May 14, 2014

Ten Tips to Eating Healthy

Healthy employees are better employees. They are happier, more productive, miss less work, and save the company from additional health-related expenses. With so much unhealthy food available, we wanted to provide 10 tips to eating healthy:

  1. Get to know the foods you eat. Look at labels and nutritional facts so you know what you are eating. Be sure to pay attention to portion sizes.
  2. Take your time. Be mindful of your meal and eat slowly.  It takes the brain 20 minutes to register being full. Eating fast can lead to uncomfortable feelings of fullness. Mindful eating is linked to higher satisfaction not only with the meal, but even hours later you will be more satisfied.
  3. Incorporate lots of fiber. Fiber can help lower cholesterol, help with weight management and lower risk of heart disease.  Try to get at least 25g everyday be choosing whole grains, beans, whole fruits and vegetables.
  4. Make half your grains whole. Whole grains are higher in nutrients that refined grains. Look for products that list whole grain as the first ingredient (“whole wheat” or “whole oats” for example). Including whole grains in your diet may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases and every whole grain helps!
  5. Vary your fruits and vegetables. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables means you will be eating healthier, more flavorful product and also ensures that you will not get bored with the same old thing.  Make half of your plate at  each meal fruits and veggies to get all the benefits they have to offer.
  6. Moderation is key. Healthy eating is not an all-or-nothing proposition. COmpletely cutting out less healthy foods you love is not realistic and it’s natural to crave something off-limits.  The goal of healthy eating is to develop an eating pattern for life – not just weeks or months or until you have lost a few pounds.
  7. Drink plenty of water.  It can be easy to confuse hunger with thirst, so make sure you are getting enough water.  Every process that occurs in your body needs water.  To keep your body running at its best, make sure you are getting at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.
  8. Keep healthy snacks available. When the mid-afternoon munchies hit, make sure you have a healthy snack to satisfy your craving.  Keep dried or whole fruit at your desk, cut up veggies in the fridge, have a low-fat cheese stick or peanut butter with your snack. For more ideas see our 28 healthy snacking tips.
  9. Focus on healthy fats. Fat often gets a bad rap, but it is an important part of a balanced diet.  Focus on heart-healthy fats like olive oil and canola oil, avocado, nuts, seeds and fish. Limit saturated fats like butter, fat from animal products, high fat dairy products and avoid trans-fats and hydrogenated fats.
  10. Eat Breakfast! Starting your day with breakfast helps set you up for success during the day.  Breakfast will jumpstart your metabolism and helps keep your blood sugar even, which prevents dips that can make you hungry. Try to include at least two of the following in your breakfast: lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.