(BPT) - If you’re indulging in too many break room snacks or swinging by the drive-thru after work, you’re not alone. With such a busy life, it’s easy to grab something quick and unhealthy on the go. But, the good news is, it’s also easy to make changes in your diet that will reap powerful health benefits in no time.
Here are 10 easy ways to eat healthier:
You don’t have to completely overhaul your diet in a day. Start with small things, like taking your lunch to work instead of eating out, cutting down on soda or getting a new cookbook of healthy recipes to inspire you.
Plan your meals.
On the weekend, plan your breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the upcoming week, and then head out to the grocery store, and do your shopping so you’ll have everything you need on hand.
Cook at home.
When you eat out, even when opting for the “healthy” items on the menu, you could be getting hidden doses of salt, sugar and fat. When you cook at home, you can control exactly what you’re eating, down to the nutrient. It’s healthier for your pocketbook, too.
Explore your health insurance discounts.
Many health plans offer resources, discounts and incentives for leading a healthier life. Participating Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies, for example, have the Blue365 program, which features a variety of health and wellness products and services. Members can save everyday on online deals, including discounts on Retrofit private weight-loss programs, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, healthy cookbooks by Holly Clegg, and more.
Eat the rainbow.
Colorful foods are packed with nutrients. Red foods help heart health and improve memory. Orange foods are good for your eyes, yellow foods help with digestion and brain function, purple foods are powerful antioxidants and green foods are good for your eyes, musculature, bones and teeth. All fight cancers. And they’re pretty on the plate. Win-win!
Slash the sodium.
Lowering your sodium intake can help lower your blood pressure and get rid of water weight. But it’s not as easy as putting down the salt shaker. Sodium lurks in places you’d least expect it. Some surprisingly high-sodium foods: raw chicken (if it’s been pumped up with a solution), pre-cooked frozen shrimp (usually processed with salt), condiments like ketchup and mustard, smoked anything and cottage cheese.
Watch your sugar.
Too much sugar leads to weight gain, abdominal obesity, low HDL and high LDL, elevated blood sugar and a whole host of other problems. But like salt, sugar can hide in foods you might think are healthy, including instant oatmeal, jarred pasta sauce, smoothies, flavored yogurt and salad dressing. A good rule of thumb: Read the label, and if it has a double-digit sugar count, ditch it.
Going vegetarian one day a week is a great way to get more veggies into your diet. Swap the burger for a plate of grilled or roasted veggies drizzled with balsamic vinegar or a big, colorful salad. Just don’t pack on the refined carbs like white bread, pasta or potatoes in place of the meat.
Eat anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich foods.
Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals, and eating foods rich in them slows aging, gives you healthier skin, a longer lifespan and reduces cancer risk. Berries, nuts and seeds, fish, olive oil, broccoli and green leafy veggies are antioxidant powerhouses.
Practice mindful eating.
Go all Zen with your food. Focus on what you’re eating, how you’re nourishing your body, and how much you enjoy the taste of the food. Eating at your desk, in the car or in front of the TV makes it more likely you’ll overeat.
For more information about how Blue365 can help you get healthier, visit www.blue365deals.com.