9 Practical Nutrition Tips To Help With Healthy Living
A big part of staying healthy and well is making sure you get enough nutrition in your diet.
Getting the right nutrients from the food you eat will help you to maintain a healthy weight, keep your body running, and may help protect the body against illness.
However, it’s not always easy to know exactly what you should be eating, how much of it, and how it can benefit you.
That’s why we’ve come up with these helpful nutrition tips — so that you can lead a healthy lifestyle and optimise your health. Find out more below.
1. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
It goes without saying that it is essential to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Fruit and veg are naturally packed with many of the nutrients you need, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fibre. All of these nutrients play important roles in your body — from supporting immune function to promoting bone health, to boosting brain power and reducing your risk of suffering from chronic diseases.
Having a wide variety and different types of fruit and vegetables in your diet helps you to get everything you need to stay happy, healthy and well. Don’t forget to keep the skins on too!
2. Choose your protein sources carefully
Protein is considered to be the building blocks of life. It can be found throughout the body — in everything from our muscles, organs, tissues and bone, to skin, hair and hormones. Protein is part of every cell in the body and plays a huge role in the everyday function of our bodies.
It is important to choose high-protein foods that are nutrient-dense and contain reduced saturated fat.
Choose foods high in protein such as:
- Lean cuts of poultry and meat (removing the skin and trimming fat where necessary)
- Oily fish such as salmon and tuna
- Low-fat dairy products
- Soy products (like soy milk and tofu)
- Beans, chickpeas and lentils
- Nuts and seeds
You can find out more about rich sources of protein in our guide.
3. Swap your usual refined carbs for wholegrain or low GI varieties
Fibre should be a big part of any healthy, balanced diet, but many of us aren’t getting enough fibre to hit our recommended daily fibre intake.
It can seem hard to find ways to add more fibre to your diet, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply swap your usual refined carbs for healthier, fibre-rich versions!
Substitute your normal white bread with a wholegrain or sourdough variety. White bread has been highly processed and the fibre stripped away during the refining process. Wholegrain bread still contains this fibre as well as other beneficial nutrients and sourdough breads have had long fermentation times with higher acidity which means the body digests it much slower.
For more tips on getting enough fibre in your diet, head to our how to increase fibre intake guide.
4. Eat breakfast every day
If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be tempted to skip breakfast and cut some calorie intake.
However, cutting breakfast is actually thought to do the opposite — causing cravings for fatty foods and sugar, blood sugar spikes and weight gain.
If you really want to stick to healthy living and maintain a healthy weight, then one of our key nutrition tips is to eat breakfast every day. This will help you to get the nutrients you need for good health.
Here are some great healthy breakfasts to kickstart your day:
- An omelette with salmon and spinach — high in protein, with a boost of healthy omega-3 fatty acids
- Cinnamon porridge topped with honey, crunchy nuts and chopped banana — a great source of fibre
- Greek yoghurt with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, sprinkled with chia seeds — a good dose of probiotics, as well as antioxidants, vitamins and fibre
You can also add nutrient-rich smoothies to your breakfast routine for an extra nutritional boost!
To find out more about the benefits of eating breakfast every day, read our article ‘Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?’
5. Cut down on saturated fats
We could all do with cutting down on saturated fats in our diet.
Saturated fats — also known as ‘bad fats’ — can have harmful, long-term effects on your health. As well as causing weight gain, saturated fats can increase cholesterol in the blood, heightening your risk of developing heart disease and other serious illnesses.
If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, reducing your intake of saturated fats will help. This includes fast foods, meats with visible fat, butter and lard, baked goods and processed foods.
Instead, opt for unsaturated fats. Fat isn’t all bad — unsaturated fats can have a range of health benefits and are essential to a balanced diet. The fats found in avocados, olives, plant-based oils such as extra virgin olive oil, oily fish, and certain nuts and seeds are all healthy unsaturated types that can help protect your heart and reduce bad cholesterol.
Choosing the right fats and cutting your fat intake is one of the most important nutrition tips out there. Following a low-fat diet is thought to have a range of benefits for both weight loss and general health.
6. Drink plenty of fluids
As well as eating the right types of food, you need to make sure you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated.
Water technically counts as a macronutrient — a substance we need in relatively large quantities to function properly. We use water in nearly all bodily processes, and we can’t survive without it.
According to the Australian government, men generally need around ten cups of water a day, and women need about eight glasses a day (though if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you’ll need more).
If the idea of water doesn’t appeal, there are plenty of other fluids that can still count towards your daily total. Cordial, fruit juice, milk, teas and even coffee all help to top up your hydration levels — though it is best to avoid drinking too many caffeinated drinks because these can make you more dehydrated.
You can also flavour your water with slices of lemon, lime, mint or berries for a refreshing and tasty drink without any added sugar or caffeine!
7. Get a daily dose of probiotics
You’ve probably heard of probiotics — the friendly bacteria that can be found in yoghurts and fermented foods (like kimchi or kombucha).
Probiotics can offer us a range of benefits. In particular, they are great for our digestive health, helping to keep our gut microbiome (the mix of good and bad bacteria in our intestine) balanced.
It might sound like a small thing, but a happy gut can have a big impact on other parts of your body — from your skin to immune function to mental health. You can read all about probiotic benefits in our article.
Probiotics in yoghurts can be an easy addition to your daily routine — either as your breakfast or as a mid-morning snack. Just add berries, a squeeze of honey, and some seeds for a nutritious bowl.
8. Reduce your sugar intake
We all know that sugar is bad for us. Sugar can cause weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay.
A super simple nutrition tip to implement is to cut down on sugar. Fizzy drinks, chocolate, cakes and pastries all contain high amounts of sugar, so it is best to eat these in moderation.
If you feel like snacking, opt for fruit (which contains healthy, natural sugars), nuts and seeds to stave off hunger instead. It’s a good idea to gradually reduce your sugar intake — going cold turkey straight away can cause cravings and lead to you reaching for comforting carbs instead.
Choosing carbs with a low GI rating can also help to stop your blood sugar from spiking, aid weight control and help people with diabetes manage their condition.
9. Take nutritional supplements
Sometimes we don’t get all of the nutrients we need from our diet.
Nutritional supplements such as SUSTAGEN Optimum contain a carefully chosen blend of vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre, probiotics and antioxidants. Probiotics and fibre help to support digestive health, antioxidants Vitamins C and E support immune function and high-quality protein helps maintain muscle mass.
It’s simple enough to fit nutritional supplements into your diet — just create nutrient-rich drinks using milk or water, or add scoops to your favourite recipes.
These nutrition tips cover the basics of healthy, balanced eating and can help you make better choices when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.
SUSTAGEN OPTIMUM™ is a Food for Special Medical Purpose, specially formulated for medical conditions where nutritional needs cannot be met through diet modification alone. Must be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional.