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If you have eating habits that are similar to most people in the US, you’re likely looking for simple tips for maintaining healthy habits. One of the main things you should incorporate into your diet is eating fresh produce and whole grains. We likely don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, which means our diets don’t have enough fiber. 

Even if you just need more advice about eating well, one of the best things you can do is cooking at home more. When you prepare your meals at home, you control the sodium and preservatives that go into your food. If you’re not sure how to get started when it comes to cooking healthier meals, here are some ways you can make home cooking a little easier. 

Devise a Plan 

Come up with a plan to eat healthier. This can include planning dinner in the mornings or prepping for breakfast the night before. You can write down a list of ingredients so you can come up with a shopping list at the beginning of the week. Or, you can write a list of the meals you want for the week so you can figure out what you’re going to make based on your schedule. 

Eat Lots of Fruits and Veggies 

Most of us don’t get enough produce in our diet. Surprisingly, only 14% of adults eat enough vegetables in a day, and 18% eat the recommended amount of fruit daily. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that our bodies need for optimal health. We should eat two cups of fruit and about three cups of vegetables daily.

Select Whole Grains 

Choose whole grains instead of refined grains at least half of the time. Whole grains such as bulgur and brown rice have bran which means they are high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, and zinc. You can also incorporate oats, farro, barley, and whole-wheat pasta into your diet. These grains taste great with soups and salads, and you can also prepare your favorite entrees with whole-grain pasta instead of white pasta.

Cook With Flavors From Around the World 

When you’re trying to eat healthier, include ingredients from Asian, African, and Mediterranean diets. Consuming foods from around the world will encourage you to eat more veggies and whole grains so you can avoid processed foods. You should also use seasonings like curry powder, fennel, and fresh herbs to add flavor to your food without added sodium. Many of these meals are packed with flavor and nutrition and easy to make at home. 

Try these helpful suggestions to eat more nutritious meals and reach your health goals by cooking at home.