Before the tears flow, we arenâ€™t asking you to diet. Â The following is a list of simple tweaks you can incorporate into your daily eating habits. Â These changes can not only contribute positively to your health, but may help you shed a few pounds too.
1. Going out for Chinese food or sushi? Â Choose brown rice over white rice. Â Both are the same, but white rice goes through long processing and the bran is removed. Â In brown rice, the bran is not removed. Â Itâ€™s simple, brown rice has almost 5 times the amount of fiber as white rice.
2.Â The next time you make a salad, go with romaine lettuce over iceberg lettuce. Â Romaine lettuce has almost 4 times the amount of folate as iceberg lettuce. Â Folate makes for healthier cells and tissues in the body. Â As an added bonus, the proper amount of folic acid can help prevent birth defects in women who are pregnant.
3. Instead of white potatoes, try sweet potatoes. Â Even though both have similar starch properties, sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Â White potatoes cannot hold a candle to sweet potatoes in this regard.
4.Â Are you an avid coffee drinker? Â Drop the Splenda or white sugar. Â Next time, choose raw sugar to sweeten your cup of Joe. Â Raw sugar isnâ€™t really more nutritious than refined sugar, but it’s natural and not processed- go for it (sugar has very little nutritional properties to begin with). Â Do a Google search on Splenda, the information is shocking. Â As always, limit your sugar intake either way.
5. Buttering your toast in the morning? Â Reach for almond butter first. Â Almond butter is not only a source of protein, but contains monounsaturated fat (fat that your body needs).Â
6. Thirsty? Â Forget soda, drink some water (preferably spring water). Â If you need to hydrate yourself or your kids- choose water. Â If you just simply canâ€™t abide by this one, stay away from 0 calorie soda or diet sodas (they are loaded with chemicals). Â Just take a peek at the ingredient list. Â If soda is left on car paint too long, the acid it contains can actually eat through and ruin the paint.
7. Â If you need a snack or something small to take with your lunch, leave the junk food on the shelves. Â Go for fruits and veggies. Â Try some broccoli or grapefruit. Â Broccoli is a great source of vitamin C.
8.Â If youâ€™re home watching a movie, homemade popcorn is a healthy alternative to chips and dip. Â Homemade popcorn has antioxidants and a decent amount of fiber. Â This does not include those jumbo-sized buckets of butter you buy at the movie theater.
9. Grill your meat this Labor Day, don’t fry. Â Frying increases the amount of fat and can raise cholesterol levels in the blood. Â When grilling, fat trickles off the meat as you cook.
10. Choose whole wheat over white bread. Â Go a step further, stick to bread which comes from your local bakeries. Â Freshly baked bread doesnâ€™t contain preservatives. Â Many breads bought in your local grocery stores contain too many preservatives. Â Donâ€™t go by the marks on the packaging, look at the ingredients listed: for example, wheat germ and enriched flour do not constitute whole grains.
These simple lifestyle changes can help make a difference in your well-being and physicality. Â Just choose better alternatives and you can skip the diet.
Have anything else to add? Â Feel free to drop us a line with your suggestions.
About the Author/s
Michael is the Editor-in-Chief of New Jersey Digest, COO of X Factor Media, and an avid writer. Growing up in Bergen County, he discovered his passion for words while in Friday detention. Michael loves kayaking, a fat glass of Nebbiolo, and over-editing.