7 Habits of Healthy Eaters

by in Healthy Tips, June 20, 2013

food label
Ever wonder what healthy folks do to be and stay that way? Being healthy is a lifestyle, not just something you sometimes do and then fall off the wagon. Healthy eaters have many of these 7 habits in common — see how many of them you can adopt; you’ll feel better for it.

1. Gardening
Any food you can grow on your own is better for your health and the health of the environment. Whether it’s a few pots of herbs or a full-blown veggie garden, get your hands a little dirty and start growing your own food.

Make This Habit Your Own: Gardening For Beginners

2. Food safety
Is your fridge the proper temperature? Do you know how to defrost meat or prevent cross contamination? Paying attention to basic food safety principles will keep you and everyone in your household that much more healthy.

Make This Habit Your Own: Counter-Top Safety

3. Meal planning
A little forethought can make a real difference. Make a weekly meal plan, eat most meals at home, and think about your entire day when making food choices. You will save time, money and a whole bunch of calories.

Make This Habit Your Own: Brown-Bag Lunch Menus

4. Hydration
Hydration is part of a healthy diet. Getting enough fluid benefits your skin, circulation, blood pressure and energy levels. Water is always the best choice but you can always flavor it up.

Make This Habit Your Own: Drink Enough Water

5. Eating — and enjoying it
It’s true, healthy eaters don’t torture themselves over a bite of chocolate or always look for the lowest calorie recipe. Eating mindfully and enjoying all kinds of foods in moderation is what its all about.

Make This Habit Your Own: Eat more mindfully

6. Exercise
Getting 150 minutes of exercise over 3 to 5 days a week is ideal. Get yourself moving a little more each day and stick to it to reap the benefits for a lifetime.

Make This Habit Your Own: Optimize your exercise regimen

7. Smart shopping
Ignore the commercials and impressive sounding marketing ploys. To really understand what’s in the food you’re eating, check the nutrition facts and the ingredient list. Read the labels to be completely in the know about what you’re buying and eating.

Make This Habit Your Own: Beware of the Health Halo

Tell Us: What are your healthiest habits?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (4)

  1. Great article and you're right on the mark! Label reading is an important habit. Compare ingredients in, for example, cottage cheese. This shouldn't have 10 ingredients, it should have maybe 3-4. Then the nutrition panel, look at nutrients like calcium, sodium, protein and sat fat. Granted, it would be a lot easier to compare similar foods if the labels included a standardised column (per 100g). Comparing a serving size of 56g and another of 108g is nigh impossible (hopefully a change for the future).

    I like your mindful eating and enjoyment discussion. Eating a piece of chocolate is a great choice and you shouldn't feel guilty. It's a much better choice and shows more control than trying to restrict it completely, failing and binging. Life and food are pleasures, a diet that contains everything in moderation is much more enjoyable than restricting foods you love.

  2. Josh Brancek says:

    Well, I would add 8th habit if I may, and that would be counting calories and macros of each meal I do enjoy!!!

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. Alex says:

    Hi Dana, I love the tips and idea you have shared in this article. For me this is the best tips you have mentioned – "Hydration is part of a healthy diet. Getting enough fluid benefits your skin, circulation, blood pressure and energy levels. Water is always the best choice but you can always flavor it up." Looking forward to see more tips from you.

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