Kysha Rooks column: Five tips to spring clean your eating habits
Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2022
By Kysha Rooks
N.C. Cooperative Extension
While most people focus on spring cleaning their homes, it is also a great time to take inventory of your eating habits and make some improvements. Just as decluttering your closet, eliminating bad dietary eccentricities can help you feel lighter, healthier and more energized. Here are five tips to refine your diet:
1. Eat more whole foods
Whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined, and they contain all the nutrients that your body needs to function properly. Fill your plate with plenty of fruits, vegetables and white meat sources for a protein diet. Avoid processed foods as much as possible.
2. Reduce sugar consumption
Nutrition experts often associate sugar intake with many health-related complications, including obesity and diabetes. When trying to eat healthily, it is important to limit sugar consumption, including sugary drinks and sweet snacks. Instead of reaching for a candy bar or soda pop, you can try taking a brisk walk outside for some natural energy.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy weight, reducing your risk of chronic diseases and improving overall health. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each day.
4. Organize your kitchen
Having a well-organized kitchen makes it easier to eat healthy meals at home. When your kitchen is organized, you are less likely to reach for unhealthy convenience foods and more likely to cook healthy meals from scratch.
5. Cook at home more
Cooking at home gives you more control over what goes into your food and how it is prepared. Besides, it is often cheaper than eating in restaurants or ordering takeout. Dedicate some time each week to meal preparation so that you have healthy meals ready when hunger strikes.
Kysha Rooks is the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) educator and Extension program assistant with the Rowan County Extension.