5 Healthy Eating Habits to Add Years to Your Life

There is a lot of one-sided information and misconceptions about healthy eating that include the types of foods you eat, the time you eat them, where you eat them, and how often or how much you eat them. It can be totally overwhelming to decipher what’s right, especially when the “rules” are unique to each person. Instead of getting into specifics, here are a few habits that can work for anyone and will surely promote health throughout your life time.

Eat purple produce: Anthocyanin is the name of the pigment which gives certain foods their purple, blue, or reddish hues. These natural plant pigments give dark berries, red cabbage, eggplant, and some potatoes their hues while also serving as a powerful antioxidant that can reverse cellular (oxidative) damage throughout the body.

Eat more plants and less animals: We’re not saying you have to go totally plant-based or vegan here. We simply suggest thinking about how much of each type of food you’re eating throughout the week. For a quick an easy food “rule”: try eating twice the amount of vegetables you’re eating for each piece of meat or seafood on your plate. As an example, if you have a 4 oz portion of chicken, fish, or beef on your plate, make sure you have at least 1 cup of colorful vegetables to go with it. Best options are vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, or brussels sprouts.

Cook/make your own meals: When we cook or make our own meals they tend to be healthier than buying any kind of food from a restaurant or take away dining. This works especially if you’re using the right kind of cooking methods such as roasting/baking/steaming instead of frying or sautéing. The goal is always to reduce or avoid using cooking oils, fats, and salt when making meals.

Stop eating when you’re full: Intuitive eating, easier said than done, is a great practice to learn and master so that you really become in tune with what your body needs. Don’t feel pressured to eat 3 meals a day or head out for dinner if your stomach is telling you no. Doing this will make it easier to avoid unwanted weight gain and help you achieve (or maintain) a healthy body mass index (BMI). Having a BMI of over 30 puts you at risk for chronic disease and illness throughout your life.

Always drink water. Unless you’re someone who needs to reduce their fluid intake for medical reasons, it’s important to always drink a little more water than you may think you need. It’s especially beneficial to drink at least one 8 oz glass of water for each alcoholic or sugary beverage you consume. Good ole fashion H2O is the most undervalued and underused detox agent. It’s what keeps your real detox machines (liver and kidneys) happy.

By using these 5 tips, you can not only improve the longevity of your health but also get to your health goals faster. Plus, you can still use all these methods for any kind of nutritional plan you’re following.

Lindsey Gass

Lindsey Gass, RD, LD/N is a registered dietitian in Miami, FL. With a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University, Lindsey has years of experience in clinical, sports, long term care, and community nutrition. Lindsey currently works in critical care at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she provides nutrition support and participates in trauma research. Outside of her career, Lindsey is an avid runner and Nike run club pacer working towards qualifying for a Boston marathon. Follow Lindsey on Instagram at @lin.health for nutrition tips and tricks. Learn more about Youfit’s Registered Dietician