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Many of us have been or still are junk food addicts. It is not something we can be blamed for. With the current work timings and busy schedules it often seems difficult to juggle our commitments hence resorting in daily lunches at the nearest McDonalds.

One has to keep in mind that these constant dates with junk food are not going to improve our health conditions in any way. With chronic and lifestyle diseases taking a toll on our health, one has to find better options to deal with these health hurdles in the best way possible.

Also, engaging in fad diets or diet pills are not going to help you in the long run, on the contrary they will harm your system and take a toll on your health and well-being.

The primary change we need to make is in what and how we eat. Now I am not saying that we should drastically switch from junk food to health food or resort to money making diet plans. Simple yet subtle changes in the way we eat is the key to healthy living.

Simple changes like cutting on portion size or drinking water instead of soda are a few start-up options. This doesn’t mean that you should deprive yourself from the occasional pizza or burger and only gorge on low fat milk and fresh fruits and vegetables. You should instead eat smart – like order a vegetable pizza with no extra cheese (the amount of cheese they anyway put is more than sufficient) or tuff your burritos with beans and salsa instead of fatty options.

Mentioned below are 15 tips on how to make minute changes in your daily eating habits. It may not seem like a giant leap towards a slimmer and healthier you, but they will make a difference and you will see.

1)    Make a sandwich out of whole wheat bread instead of white bread – whole grains are packed with nutrients like vitamins Band E, copper, chromium, zinc and magnesium and contain many phytochemicals which get lost during the processing of white bread. This helps lower your risk for diabetes and stroke, helps regulate blood sugar levels, lowers cancer risk and aids in weight loss.

2)    Make your morning smoothie with soy milk – soy milk has a heap of benefits over regular milk. It contains the antioxidant soyisoflavone which has antiproliferative and anti-migratory effects on smooth muscle cells that line artery walls hence reduce blood-clot formation. It also boosts bone density as it is fortified with high calcium.

3)    Include fruits and vegetables as your snack – not only are fruit and vegetables to be taken with meals, making them your snacking option is a healthier and more filling option. It is ideal for weight management and also lowers the risk of stroke, prevents aging and some fruits are known to have cancer fighting properties.

4)    Substitute your baked potato for sweet potato – baked potato is a delightful side dish for any main course, but it is packed with unhealthy carbs. Sweet potato on the other hand is packed with almost all vitamins and minerals like zinc and calcium. It also contains the potent antioxidant beta-carotene which helps lower your risk for heart disease and cancer and fights the signs of aging.

5)    Drink water instead of soda – substitute your regular diet soda for water. Not only I it refreshing, it is also devoid of preservatives and unhealthy nutrients like taurine and excess sugar.

6)    Make pizza instead of ordering – or for that matter even home-made burger is a good option. If you haven’t yet made one, then you should go ahead. The best part I that you get to put in any topping that you desire without having to worry about the extra cost!

7)    Eat lean meats - Red meats are high in cholesterol and shouldn’t be eaten regularly. Instead substitute it with fish or turkey.

8)    Drink a glass of juice instead of coffee or tea at breakfast – fresh juices provide the wholeness of the entire fruit while tea or coffee contains tannins which reduce the absorption of iron.

9)    Eat moderate servings – consuming smaller portions in regular intervals can enhance the digestive abilities of your digestive system and boost your metabolism.

10)    Spread your morning toast with peanut butter – oils from nuts and seeds contain monounsaturated fat which is a healthier option than those found in butter and margarine. This healthy fat also found in plant oils and can be used for cooking is needed to nourish your brain, heart and cells, as well as your hair, skin, and nails.

11)    Opt for a fish dish rather than a meat dish – fish contains polyunsaturated fats called omega 3 fats, it aids in the reduction of cardiovascular disease and helps prevent dementia. Fish is also packed with protein which is essential to build up immunity, optimize growth and build muscle mass.

12)    Eat “whole” food - Whole foods are a better option than processed foods, which have added ingredients, flavor and preservatives that harm the body. These include vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans.

13)    Snack on nuts instead of chips – chips or fries are packed with unhealthy oil and preservatives, whereas nuts contain monounsaturated fats that is good for you and adds on to your protein content.

14)    Add honey instead of sugar to your milk – excess sugar intake can cause you to develop diabetes which results in serious health conditions, honey is the best alternative as it is not only a natural sweetener but is also adorned with a variety of benefits.

15)    Cut down on your salt intake – add just the right amount of salt that is required and avoid placing the salt at the table. Excess salt intake can lead to hypertension and a string of diseases associated with it.

These small changes if incorporated on a daily basis can turn your health situation around. Even if you start by implementing one a day you will at least be sure to be on the right track in a fortnight. The key to healthy eating habits is to take time to integrate these good habits into your everyday routine because life is a like marathon not a sprint.


  • Sacks FM, Bray GA, Carey VJ, et al. (February 2009). "Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates
  • Photo courtesy of Molly Elliott by Flickr :