For most of us our health is a work in progress, whether it's losing weight, reducing symptoms of some kind or just wanting to have more energy and vitality.
There can be a lot of obstacles to reaching our health goals and some of those are harder to confront than others, but a major barrier for many people is overcoming the idea that you may need to sacrifice some degree of pleasure or enjoyment in order to feel better or lose weight.
This may be an inevitable truth for some, but there's also a lot you can do to get started and improve your health without sacrificing anything but just making some smarter choices and swapping a few things here and there.
Here are my top 5 effortless swaps that will improve your health.
Swap any industrially processed vegetable oils and vegetable oil spreads like canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, rice bran oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil for less processed healthy fats. These processed oils are highly inflammatory and can contribute to many chronic diseases and ill health. Better options are extra virgin olive oil, grass fed butter or ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil and macadamia oil. These healthier oils are much higher in good fats like omega-3 fatty acids and have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body.
Swap packaged liquid stock and stock cubes for good quality bone broths and vegetable broths. These can be liquid, powdered or a paste and they may be homemade or store bought, and contain nutrients that you won't get in poor quality, supermarket stock and stock cubes which also often contain undesirable ingredients like preservatives, sugars and vegetable oils. Good quality broth is packed full of nutrients to support gut health, immunity, skin and bone health and can be used regularly in cooking with great health benefits.
Swap conventionally farmed meats and seafood for organic grass fed meats and wild caught seafood. There are obviously ethical and environmental factors to consider when it comes to factory farmed meats. But for the purposes of this information I just want to talk about some of the health advantages of choosing better quality meats and seafood. Conventionally farmed meats and seafood are fed on an unnatural diet of cheap grains and sometimes worse. These grains contain omega-6 fatty acids and this means that the meat we consume is higher in omega-6 fatty acids. Grass fed meats and wild caught seafood that consume a more natural diet is up to 7 times higher in omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6 fatty acids which are your more inflammatory fats. This more desirable fatty acid ratio is just one of many reasons why switching to organic grass-fed meat and wild caught seafood is beneficial.
Swap refined table salt or iodised salt for Himalayan salt or sea salt. Table salt is mostly sodium chloride and has been highly refined and heated to extremely high temperatures and often things like anti-caking agents are added to keep a uniform product. Himalayan salt and sea salt are relatively unprocessed and still contain up to 84 naturally occurring trace minerals and a flavour and colour dependant on the area they've come from. Swapping highly refined table salt for a less processed sea salt will mean you avoid potential additives and benefit from the minerals, electrolytes and the better flavour of sea salt. Still be careful not to overdo it. A diet too high in sodium regardless of the quality of the salt, can lead to a variety of health problems.
Swap artificial sweeteners and refined sugar for more natural sweeteners like raw honey, pure maple syrup, dates and fresh fruit. Lowering your intake of sugars in general is the ultimate goal, even of the more natural sugars. But certainly in the transition to making healthier choices, it's a great idea to completely avoid any artificial sweeteners which have not only been shown to cause digestive symptoms, neurological issues and allergic reactions, but have also been linked to higher overall weight gain and dependence on sweet foods. Not to mention that they're generally contained in highly processed foods generally devoid of any nutritional value which should be avoided as much as possible.
Making these simple swaps doesn't necessarily involve making any changes that will make you feel deprived of the foods you love, but over the long term they can have a dramatic positive impact on your health.
If you found this info helpful, please share it with any friends and family that may also benefit.