5 Golden Rules of a Healthy Diet

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. By now, most people know that fad diets don’t work. What’s more important is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and get enough exercise. Here are some tips to help you live healthier in 2020 and beyond. Please consult your health care professional before making any drastic changes to your diet, especially if you suffer with any chronic ailments or have health concerns that involve diet restrictions. 

heart-veggies1. Get real

The latest “diets” aren’t really diets at all—they simply focus on eating real food. The main principle of eating real is to reduce or cut out processed foods like frozen chicken nuggets, pizza, deli meats, french fries, donuts, and potato chips. Instead, look for fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and whole grains (foods closest to their natural form).  When you do purchase pre-packaged foods, look for those with the fewest ingredients that you can actually pronounce.

2. Use the right oils

cocnut-oilWhen it comes to cooking oils, there are two things to know: oils with saturated and trans fats are bad (e.g., vegetable or canola oil), but those with unsaturated fats are good (e.g., olive oil). Always buy extra-virgin olive oil to get those “bonus” antioxidants known as polyphenols. Here are some other healthy options to try: 
  • Avocado oil: Rich in unsaturated fats with a healthy punch of vitamin E. It’s flavor is mild and clean with a hint of nuttiness.
  • Flax seed oil: It contains beneficial omega-3 fats—some evidence shows it may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
  • Coconut oil: It does contain a large amount of saturated fat, but it has zero cholesterol plus a healthy combination of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, known as “essential fats”. Plus, it’s great for cooking at high temperatures. 

3. Decide if breakfast is right for yousmoothie

For years, experts have touted the importance of eating a well-balanced breakfast to help maintain a healthy weight. Now, some are going back on that statement with methods like intermittent fasting. Recent research shows that eating breakfast has no significant impact on weight loss. (However, it may impact your energy-levels.) This doesn’t mean the debate is over, but it does take the pressure off of people who simply aren’t hungry at the beginning of the day. 

 4.  Reduce sugar-intake

image sugarThe over-consumption of sugar in 2018/2019 was one for the record books, and 2020 could be even worse. A recent study states that Americans consume nearly three pounds of sugar a week. Food and drinks with added sugar (often high-fructose corn syrup) contribute significantly to weight gain and chronic health conditions such as diabetes. The American Heart Association recommends that men limit added sugar to 37.5 grams per day and women limit their sugars to 25 grams per day.

Keep in mind; a single can of non-diet soda contains around 40 grams of sugar. Avoiding sugary drinks is the first step in reducing your sugar intake and cutting calories.

5. Un-super-size.

In the age of super-sizing, it’s all too easy to misjudge portion sizes. Fortunately, you already have a guide to proper portion sizes—your hand. Here are some tips. (Note: Hand and finger sizes differ from person to person. These are GUIDES only.)
 Handy Guide to portion size graphic

Remember, healthy habits are connected. Eating better could potentially lower your prescription costs in the long run. To get help affording medications today, click on the “Get Your Free Card” link and have it printed, text-messaged, emailed, or sent via mail—no personal information required. It’s available to everyone at any time. For more information about how the free prescription card works, check out our video.

By WHBlogger 
Originally posted: 1/13/2014 
Edited: 8/9/2016
Edited: 12/12/19

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

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One Response to “5 Golden Rules of a Healthy Diet

  1. Ceci West says:

    Here’s a recently published article from the New York Times that offers some great, supplementary advice: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/09/ask-well-making-exercise-a-habit/?_r=0

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