Maybe you want to start eating more healthily, or perhaps you want to branch out and try new foods. Whatever your reason for wanting to expand your diet in a healthy way, one thing is certain: there are a number of ways to reach this goal. For instance, the following four approaches can help you change your diet for the better:
Embrace a Clean Label Lifestyle
Have you ever read a list of ingredients and had to Google most of them to see what they are? The clean label approach to food is the exact opposite of this situation, and it can be a great way to make your diet healthier. Basically, clean label foods are those that contain as few ingredients as possible, and the ones that are included are things you are familiar with. For instance, clean label ingredients for a can of corn might be “corn, water.” As the clean label movement has grown in popularity, the range of products that offer clean label ingredients has also expanded, so you should be able to find a wide range of clean label foods. To try this approach, spend a bit of extra time at the supermarket reading lists of ingredients, and try to purchase only foods with clean labels.
Make Simple Substitutions
Another way to expand your food options in a healthy way is by making simple substitutions when cooking and during mealtimes. For instance, as Mass General Brigham notes, when baking cakes or brownies, try using applesauce for half of the oil listed on the recipe. This is an easy way to cut down on calories without skimping on flavor. Choosing nutrient and fiber-rich brown rice over white rice is also a healthy choice, as is whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta. It’s also easy to swap out full-fat dairy products in recipes. For instance, try plain fat-free Greek yogurt instead of full-fat sour cream, low-fat cream cheese instead of the regular variety, and skim or 1% milk instead of whole milk.
Try Small Portions of New Foods
Expanding your food palate does not have to be done in a drastic manner. Instead, WebMD suggests, consider adding one healthy and new-to-you food as a side dish at a familiar meal. This way, adding new foods to your diet will not feel as overwhelming, and if you don’t care for the dish, you will still have your regular meal. Commit to taking a few bites of the food, and if you don’t like it, assure yourself that it’s okay not to like everything and try another food the following day.
Experiment with Cooking Methods
If you want to eat more vegetables but you don’t really care for many of them, it might be in the way they have been prepared. For example, if you always pass over broccoli on a platter of raw veggies, you might try roasting the cruciferous veggie in the oven instead. On the other hand, if cooked carrots leave much to be desired, try them raw with a dip made from plain yogurt and fresh herbs, or grate them over your salad. You can also experiment with how you cook other healthy foods like fish; you might find you really enjoy a piece of salmon cooked on the grill with lemon and pepper, or that skinless chicken breast is much more flavorful when it’s sauteed along with a variety of herbs.
Eating Healthy Can Be Easy, Fun and Delicious
As you can see, expanding your food options with more healthy foods does not have to be difficult. By focusing on clean label foods, making simple swaps throughout the day, sampling small portions of new foods, and trying out other ways to prepare foods you already like, you can easily improve your diet.