Know The Importance Of Healthy Eating And Tips To Improve Your Eating Patterns – ABP Live

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Health is a critical asset we often undervalue due to our busy lifestyles until it gets impacted. A healthy eating pattern is crucial to stand strong on our fitness goals and resolutions. In the fast-paced world we live in, it’s easy for us to fall into the trap of unhealthy eating habits and unknowingly endanger our health. Before we learn how to improve our eating patterns, let us have a look at the impact of unhealthy eating patterns on our bodies.

Explaining what an unhealthy eating pattern is, Dietician Umang Malhotra said, “Unhealthy eating habits are characterized by constant poor food choices that lack essential nutrients. These patterns often involve eating excessive amounts of processed and sugary foods while ignoring nutrient-dense options. The main culprit is the overconsumption of processed and sugary foods. From sugary snacks to highly processed foods, these choices can lead to a range of health problems. Another warning sign is a lack of nutrient-dense foods in the diet. When important vitamins and minerals are neglected, the body is deprived of the fuel it needs to function optimally.”

He also went on to share the impact of such unhealthy food on our bodies.

“Persistent poor eating habits increase the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. These diseases can seriously affect the quality of life. Believe it or not, what we eat affects our mental health. Unhealthy eating habits have been linked to mood swings, increased stress and greater vulnerability to mental illness. Are you feeling sluggish? Unhealthy diet is to blame. Poor nutrition can lead to lower energy levels and make daily tasks more difficult. Additionally, poor eating habits can disrupt sleep and affect the quantity and quality of rest,” he said.

Tips To Gradually Improve Your Eating Patterns

Functional Nutritionist Mugdha Pradhan, who is the CEO and Founder, of iThrive suggested the following:

  • Start slow and easy, don’t jump onto any rigid diets like keto or paleo that set strict rules around certain food groups you have to mandatorily avoid. 
  • The first step is elimination: remove the harmful and damaging components of your diet. These include most processed and packaged foods, refined sugar, gluten, processed dairy, refined seed oils, and other inflammatory foods like soy and corn. There is a learning curve to this as it can be difficult to identify food items and dishes that contain problem ingredients. 
  • The single most important habit, perhaps, that you can inculcate to ensure a healthier diet is learning to cook. Eating home-cooked meals ensures you know every ingredient that’s going into your food. With time you learn to become creative and play around with recipes. You learn how eating healthy can also be delicious and fun and you don’t have to deprive yourself. This is the key to making a permanent switch to a healthier diet.
  • Incorporate 25-30 grams of protein from healthy animal-based sources like pasture-raised meat, eggs, and fish. Try to eat nutrient-dense foods. Eat nose-to-tail i.e. all parts of the animal including organ meats to get a rich variety of nutrients.
  • Use healthy fats like ghee, butter, and coconut oil. Incorporate some amount of healthy plant foods as well for antioxidants and fibre among other beneficial components.
  • Don’t stress out and guilt yourself too much if you fall off the wagon and binge eat a lot of the unhealthy foods you’re trying to quit. Eventually, these derailments start to become less frequent as you adjust to eating healthier.
  • If you’re dealing with complex health issues and need a more customized approach reach out to a functional medicine practitioner who will analyze your blood markers and tweak your diet accordingly. Often there are specific food sensitivities to foods that are generally considered healthy and which must thus be avoided.

In addition, Aman Puri, who is the Founder of Steadfast Nutrition also mentioned a few more tips:

  • Add varied colours to your meal plate – colourful vegetables and fruits are packed with nutrients. Gradually incorporate new food items to diversify your meal and nutritional intake. This step will ensure you include a broad spectrum of minerals and vitamins.
  • Portion control is the core factor – be mindful of serving size to avoid overeating. Always consider choosing small plates with fewer calories. These minute changes encourage moderation without feeling you’re missing out on anything.
  • Be mindful while you are eating – start listening to your body. Pay attention to fullness and hunger signs. Avoid unnecessary distractions such as TV or phones during mealtime to improve the mind-body connection.
  • Include fibre, seeds, green leafy vegetables, fruits, pulses, nuts, and healthy fat sources in your diet. On the other hand, avoid deep-fried food, alcohol and confectioneries. 
  • Try to cook food by boiling, steaming, and sautéing instead of frying or cooking items directly through contact with flame because it can cause digestive issues or increase inflammation in the body.
  • Last but not the least – don’t overlook hydration. It is important for overall health. Increase your water and fresh juice intake. Opt for herbal teas and beverages instead of soft drinks.
  • Regular exercise complements healthy eating habits. Try to start your day with physical activity, which will also help you maintain a healthy weight and support overall well-being.

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