Healthy eating is essential to long-term health and vitality. Unfortunately, for many adults that lifestyle is hard to attain. With processed and packaged food becoming cheaper and faster to prepare, diabetes is a growing concern for older adults.

At PACE-RI, nearly 55% of participants have diabetes, which contributes to a number of other health concerns. Today the need for healthy eating alternatives has never been greater. So today we are talking about the simple ways you can improve your diet without breaking the bank.

Plan your meals

One of the biggest offenders when it comes to unhealthy eating is fast food. High in sugar and salt, most fast food is highly processed and contains very little nutritional value. One way to overcome the impulse to eat fast food is to plan your meals.

Meal planning can be as simple as deciding to stop at the grocery store to pick up some fresh produce for dinner or as involved as meal prepping for the entire week. Planning your meals can also save you time in the long run, since you can cook healthy meals in larger portions, and have them ready for later.

Look for simple recipes

When it comes to cooking meals, sometimes you don’t have time to make something fancy. Fortunately, there are many simple and healthy options that will leave you feeling satisfied. With ideas and recipes from all over the web, you can find your easy and healthy option that the entire family will enjoy.

Stick to natural ingredients

From vegetables to grains to meats, meals are better with fresh ingredients. Not only do they provide the healthy nutrients that your body needs, they also don’t have the chemical preservatives that packaged foods might contain. Plus, natural options will have less sugar and salt than frozen or pre-made meals.

Eat more fish

Fish is a lean and nutritious source of protein that often goes overlooked, particularly in American diets. Packed with vitamins such as D and B2, it also has vital minerals like calcium and iron. Plus, it pairs well with a huge range of cultural dishes and cuisines.

Limit sugary foods and drinks

This might seem like it goes without saying, but it really bears repeating. Sugary snacks and drinks are one of the main reasons for tooth decay and are large contributors to diabetes and obesity in the United States. But there are alternatives to conventional sweets that can make a big difference in your diet. For instance, making the switch from soda to seltzer water is an easy way to eliminate the excess sugar that sodas carry.