Special Report

Healthy Eating Habits That Will Change Your Life

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16. Consume fatty fish

The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish — especially fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, herring, albacore tuna, and lake trout — per week. These fish are high in protein as well as omega-3s, which contribute to heart health.

The FDA further advises to avoid fish that are high in mercury such as shark, king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish.

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17. Limit high-glycemic index foods

Although all carbohydrates are converted into glucose in the body, some are converted much faster than others, causing blood sugar levels to spike. The glycemic index ranks carbohydrates on how quickly and how much they increase blood sugar levels. Eating high-glycemic foods such as white bread and refined sugars can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Foods that are high in fiber, such as whole grains, broccoli, beans, and apples with their skin on take longer to digest and therefore the converted sugar is released slower into the blood. Foods with their fiber removed, such as white flour, are higher on the glycemic index.

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18. Use more fresh herbs

Not only is using fresh herbs an easy and cheap way to make everyday foods interesting, it is also a great way to increase your nutrient intake. Leafy herbs such as dill, parsley, and basil are nutritionally similar to other leafy greens, such as spinach, and may contain vitamins A, C, and K.

While herbs are often used dried in small amounts as a seasoning, they can also be used fresh in large quantities. Try adding diced chives to an omelet, loading cilantro on to tacos, or putting a handful of fresh basil into soup before serving.

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19. Pay attention to your body

How often do you feel tired or have an upset stomach after eating? Stress, multitasking while eating, having a food intolerance, or not chewing food thoroughly can all lead to indigestion or discomfort. Notice how you feel after you eat. Do certain foods always upset your stomach? If so, you may need to get an allergy test. The first step toward better digestion is simply noticing what happens in your body after you eat.

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20. Ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D

A 2011 analysis of U.S. adults found that 41.6% were vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is crucial to bone health, and deficiency may be linked to increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Dietary sources include certain fish and fish liver oils, egg yolks, UV-treated mushrooms, and fortified dairy and grains.