People today consume much more processed food than even ten years ago. White bread, sodas, energy drinks, and processed snacks didn’t exist 100 years ago; people now consume them daily.
Though they may be delicious and convenient, processed foods can negatively impact your health when consumed daily. Fortunately, there are healthy swaps you can make for food and drink that will help support your health.
1. Start With a Healthy Breakfast
Many people eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast, and while there are healthy options, most cereals contain excessive amounts of sugar and insufficient fiber and protein, which help keep you full. Not only can they be deficient in nutrients, but they are often loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and food dyes that may trigger behavioral issues in children.
When you eat meals high in carbohydrates but low in protein and fat, your blood sugar can be almost like a roller coaster, and you will notice the effects. Instead of reaching for muffins, bagels, or cereal, swap it for a breakfast with protein and fat to sustain you. Here are some healthy breakfast ideas:
- Steel Cut Oatmeal: Oatmeal is high in fiber, and mixing in some protein powder or peanut butter can be a very balanced breakfast. Add in some butter as a good, healthy fat.
- Eggs: Eggs can be prepared in many ways–hard-boiled, scrambled, poached, and omelet are a few options. Scramble some eggs with bacon, sausage, or ham for even more protein and flavor.
- Chia pudding: Made from chia seeds with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, chia pudding is full of fiber and contains natural sweeteners. You can add some fruit for extra nutrition and flavor.
Starting your day with a solid breakfast is an excellent way to set yourself up for success. Choosing one with enough protein and fat can help keep you full longer. Getting hangry doesn’t help anyone!
2. Stop Drinking Energy Drinks
People often choose energy drinks for a quick boost throughout the day. While energy drinks can improve focus and concentration, they also contain large amounts of stimulants and sugar. Consuming too much can cause health issues, including kidney damage and rapid heartbeat.
Swapping out your energy drink for an unsweetened caffeinated beverage can help pep you up without the unwanted side effects. Some good options to drink instead of energy drinks include oolong tea, green tea, black tea, coffee, and yerba mate. Making sure you’re drinking enough water also helps prevent excess snacking.
3. Eat Sourdough Bread Instead of White Bread
The most popular bread is white because of its soft, pillowy texture. Bread containing more whole grains is denser and provides more nutrition in minerals, protein, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. If you eat a lot of bread, switching out your white bread for whole grain will help provide your body with more nutrition. Sprouted grain bread may reduce bread’s impact on blood sugar levels while increasing the availability of specific nutrients.
4. Trade Fruit for Candy
Having the occasional treat won’t hurt you, but eating too much sugar can increase your risk of developing heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. If you’re craving something sweet, eating a piece of fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth while providing your body with nutrients, vitamins, and fiber. Dried fruits are often sweeter than fresh fruit and more convenient as well. A dark chocolate-covered piece of fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth as well.
5. Drink Water Instead of Soda
If you drink soda or sugar-sweetened beverages, switching to only drinking water can help keep you hydrated and lose weight. Soda is full of high fructose corn syrup or sugar, and many contain caffeine, which can negatively impact your blood sugar levels and cause weight gain. Some people have found that drinking water instead of soda help with weight loss since they are decreasing the calories consumed.
Work With a Doctor Who Cares
If you’re confused as to where to start with your health, following these tips can be a good beginning point. Working with a doctor who understands nutrition may help you resolve the health issues you’ve been dealing with. Dr. Leo has been working with patients to improve their health, and he cares about his patients. The office is located at 6321 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852, in the Executive office park. The office looks forward to helping you!