5 small diet changes that can have a big impact

July 20, 2016

New research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine has found that consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, trout, walnuts and flaxseed oil may lower the risk of fatal heart disease by as much as 10 per cent.

There are some small adjustments you can make to your daily diet that may make a big difference to your overall health.

Processed foods and ready meals are an easy meal solution in our busy days, but they are often packed with preservatives, sugars, fats, salt and empty carbs. All of which can have a detrimental impact on our health.

Try preparing meals from scratch and ensure that half of your plate at every meal is dedicated to fresh fruits and vegetables. Packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre, eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Try having one meat free day per week as a simple way to introduce more fruits and vegetables into your diet and cutting down on processed foods.
The amount of fruit and vegetables you eat isn't the only thing you need to take into consideration for ensuring a healthy diet. You also need to attempt to eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of different colours.

Different colours indicate different nutrient profiles, so focus on getting a little of each colour in your diet every day to maximize the nutritional benefits. Consuming a rainbow of fruits and vegetables helps ensure you get enough of the different nutrients you need for good health.
Instead of refined and processed white carbs such as white rice, pasta and bread, aim to have more whole-grain starches such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat breads and bran cereals, in your diet. Generally the browner the food, the higher the fibre.

Most of us don’t get enough fibre in our diet. Increasing our fibre intake can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and can also improve digestive health.
Reducing portions to an appropriate size for our body type is key to a healthy diet. Portion control is effective for losing weight, reducing cholesterol and limiting our chances of becoming affected by diabetes.

Obviously larger portions contain more calories, but they also encourage us to eat more and to underestimate the amount of food we are consuming.

Try using a smaller plate at meal times, your mind is tricked into eating less by being visually satisfied.
Many of us overload on calories and sugars everyday from milky coffees, juices and carbonated drinks.

Try trading these drinks for a simple glass of water. Water is an important part of our bodies processes including digestion and elimination, so its essential that we consume enough for overall health.

Aim to drink about six to eight glasses of water each day. Try adding a slice of lemon or lime for additional flavour. For those who can’t forgo their carbonated sodas, try a sparkling water with a small dilution of sugar free cordial.

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