5 simple rules for healthier eating
Eating healthy comes up a lot in daily conversations, and while eating healthy can differ from person to person, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind.
Barbara Fine, a pediatric dietitian at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., offers five simple rules for clean eating.
1. Get as much nutrition as possible from an assortment of unprocessed foods
Unprocessed food is good in its natural state, including fruits, vegetables, raw meats, fish and eggs. When purchasing foods, look for those with limited ingredients. Make sure the ingredients are familiar enough that you can pronounce them. When it’s unavoidable, try to eat processed foods less often.
2. Choose home-cooked food
By cooking meals at home, you have more control over what you are eating. Not only do you benefit your taste buds by choosing the flavors, but you can avoid those processed foods when you select them by hand. You also benefit from having a smaller portion size when meals are prepared at home.
3. Choose healthier restaurants
There are restaurants that create menus with unprocessed foods — some of them may be special in that everything from bread to desserts are made from scratch. Most chefs like to create their own dishes from unprocessed foods. There are also some healthier restaurants that serve fresh, nutrient dense foods.
4. Mostly drink water
Your intake of water should be much greater than your intake of other beverages including pop, coffee and juice. This will reduce your sugar and calorie intake each day. However, there is no universal recommendation for how much water to drink per day since it usually depends on how much the person weighs. That is, unless you are an athlete or have medical conditions that might limit your intake.
5. Eat with other friends
Eating with others, especially those who you care about, will increase the likelihood of you cooking a home-cooked meal. It also has the benefits beyond nutrition. Gathering around the table and eating together is also a great way to socialize and a chance to model healthy eating behaviors. The key is moderation and being mindful of what you are eating.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.