Healthy eating is not just about losing weight. Learning how to “eat smart” is about making food choices to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. You can improve your health with what you eat to boost your energy, sharpen your memory and even stabilize your mood.
Healthy eating habits can be learned and it’s important to slow down and think about food as nourishment rather than just something to gulp down between activities. Eating with other people, particularly children, has numerous social and emotional benefits and allows you to model healthy eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.
Take time to enjoy mealtimes. Chew your food slowly, savoring every bite. We tend to rush though our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of what’s in our mouths.
Listen to your body. Are your really hungry? Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger. Try a glass of water first. Stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough, so eat slowly.
Don’t skip breakfast. A healthy breakfast can jump-start your metabolism. Eat small, healthy meals throughout the day, rather than the standard three square meals, to keep your energy up and your metabolism going.
Eat healthy carbohydrates and fiber, especially whole grains, for long-lasting energy. Healthy carbs digested slowly help you feel full longer and keep blood sugar and insulin levels stable. Unhealthy carbs, such as white flour, refined sugar and white rice digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels and energy.
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