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changing diet|girl eating hamburger|young man eating a carrot|raw salmon with spices

Health & Wellness

How Changing Food Habits Can Increase Overall Wellness

Learning to have healthy eating habits can be a challenge for many adults. After all, most or all of your old or current eating habits have been with you for a long time. When you look at food, there is so much to consider as to why you eat, the foods you select, and how much you eat.

Food is such a major part of any culture that sometimes the mind can become excited with joy or filled with sadness and immediately turn to food, which can allow for overeating or poor food choices. Nevertheless, the foods you consume have a major impact on your overall wellness , which is why it’s important to be generally mindful of what you’re putting into your body.

Highlighted below is an overview of how developing healthier food habits can increase your overall health and wellness.

girl eating hamburger Is Eating a Habit or a Necessity?


The answer to whether eating is a habit or necessity can range based on a variety of factors, but it typically both. For starters, it is quite obvious that food is needed for human survival, but the amount of food the body needs to survive is pretty set in stone. So, when people stray from that base value, it seems like that extra food might be more of a habit than a necessity.

So, despite the fact that eating something that’s a little more unhealthy from time-to-time isn’t problematic, habits like snacking when bored, washing down salty food with sugary soda, or scarfing down fast food generally encourage you to increase more and more of these same unhealthy foods without even realizing it. This takes away one of the most important parts of any healthy diet: moderation.

Therefore, taking the time to remphasize that you’re eating in order to nourish and fuel your body (and sometimes make yourself happy with that ice cream for dessert) rather than eating simply because you’re bored might be a good place to start if you’re looking to develop healthier eating habits.

Tips for Developing Healthier Eating Habits


Choose Better Quality Food


Quality over quantity is something you should remember when it comes to developing health eating habits. Better quality foods tend to be less processed, contain more fiber, and have less sodium per serving than processed foods.

Additionally, adding more fiber to the diet is perhaps one of the best healthy eating habits since fiber plays multiple important roles in the body. For instance, individuals who consume more fiber in their diet have been shown to have significantly reduced the risk of mortality from heart disease. 1

In addition to being a major factor in heart disease prevention, adding fiber is beneficial for body weight management. Studies have demonstrated that increasing your fiber intake each day can help mitigate body weight and fat gains over the lifespan, especially in women. 2

Foods that contain the highest fiber content tend to be whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables, and lentils, so consider these all as options for your improving your wellness.

young man eating a carrot Eat More Vegetables


You hear it all the time, but eating more fruits and vegetables can be a healthy change to your diet that can virtually turn your wellness plan around. Especially with the consumption of vegetables, your health and wellness can see major effects upon making this switch.

Studies continue to demonstrate that the consumption of fresh vegetables, including cruciferous, dark green leafy vegetables, as well as a variety of colored vegetables, could help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. 3

Current guidelines suggest that every adult should consume about five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day.

raw salmon with spices Consume More Fish


One of the major components to healthy eating is consuming lean protein options. Lean protein options tend to contain less fat, saturated fat, and sodium. For this reason, fish is a lean protein option that could benefit your health.

For starters, fish such as salmon and halibut are considered fatty fish options, but the fats contained in these types of fish are the best for your wellness. Salmon and halibut both contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are not found in most red meats, chicken, pork, etc.

The fatty acids that make up omega-3 fats in fish are composed of compounds called EPA and DHA, which help prevent heart conditions, control body weight, and help improve cognitive function. 4

If you’re determined to boost your wellness and are looking to make a change in your eating habits, making a switch to salmon and halibut ought to be a high priority given the many wellness-boosting effects that omega-3 fatty acids provide.

Eat Added Sugar in Moderation


This topic has been central to the obesity debate for quite some time. Added sugars tend to be added to foods to make them taste better, but in many food options, the amount of sugar added is far beyond what the body should have.

Added sugar contains no nutritious value, so the more you consume on a regular basis, the more empty calories you consume. 5 Excess added sugars have been largely to blame for diminished energy levels, growing waistlines, and increased rates of type II diabetes.

Changing your lifestyle to include minimal added sugars could be a good switch, especially if you are at risk for diabetes, obesity, or physiological energy deficits. Consider making small changes to your diet by drinking your coffee or tea without any sugar or sweeteners, cut back on processed foods, and be mindful of the amount of fruit juice you consume.

Conclusion


Improving your overall wellness is something that can easily be accomplished with your diet. While your current dietary habits have been around for years, making changes to develop better eating habits is certainly possible in smaller, tangible increments.

Photo credits: ViChizh/shutterstock.com, Lolostock/shutterstock.com, Catalina.m/shutterstock.com, FoxysForestManufacture/shutterstock.com

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