It’s a phrase that can be annoying to some and inspiring to others. Either way you choose to view it, it’s true: We are what we eat. With that said, we all can make small changes every day that will take us down a new path to better health.
Below are five facts about diet with included goals that will help you incorporate and stick to small dietary changes that will make big differences in your long-term health:
1. A reduction in red meats has been linked to a low incidence of stroke and coronary heart disease. Goal: Strive to eat just 4 ounces of lean red meat a week and vegetarian two times a week.
2. Phosphoric acid (found in diet sodas) can disrupt nutrient absorption which speeds up the aging process, and gives us more wrinkles and a weaker frame. Goal: Strive to replace one diet soda a day with water until you are drinking water the majority of the time.
3. More than 37 scientific studies show that eating oatmeal daily as part of a low-fat diet may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Goal: Make overnight oatmeal on the stove once a week by combining three cups of boiling water with 1 cup of steel cut oats. Cover and let sit overnight. In the morning, add milk to achieve desired consistency. Heat through and then refrigerate leftovers to eat for the rest of the week.
4. A Mediterranean diet may help lower risk for certain diseases, improve mood, and boost energy levels. Goal: Make every effort to incorporate walnuts, whole grains, olive oil, fish, beans, blueberries, and low-fat dairy products like Greek yogurt into your diet every day.
5. Heavy sugar consumption has been linked to an increased risk of depression. Goal: Read labels more often. Check for sugar content in foods that may seem like a healthier option (like yogurt) and compare with other brands. Choose the brand with the least amount of sugar (like plain Greek yogurt). Add a bit of honey and a handful of walnuts to add pizzazz.
It can be a daunting task to think about entirely changing the way we eat. But it is not as daunting to simply pay more attention to what we put into our mouths on a daily basis, practicing positive self-talk when we falter, listening to our bodies and doctors, and not comparing ourselves to anyone else. Once you set your goals, choose an accountability partner who believes in you, supports you, and is willing to help you achieve better health. Because in the end, it is not only good to be proud of who you are, but also of what you eat.
Vicky DeCoster is a Certified Life Coach who specializes in helping her clients move past obstacles, create a plan for happiness, and cross the bridge of transition to find a new and fulfilling direction in life. To read more about her and her practice, visit her at crossthebridgecoaching.com.