12 Healthy Eating Habits

12 Healthy Eating Habits

By Dr. Jana Schmidt, ND, CNHP, MH, PhD, EP, Min
Director of Naturopathic Health for the The Wellness Company

There are several simple ways to adjust your eating habits for a healthier life.
Here are some of our favorite, simple yet highly effective ways to improve health through changing eating habits.   

1. Drink Pure Filtered Water

Avoid drinking tap water because municipal tap water contains a host of harmful chemicals from the water treatment facilities, such as herbicides, pesticides, fluoride, chlorine, lead, mercury, asbestos, chloroform and pharmaceutical drugs.

Well water should be periodically tested for purity. 

Avoid drinking water in flimsy plastic bottles. The chemical BPA in plastics in particular have xenoestrogenic properties (estrogen-like) effects on the body which can disrupt hormonal balance.    

Aim for about 3 liters (approx. 12-15) cups per day of pure filtered water. Our bodies are about 70% fluid so it's important to be well hydrated throughout the day.

Water helps regulate body temperature, keeps joints lubricated, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to cells, and keeps organs functioning properly.

Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, mood and nourishes the skin. 

2. Slow Down

Enjoy your food and don’t eat too fast. When you consume food too quickly, the brain does not have time to get the signal to fill the stomach, and as a result, you may eat more than you need.  

Also, digestion starts in the mouth, so the better the food is chewed the better digested, absorbed and utilized it will be. 

3. Avoid Consuming  Ultra-processed Foods

Try to avoid sugary cereal, packaged baked goods, candy, frozen pizza, fast food and soda. These types of "foods" have very little nutritional value and can be very harmful to your overall health. 

Processed food  typically has more saturated fats (the kind that can clog arteries), sodium, and contain inflammatory ingredients.  

4. Eat Healthy Snacks

Eating healthy snacks can be a helpful part of your day, especially because it can help your metabolism and keep from overeating at meals. Snacks high in sugar and sodium can ultimately lower your energy levels. 

Try preparing healthy snack foods ahead of time, as it will create fewer opportunities for unhealthy eating choices. Avoid artificial colors, additives and sweeteners.

Artificial anything is not healthy for the body and produces unwanted and unhealthy side effects.

Avoid artificial sweeteners completely. Artificial sweeteners have found their way into much of our foods, so it is important to read labels. 

5. Read Food Labels

Become familiar with lists of ingredients on whatever you choose to eat or drink. Being more aware of what you're eating will help you realize what needs to be done to improve your diet.

Food diaries can help keep track of healthy eating and lifestyle habits. 

6. Increase Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh whole fruits are preferred over fruit juices because unlike fruit juice, whole fruits contain fiber and various plant compounds. Their natural sugars are generally digested very slowly and don’t cause major spikes in blood sugar levels.   
For veggies, incorporate tasty additions to jazz up veggies, like smoked paprika, lemon or balsamic vinegar on raw veggies, sautéing with olive oil and garlic, or spraying them with olive oil and fresh herbs before cooking.

Eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables to supply your body with a range of disease-fighting phytonutrients and will naturally fill you up to help you cut back on less nutritious foods. Aim for a diverse intake of produce of all colors. 

9.  Avoid Multitasking While Eating Meals

Avoid multitasking while eating meals to be aware of signals that your body sends when you are getting full. 

When sitting down at the table to eat, turn off the TV, put away the phone to avoid receiving notifications and close the laptop, and focus on the food, company and conversation. 

10. The Biggest Meal of the Day

The largest meal should be around noon when your digestion is at its peak, and you can feed your body when it most needs fuel.

For lunch, emphasize fueling foods like protein and greens (think a hearty bowl of lentil soup and kale salad).

A larger meal at lunch also means that you probably won't be looking for an oversized dinner.  A heavy meal of food to fuel the body is not needed just to wind down and go to be bed. 

At night, metabolic processes slow down. If you eat too much before going to bed, it will be difficult for the body to absorb nutrients, which will lead to the formation of fat.

In addition, the process of digestion can interfere with a sound night's sleep.  

11. Don’t Grocery Shop Hungry

We have all experienced grocery shopping while hungry.

We tend to buy more than we intended and sometimes choose foods we would not regularly choose. Shopping at the grocery store hungry can cause you to over shop and choose more unhealthy food items.   

12.  Replace Carbonated Beverages with Natural Sparkling or Fermented Drinks 

There are many good reasons to eliminate soda. First off, they're extremely high calorie, making them easy to overdo.

Also, carbon dioxide is what carbonated drinks are made with and a waste product for the body (we exhale carbon dioxide).

We shock our bodies with carbon dioxide waste when we drink carbonated drinks. 

Many of these drinks contain caffeine, which may curb appetite temporarily, leading to overeating later in the day. 

Sodas contain phosphorus. The problem with that is that too much can leech calcium from your bones, weakening them. 

Sodas alter our body's natural PH level to over acid. It takes 24 glasses of water to counteract the negative PH of one soda. Choose healthy alternatives to soda, such as true sparkling water drinks (not carbon dioxide), and Kombucha (fermented probiotic drink).

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About the Author:

Dr. Jana Schmidt, ND, CNHP, MH, PhD, EP, Min education is in naturopathic health, teaching, product development, master herbology, fertility, weight balance, exercise, and Christian Missions Ministry.

Jana has certifications in iridology, reflexology, endocannabinoid system, detoxification, bach flower remedies, gerson therapy, qi gong, muscle response testing, personal health, fitness coaching, women’s wellness, children’s wellness, doula services and emergency preparedness. She is on the Integrative Therapeutics Board of The Wellness Company founded in 2022.

About our editorial team

The TWC Editorial team is comprised of various wellness practitioners from physiotherapists, acupuncturists, fitness instructors, herbalists, and MDs.

This article does not constitute medical advice. Please consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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