Food Goals: To see significant improvements in your health, you don’t need to embark on an extreme diet. By making tiny but impactful changes to what and how you eat, you can enhance your general well-being, nurture your gut microbiota, lose weight, and live a longer life.
Here are seven simple eating objectives to get you going.
Food Goals: Focus on microbe-friendly foods
Try the “microbiome enhancer diet.”
- Add oats, beans, lentils, chickpeas, brown rice, quinoa and other whole grains as well as nuts, fruits and vegetables to your meal plan.
- By eating a fiber-rich diet, you are not just feeding yourself, but also your intestinal microbes, which, new research shows, effectively reduces your calorie intake.
When consuming calories from high-fiber natural foods as opposed to highly processed junk food, the body seems to respond differently. Your gut microbiota, which is found near the end of your digestive tract, receives less calories from cheap processed foods since they are absorbed more quickly in your upper gastrointestinal tract. However, high-fiber foods take longer to absorb, so they go all the way to the large intestine—home to the trillions of bacteria that make up your gut microbiome—through your digestive tract.
Cut back on packaged foods
Food undergoes structural alterations after industrial processing. According to experts, it may have an impact on your weight, risk of chronic illness, and how much you consume and absorb.
- Look for foods with just a few ingredients — like a bag of flash-frozen vegetables vs. those with multiple ingredients, additives and chemicals you’ve never heard of.
- Next time you shop, choose foods with descriptors like “minimally processed,” “seasonal,” “grass-fed,” “whole grain” and “pasture-raised.
- One study found that when people ate an ultra-processed diet, they consumed about 500 more calories a day compared to when they ate a mostly unprocessed diet.
Many of these ultraprocessed foods also are engineered to overcome our satiety mechanisms, which drives us to overeat and gain weight, experts say.
Eat more healthy carbs
Instead of cutting carbs, focus on quality carbs.
- Start by eating more vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils.
- Add healthy fats and protein, like nuts, seeds, avocado, eggs, poultry, yogurt and seafood.
- Replace white and highly-processed carbs (cereal, pastries, bread and white pasta) with whole grains, whole wheat breads, beans, peas, lentils, legumes, quinoa, fruits, vegetables and other unrefined carbs.
Adding these quality carbs could help you lower your risk of cancer and Type 2 diabetes, reduce your likelihood of dying from heart disease or a stroke and help you shed pounds without counting calories.
Eat like a centenarian
People who reside in “Blue Zones,” or areas of the planet where people have extraordinarily long life spans, have particular eating preferences.
Consume one cup of legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils each day.
The people living in the Blue Zones typically consume a range of fiber-rich plant foods, including beans.
As with Sardinia’s fava beans and Costa Rica’s Nicoyan Peninsula’s black beans, soybeans play a significant role in Okinawa’s traditional diet. According to a research that was published in PLOS Medicine last year, most individuals may extend their lives by adopting a better diet instead of the conventional Western diet. The foods that increased life expectancy the most were legumes such as beans, chickpeas, lentils, and other types of legumes.
Eat smaller dinners
Early in the day, our bodies are poised to digest and metabolise food because of the way internal clocks work. Our metabolisms become less effective as the day goes on. Research indicates that eating a meal at nine in the morning can have very different metabolic effects than eating the same meal at nine in the evening.
The majority of your calories should be consumed earlier in the day for greatest health.
Make an effort to have a substantial breakfast, a light lunch, and a moderate dinner.
Scientists examined data from nine rigorous clinical trials with 485 adult participants in a recent study. Researchers discovered that those assigned to diets where the majority of calories were ingested early in the day saw more weight loss than those assigned to diets that did the opposite. Additionally, they showed more improvement in their insulin sensitivity—a sign of diabetes risk—blood sugar, cholesterol, and levels of cholesterol.
Add more spices, nuts, plants and fermented foods to your diet
Eating a range of nutrient-dense foods and fiber-rich vegetables seems to be especially advantageous to gut health since your gut microorganisms love variety.
Consider aiming to consume about thirty different plant-based foods each week. It sounds difficult, but it’s not at all. Most likely, you already consume a lot of these foods.
Adding more spices and herbs to your cooking is a quick method to boost diversity.
For your salads, use a range of leafy greens instead of just one kind of lettuce.
When making a stir fry, incorporate multiple types of veggies or a range of fruits.
Increase your intake of fermented foods such as kefir, yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
Consume more grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Eat your bread last
Meal sequencing is a tactic that goes against the way a lot of people typically eat. It’s not too complicated to follow, and it doesn’t involve drastically altering your diet, but it can help stabilise blood sugar levels and prolong feelings of fullness.
Consume your veggies first.
According to recent research, eating veggies high in protein, fat, or fibre before meals helps to slow down the digestion process.
After a meal, save the bread or chip basket until last.
Because it slows down the rate at which food exits your stomach, eating in this manner can help you feel fuller for longer.
A substantial and expanding body of evidence suggests that making just one change could help you lose weight without counting calories, cut your risk of heart disease or stroke, and reduce your risk of cancer and Type 2 diabetes.