With so many dietary recommendations out there, it can be hard to decide which type of diet is best for you. Even nutritionists and medical experts can’t seem to decide on what constitutes healthy eating which can definitely complicate matters further. To clear things up, we’ve compiled a list of 10 tips on healthy eating confirmed by solid scientific evidence.
1. Avoid Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil was initially introduced as a healthy alternative to lard or butter, but as research over the past 50 years found out, vegetable oil is much more harmful than we initially made to believe. An article published in Vascular Pharmacology explains that heating vegetable oil leads to lipid oxidation which has an unfavorable effect on cardiovascular health. Some of the now widely-recognized consequences of frying food in vegetable oil are high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
2. Include More Fiber
According to an article published in Nutrition Reviews, the average fiber intake for U.S. children and adults is less than half of the recommended daily intake. This is bad news considering that people who eat adequate amounts of fiber are significantly less likely to develop diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and gastrointestinal diseases. To increase your fiber intake, make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and replace refined grains with whole grains.
3. Switch to a Mediterranean Diet
Both epidemiological and clinical studies have long ago found that the Mediterranean diet could probably be one of the healthiest diets in the world. Furthermore, according to a systematic review published in Public Health Nutrition, when a Mediterranean diet is combined with high levels of physical activity and not smoking, over 80% of heart disease, 70% of stroke, and 90% of type II diabetes can be avoided.
4. Choose Quality Carb Sources
Carbohydrates are not the bad guys they’re frequently portrayed to be. After all, carbohydrates are the most important source of energy in the human diet. The problem lies mainly in the type of carbohydrates being consumed. Whole grains are better as they keep blood glucose levels stable and contain enough fiber and micronutrients for a balanced diet. Refined grains cause a spike in blood glucose levels and can contribute to weight gain.
5. Avoid Processed Foods
The more unprocessed foods you eat the better. There is a growing body of research showing that a rise in obesity is parallel to a rise in processed food consumption. The problem with processed food is not only in their nutritional composition but also in the fact that eating this type of food results in fewer calories being burnt than with the case of whole foods.
6. What You Drink is Also Important
Plain old water is the best type of beverage you could be drinking. Unfortunately, many people prefer the taste of sweetened beverages such as soda and juice which studies show is unhealthy. According to one systematic review, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with weight gain and obesity as these drinks are high in calories but don’t cause much satiety.
7. Switch to a Plant-based Diet
The abundance of meat products we see today was not as common in recent history. Humans are omnivores who should be consuming meat only occasionally. Furthermore, as studies show, eating a plant-based diet is the most beneficial for human health. Not only is this diet good for reducing all-cause mortality risk, but is also reduces a person’s chance of becoming overweight.
8. Reduce Your Portion Size
If you loathe dieting because you hate the idea of avoiding certain foods, then reducing your portion size may be a better option for you. According to one study, reducing portion size helps customers in fast food restaurants gain more control over their calorie intake. The researchers measured that the customers ate on average 200 calories less when offered a smaller portion.
9. Eat more Raw foods
Cooking food is something we need to do to avoid food poisoning and for easier digestion. However, this also means we are reducing the nutritional value of certain foods. For this reason, it would be a good idea to try and eat as many raw foods as possible as one study found that a diet high in raw food resulted in lowered LDL cholesterol levels.
10. Reduce Fat Intake
Eating too much fat is obviously not good for you on many levels. A low-fat diet, on the other hand, was found to improve body composition and overall health in many studies. To eat less fat, make sure to reduce your intake of meat, dairy products, and fried foods.
See Also: 20 Ideas for Easy Healthy Meals
A healthy diet is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Since you are what you eat, eating a diet recommended by nutritionists and medical experts is bound to make you healthier. However, make sure that your diet is nutritiously rich and of high quality to avoid nutritional deficiencies.