Clean Up Your Plate: Adjusting Diet to Improve Overall Health

Why Adjusting Your Diet is Important 

Following a healthy diet is one of the best decisions you can make to improve your overall well-being. Whether you are looking to better your short or long-term health, adjusting your diet can result in a noticeable outcome. Although we as a society commonly discuss diet in relation to appearance, your diet plays a much more significant role in how your body functions. A clean, balanced diet can boost immunity, lower inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels, and improve digestion. Conversely, diets high in processed or fried foods are often associated with obesity and a higher risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. 

Following a healthy diet from an early age has proven to benefit the individual greatly during these crucial developmental stages. However, with this being said, it is never too late to clean up your plate and switch to healthy alternatives. At BEST Health System, we consider patient education to be one of our primary goals. Therefore, we find it exceptionally important to teach our patients about the importance of following healthy lifestyle habits as they look to treat certain conditions. 

Understanding the Basics of a Healthy Diet

To improve your diet, it is important to understand the main components of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, it is more complex than adding a few vegetables to your plate at dinner each night. Although any small changes are positive, a comprehensively healthy diet needs to include the following components. 

  • Whole Grains. Consuming whole grains is an essential part of increasing fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You can consume more whole grains by switching to whole grain bread and brown rice from white bread and white rice. 
  • Healthy Proteins. Protein is essential for increasing energy levels, building muscle, lowering blood sugar, and more. Healthy proteins such as poultry, fish, beans, and nuts offer these benefits while remaining low in sodium and cholesterol. 
  • Fruits and Vegetables. Fruits and vegetables offer a plethora of health-related benefits including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. As a general rule of thumb, your plate should be filled with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables!
  • Water. Most people do not drink enough water as they should throughout the day. It is important to remember to stay hydrated and drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day. This can help to improve energy levels, decrease headaches, and improve brain function. 

Identifying Problem Areas in Your Current Diet

The first step to building a healthy diet is to identify small changes you can make to your current diet. However, it is important to remember to never be too hard on yourself when making these adjustments. Following a healthy diet comes with a learning curve and it involves unlearning many things that were instilled in us from a young age. 

There are a few simple ways to change unhealthy habits that many people follow. For example, this can include baking or broiling food instead of frying it, switching out certain foods for healthier alternatives, and promoting diversity in your meals. By making small changes one step at a time, you may discover that switching to a healthier lifestyle is not as difficult as it once seemed. 

Strategies on Meal Planning and Preparation for a Healthy Diet

Meal planning is an excellent way to prepare healthier meals on a tight schedule. This practice consists of preplanning and prepping all your meals ahead of the week. Therefore, all that is necessary for dinner is to simply throw it in the oven or microwave. By planning your meals ahead of time, you will be able to make more informed decisions at the grocery store and choose healthier options. 

Here are the BEST tips to improve your meal planning:

  • Plan your meals before your trip to the grocery store
  • Choose meals that share some of the same ingredients to minimize costs
  • Wash and cut your vegetables and fruits ahead of the week
  • Determine your “go-to” salad for nights when a quick meal is all you have time for
  • Take inspiration from online sources

Meal planning does not have to be difficult. After a few weeks of practice and making adjustments to fit your lifestyle, it will become an integral part of your weekly routine. 

The Benefits of a Clean Plate for Your Overall Health

BEST Health System is an ambulatory center offering modern medical solutions for orthopaedic and spine conditions. One of the most effective ways to treat these conditions is to engage in a comprehensive treatment program consisting of a healthy lifestyle and medical treatments. Join BEST Health System and get started on your path to recovery today.