Healthy eating: 10 habits to start

Health matters 1Eating healthy does not have to be difficult. It can be achieved by adopting some smart practices. Here are a few that could make a big difference to your health.

Start meals with soup: Soup is a successful dieter’s secret weapon! A 2014 study found that regular soup eaters have smaller waists and weigh less than people who don’t eat soup. Use low-fat milk and less salt and plenty of veggies to provide fibre.

End meals with bread: Eating bread after a meal slows the conversion of refined carbohydrates into sugar and may keep food consumption in check, especially in people with weight problems, insulin resistance or diabetes.

Fibre up your breakfast: One of the best places to start ramping up your fibre intake is breakfast. Eat high-fibre cereals with fresh fruits or dry fruits and replace white bread with whole-grain varieties.

Include peanut butter in breakfast: Forget butter, jam and cheese. Peanut butter raises the protein quality and quantity when added to bread, producing a highly nutritious and satiating food. Look for low-salt and low-sugar varieties.

Get smoothie savvy: When buying a ready-made smoothie, make sure it contains whole fruit, not just juice. Fruit juice has none of the important fibre that you get from fresh fruits. And if you sip juicy smoothies slowly over time, the acidic juice can damage your tooth enamel.

Enjoy eggs guilt free: A single egg contains 6 gm of high-quality protein and 12 different vitamins and minerals. There is no clear link between eating eggs and the risk of heart disease, as once thought.

Drink a little orange juice with eggs: The body’s absorption of iron in the eggs is enhanced when you eat them with vitamin C. Similarly, it’s a good idea to squeeze lemon over spinach.

Pick yogurt: Probiotic bacteria present in yogurt help maintain the ideal balance of bacteria in the gut. Yogurt is particularly helpful for people with gut disorders, such as constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. The watery stuff sitting on top is whey, and is filled with protein, bone-strengthening calcium and vitamin D.

Quit sugary carbonated drinks: In their place, enjoy carbonated water—on its own or with a slice or squeeze of lemon or lime, with a splash of real fruit juice.

Let chopped garlic rest: When the garlic clove is minced or crushed, an enzyme called allinase is released, triggering the formation of disease-fighting compounds. Allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cooking the garlic bits too soon can inactivate the enzyme.

Source: Reader’s Digest Quintessential Guide to Healthy Eating (Reader’s Digest Association Books),
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