8 Quick Ways to Improve Your Diet

Eat beans to lower cholesterol and regulate digestion. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

A few healthy switches can reap big rewards when it comes to nutrition. Here are 8 easy ways to eat more healthfully (via ChaCha):

  1. Drink more water. Water aid digestion and helps you to feel full, without adding sugar or calories. Replace one soda or juice with a glass of water each day, and you’ll cut about 150 calories.
  2. Read nutrition labels.┬áIt’s essential to know what’s in your food in order to make healthy choices. Check the label for calories, fat, sugar, protein, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. Also check the serving size. You may be surprised!
  3. Switch to whole grains. Whole grains provide lasting energy and an increased feeling of fullness, and cause a lower insulin response than their processed “white” counterparts. They also lower cholesterol. Make the switch and opt for whole-grain, pasta, bread and rice.
  4. Eat beans. Kidney, pinto and navy beans are high in fiber, making you feel satiated. They also regulate digestion and lower cholesterol.
  5. Don’t snack before bed. Unless you are truly hungry, avoid snacking right before bed. Being overly full can decrease your quality of sleep and even make it harder to fall asleep in the first place. Your body will store the calories from your snack as fat, since it didn’t burn them off with activity.
  6. Don’t buy foods that challenge your self-control. It’s much easier to avoid eating junk food when it’s not sitting in your kitchen pantry. Stock up on healthy options, and avoid bringing junk food home.
  7. Don’t eat in front of the TV or computer. Watching television or working on a computer while you eat makes you more likely to eat mindlessly, which delays your body’s ability to recognize that it’s full. Eat at the table, and take time to enjoy the appearance, smell and texture of your food. This will increase your body’s feeling of fullness.
  8. Learn portion sizes. Many foods have smaller portion sizes than you might think. One serving of cereal, for example, is about the size of a hockey puck. For more tips on exercising portion control, read our recent post.
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