil, use the size of your thumb.

To learn more tools about living a healthy lifestyle, enroll in the new Healthy Life class coming soon to the Health & Wellness Department at NMCSD. Call (619)-532-6846 today for more information!