Part of ageing well is in what you eat, so here are some secrets to a healthy life to keep you younger for longer.
Remember that everything in moderation. You don’t have to cut out animal fats totally, but you should focus on making plant food and unprocessed foods the centre of your diet if you want the secrets to a healthy life.
Adding more healthy vegetarian food to your weekly menu is an excellent way to enjoy a bigger variety of healthy food in your diet, and at the same time reduce your risks of bowel cancer.
Experts suggest limiting your intake of red and processed meat like bacon and ham to no more than 70g a day. Try to serve these as an accompaniment rather than the main part of a meal.
Secrets To A Healthy Life
Experts advise that we try to limit all forms of sugar. Even things like honey, agave nectar, fruit juice and coconut sugar are to be had in moderation.
Many of the above alternatives, like agave syrup or even maple are actually sweeter than regular sugar, which can help you to reduce your intake if you use them in smaller amounts, but if you use them as you would sugar, then you may as well just have regular sugar.
Never fall for marketing hype. Sometimes low fat actually means high in sugar. All types of sugars are low in vitamins and minerals and offer no real health benefits.
So if you are looking at making a difference in your teeth and reducing your waistline, reduce high sugar foods packed with kilojoules and very few nutrients.
Cutting down on sweets, biscuits, chocolate, cake and sugary drinks rather than swapping out your sugar for a trendy alternative will work much better for staying healthy.
Ditch Those Low Carb Diets
Rather than limiting your carbohydrates, half of your calories should actually come from them. Preferably this should be in the form of whole grains, and high fibre, low sugar starchy foods.
Studies have suggested that the risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes may be up to 30% lower in people who regularly eat whole grains as part of a low-fat diet.
Remember that any diet changes that you do make need to be done gradually. In this way, you are more likely to stick with them. So you could start out with oats in the morning and do a wholewheat pasta or brown rice a bit later on. Eventually, you can try things like wholewheat couscous, quinoa, buckwheat noodles or bulgur wheat.
Spread Your Protein Throughout The Day
Most people tend to eat very little protein during the day and then have a big portion with their evening meal.
This is not the best approach for fighting hunger.
There is growing evidence that protein helps to keep us full, especially when it’s combined with a carb.
Spreading this across the day is a better approach for appetite control.
Remember protein is not only found in meat and chicken, but also in things like dairy, tofu, eggs, fish, pulses, nuts, and seeds.
If you spread your protein across your meals, then you will stimulate muscle growth more effectively.
For women especially it is essential to eat protein to maintain lean body (muscle) mass as they age. The more muscle we have, the higher the metabolism and the more kilojoules we burn, which makes weight control a lot easier.
Enjoy Some Superfoods Everyday
This doesn’t mean spending lots of money on things like acai berries, kefir or maca powder for a nutrient boost. In fact, some of the most nutritious foods that we can eat are right under our noses in the supermarket.
Adding the latest fad superfood into your diet is not very likely to transform your health, but adding superfoods to your diet every day will.
These superfoods include things like onions, tomatoes, green vegetables, citrus, nuts, seeds, oily fish, eggs, whole grains, low-fat milk and plain yoghurt.
Make yourself a Green Smoothie – excellent for getting lots of vitamins in nutrients into your system fast.
Eating some of the above each day will ensure that you stay in the best possible health long term.
Cook From Scratch
Believe it or not, this doesn’t have to be time-consuming.
It is actually possible to create healthy meals in minutes.
Having simple fresh ingredients on hand helps and our fridges should always contain the building blocks for a healthy meal.
You can make your life even simpler in the kitchen by using pouches of pre-cooked lentils and grains, or have frozen vegetables on hand which often retain more nutrients than their fresh counterparts.
Don’t Be Scared Of Fats
Fat doesn’t need to be avoided altogether, but you need to ensure that you are eating the right types.
Too much saturated fat in our diets, like butter and biscuits, can have bad implications on our cholesterol levels which is a risk factor for heart diseases.
So swap out those foods that are high in saturated fats for those rich in unsaturated fats. These include olive oil, oily fish, seeds and nuts.
If you are trying to lose weight, keep an eye on how much fat you actually consume. Using a measuring spoon when adding fats to your cooking does help to control the portions.
Enjoy Your Food
Because we are all so busy, we often pay little attention as to what and when we eat, and this can affect our waistlines and our overall health.
Pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth, as mindless or distracted eating is a great way to unconsciously stack up excess kilojoules so that we end up gaining weight over time.
Also, the types of foods that we eat when we are distracted are usually low in nutrients.
Always sit down to eat and stay away from the computer and your phone. Eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful.
When you start savouring your food, you will be more likely to choose foods that nourish your body both mentally and physically.
So as you can see the secrets to a healthy life are things that you have probably known all along, but you probably have gotten into bad habits over the years.
Now is the time to have a good look at your diet and make small changes every week that make you look and feel better about yourself.