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How to Eat Healthy

Would you like to treat your body better? Do you wish you served your family more quality food? Do you want to drop a few pounds without having to switch up your exercise routine? Healthy eating can help, and we’re here to show you how it’s done.

Foods to Focus On

As a general rule, when learning how to eat healthy, there are a few foods on which you can always rely. These include fresh vegetables and fruits, carbohydrates in the form of whole grains (think brown rice and farro), and lean proteins such as beans, fish, chicken and eggs. Nuts, dairy, dried fruit and dark chocolate are all healthy ways to get a treat, but it’s important to maintain balance and not eat these foods in excess.

If you’re new to eating this way and have historically eaten prepackaged food, don’t stress. Start looking for food that has a minimal list of ingredients, ideally fewer than five and definitely no more than ten. Then, slowly switch out packaged foods as you gain cooking skills. Eventually, you’ll gain a greater grasp of your nutritional needs and be able to regularly subscribe to a balanced diet.

Check out a few more of our favorite strategies for eating healthy below.

1. Clean Out Your Fridge

It’s hard to eat healthy when you’ve got pudding cups, nacho cheese dip and jumbo steaks crowding the shelves of your fridge. Make the switch to healthy eating easier by minimizing (or eliminating) junk food from your house.

2. Find Healthy Alternatives

Of course, you need to put something in place of all that junk food. If you need lots of protein in the evening, swap beans and (a little) cheese in for steak. Need an afternoon treat? Save fruit or lightly sweetened coffee till then. If you just can’t help but continue craving unhealthy quantities of cheese, try new, whole-food varieties such as goat cheese rather than processed dips or spreads.

3. Don’t Get Overenthusiastic

Totally revamping your diet all at once is more likely to feel overwhelming than helpful, so don’t. Stick to the healthy foods you know you like, and add new options bit by bit. If you already love carrot sticks, whole apples and roasted chicken, try to eat more of those and reduce unhealthy foods as you slowly experiment with other choices.

4. Eat More Nuts

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, people who consume nuts live longer. If you want to extend your years, try munching a handful of raw or roasted nuts every day (Bao et al., 2013). While a little salt is okay, skip honey-roasted and party mix varieties with long ingredient lists.

5. Learn to Cook Simply

A few simple cooking techniques can dramatically improve your diet. Learn to steam vegetables. Sauté onions and mushrooms in olive oil with a few fresh tomatoes to make a wholesome pasta sauce. Dry-roast meat and fish with a little salt and butter. These simple techniques can become staple strategies that will pay off in the long run.

Learning how to eat healthy may feel tough at first, but using these tips will help. Go slowly, and, before you know it, you’ll get there.

Healthy Recipes for Novice Nutritionists and Amateur Chefs

Add these recipe cards to your fridge and follow their basic instructions to create wholesome meals with rich flavors you’ll love. Each recipe was carefully crafted by our Registered Dietitian to supply a meal or snack that’s equal parts delicious and nutritious!

Moringa Oatmeal

Moringa Oatmeal Recipe

Start your day the healthy way with a bowl of this nutritious hot cereal. Oatmeal is already relatively healthy, but added sugar can quickly curb its benefits. Instead, add flavor with these scrumptious superfoods.
Ingredients: Gluten-free rolled oats, almond milk, agave or maple syrup, vanilla extract, moringa powder, pistachios, dried mulberries, unsweetened shredded coconut, chia seeds.
Total Time: 10 minutes | Yield: 4 324-gram servings

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Another brilliant breakfast option, this palatable pudding provides a rich source of the nutrients you need to feel full and stay healthy.
Ingredients: Milk, pumpkin puree, chia seeds, maple syrup, pumpkin spice, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, fresh blueberries.
Total Time: 10 minutes | Yield: 4 188-gram servings

Quinoa Veggie Wrap {vegan}

Quinoa Veggie Wrap Recipe {vegan}

These simple wraps are simply superb! Each contains superfoods that supply an abundance of nutrients with a blend of flavors that results in a particularly pleasant palate.
Ingredients: Tortilla wraps, quinoa, hummus, fresh spinach, sun-tomatoes, shredded carrots.
Total Time: 30 minutes | Yield: 4 wraps

Quinoa Fritters

Quinoa Fritters Recipe

These delicious patties offer a perfect substitute for anyone seeking a solid replacement for their favorite fatty burgers.
Ingredients: Quinoa, black beans, gluten-free rolled oats, egg, cumin powder, salt, cilantro.
Total Time: 25 minutes | Yield: 12 medium-sized fritters

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers {gluten-free}

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Recipe {gluten-free}

Yet another recipe utilizing the superfood quinoa, these peppers pack a preponderance of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber to offer a truly nutritious treat!
Ingredients: Quinoa, green bell peppers, canned lentils, fresh spinach, feta cheese, frozen corn (thawed), salt, black pepper.
Total Time: 40 minutes | Yield: 6 259-gram servings (8 half-peppers)

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Truffle

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Truffle Recipe

Eating healthy doesn’t mean bidding your sweet tooth farewell; these scrumptious bites are low in calories and low in fat to supply a dessert you can truly enjoy (in moderation)!
Ingredients: Jumbo Mejdool dates, almond flour, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, cacao powder, agave or maple syrup, almond milk, unsweetened shredded coconut.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 24 truffles

References

Bao, Y., Han, J., Hu, F. B., Giovannucci, E. L., Stampfer, M. J., Willett, W. C., & Fuchs, C. S. (2013, November 21). Association of Nut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality — NEJM. Retrieved February, 2016, from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1307352