A healthy diet is essential for keeping your body and mind fit and well. This can improve mood and help maintain a positive outlook on life. No matter what age you are, there are always benefits from switching to a healthy diet – it’s never too late to improve how you feel.
Healthy eating includes consuming high-quality proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals in the foods you take in while aiming to minimise saturated fats and alcohol. Eating in this way can help keep your body functioning optimally, decrease your chances of getting some diseases and increase your likelihood of having a healthy body weight.
Although they are often subject to bad press, fats are extremely important in any diet. You need fats to produce essential hormones such as cortisol, testosterone and oestrogen. If you try to eat healthy saturated fats, you could improve your blood cholesterol, lower your risk of heart disease and improve your insulin and blood sugar levels. Keep an eye out for Omega-3 fats, which can benefit your brain and your mood, they’re usually found in fish, nuts and seeds.
Good carbs are carbs which break down slowly in the body. If you regularly consume these, you may notice fewer dips in energy levels. This could also help maintain good insulin levels and may decrease your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Look out for low glycaemic carbohydrates such as wholegrain pasta, rice, sweet potato and most vegetables. Substituting a high sugar cereal for something like bran or oats could help you avoid that mid-morning dip that many of us experience.
Consuming less sugar and more good carbs go hand in hand. Try to slowly decrease the amount of sugar you consume. There are surprising amounts of sugar in ready meals, tinned goods and pasta sauces. Paying attention to the food labels will increase your awareness of what you eat. Consider using natural foods, and use herbs and spices to flavour it. Over time your taste buds will get used to the new flavours.
As we age our digestion can become less efficient so trying to consume more fibre can be a really good way to help mitigate this. An easy way to consume more fibre is to make it part of your daily routine. Consider starting your morning with a high fibre cereal. You could also make good carb choices such as whole grains, oats, beans, nuts and vegetables.
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