Take small steps to improve your diet. This will give you more energy and melt the extra pounds together with some exercise. Read a complete guide to eating healthy on a plant-based diet guide.
1. Eat enough fiber
Fiber is essential to your health. Fiber reduces cholesterol levels. It reduces the risk of some cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. Fiber feeds your gut microbiome. Your gut microbiome produces short-chain fatty acids, SFCA´s. Those lower the inflammation in the body. They are also antitumorigenic and antimicrobial. You should eat at least 30 grams of fiber a day. Preferably even more.
Check the list on high fiber foods HERE.
2. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are high in fiber, but not only that, they provide you with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Maybe you have heard that you should eat at least 500 grams a day, but this is barely a minimum. A diet high in vegetables and fruits lowers the risk of many diseases.
Try to eat the whole fruit instead of just the juice. The whole fruit or vegetable has fiber in it, so it prevents blood sugar spikes. If you drink it as a juice, then the fiber is removed, and you only get the calories with high blood sugar levels. A smoothie is a good compromise between the fruit and juice since it uses the whole fruit.
Do you find it hard to eat enough healthy stuff during the day? Read this article on tips on how you get your family to start loving veggies.
3.Lower your intake of saturated fats
Saturated fat can raise your LDL, the bad cholesterol levels. This can increase the risk for heart disease if cholesterol builds up as plaques in your arteries. Eating vegetables in the same meals as saturated fat has been shown to reduce some harmful effects of fats, like blood circulation impairing. So, if you want to eat fatty meals on occasions, make sure to load up your plate with veggies simultaneously.
Fat also has a lot of calories, 9 calories in one gram. Carbs and protein only have 4. To lose weight, eat all your fats as real food. Ditch butter and oils and eat avocado, nuts, olives, and seeds instead. This way, you get a lot of micronutrients as well. Fry your food in a little veggie broth or water instead of oil.
4. Switch all your grains to whole grain.
This stabilizes your blood sugar levels; you get more nutrients and fiber. Fiber keeps you satiated and feeds your gut bacteria. Refined grains have the outer layer removed that contains fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. Also, the germ, the inner layer, is removed that is nutrient-rich. Only the middle layer is left, and that is mostly just carbs.
In the table below, you see the benefits in the nutrient content of whole-grain wheat flour vs. plain wheat flour. The whole grain version contains much more vitamins.
|100 grams||White wheat flour||Whole grain flour|
5. Have at least one green salad every day.
Leafy greens are an important part of a heathy diet. They are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, but contain barely any calories. Dark leafy greens contain calcium. Broccoli and Kale are also packed with vitamin- K.
Broccoli sprouts are especially healthy; they have sulforaphane. Sulforaphane neutralizes toxins and calms inflammation in the body. It is also an anticarcinogen. This phytochemical is found in all cruciferous vegetables. Kale, bok choy, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower are all cruciferous vegetables. Include cruciferous veggies in your everyday diet in salads or warm foods.
To get a filling salad, you can include legumes in your salad. Legumes are also packed with fiber and also protein. Starchy, cooked veggies can be tasty in a salad. Also, you can add quinoa, pasta, or rice. This gives you a whole filling meal.
6. Don´t eat sugar
Sugar is empty calories. It gives you high blood sugar levels and causes cavities. High sugar consumption is also linked with an increased risk of dementia and raised uric acid levels that can cause gout.
Change the sugar to other sweeteners. Dates are the best sweetener since they are packed with nutrients and fiber. Date paste is great to use in baking. Stevia is also from a plant and is a natural sweetener.
8. Don't eat in the evening.
It is good to let your body rest for at least 12 hours in the night from eating. If you want to lose weight, then stop eating at 6 or 7 pm. If you eat late in the evening, your body stores those calories. Calories you eat in the morning are burned during the day, so if you want to indulge yourself, then do it during the day and not in the evening.
9. Don´t drink too much alcohol
Just see what wonders happen in your body if you take a break from alcohol. A glass of red wine is ok once or twice a week, but alcohol makes your sleep quality worse before bedtime. It also stops your body from burning fat, so alcohol is bad for weight loss.
Alcohol consumption is also linked to diseases, especially to increased breast cancer risk for women. It is essential for women not to overconsume alcohol since their bodies need longer time to process it than men's.
10. Minimize intake of processed foods
Processed food has a lot of salt, more than you can imagine. Processed food also has artificial ingredients like coloring, preservatives, and taste enhancers. They often are quite low in nutrients and fiber.
Many processed foods also have trans fats that are very harmful to us. Cakes, cookies, pastries, microwave popcorn, french fries, chips, fried chicken, and cake frostings have trans fats. Try to make all these foods yourself instead.