Darcy Lambton

13 February 2024

No Comments

Simple healthy diet changes for 2024 that should go the distance

Many of us still look to the start of the year to assess our lifestyles and habits. If diet and food are something on your horizon, you’re not alone. According to research around a third of adults in the UK plan to improve their dietary habits and since fish often appears high on such lists, we want to highlight some of the easier and healthier changes that you can make.

 

Balance

The best way to maintain changes to our lifestyles is to make those changes practical and manageable. If you pledge to cut out entire food groups from your diet, you’ll often reach a point where this is no longer feasible. That may be from a wellbeing point of view, or simply accessibility. This is why balance and moderation are so key to any changes that we may seek to make. It’s also why adding foods is more attainable than removing them.

 

What to add

Adding foods to your diet doesn’t mean to eat more in total. By adding a good type of food, you’re less likely to crave something less healthy. In time, you’ll find that those less healthy options simply aren’t on your radar any more.

Oily Fish

Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and kippers are great for adding to your diet. They are not only a source of protein and key nutrients, but are also incredibly versatile ingredients. To enjoy a sustained change in diet, it’s important to enjoy the food that you eat. Smoked varieties of salmon and other fish are deep in flavour, making them delicious as well as healthy.

Nuts and seeds

As a snack or added to a meal, nuts and seeds bring not only natural goodness but also texture to a meal. Try adding a crust of poppy seeds to a hot smoked side of salmon, or toasted nuts and seeds sprinkled onto a salad.

Real Foods

Whether as a snack or as a meal, choose real foods over packaged options. Not only are these foods more natural for your gut to digest, they taste better too! From fruit and vegetables to pulses and fish, good ingredients make food both healthier and more enjoyable.

Water

Yes, this is drinking rather than eating, but in the spirit of adding things to our diets, water is key. Most of us simply don’t drink enough of it. In the rush of modern life we can often confuse thirst with hunger, so staying hydrated will make you less inclined to snack. Plus, the more water you drink, the fewer artificial sugary drinks will pass your lips as a natural consequence!

 

Processed Foods

There has been much talk over the last year or so regarding processed and ultra processed foods. Clearly, there are grades of processing, and when it comes to understanding which foods we should embrace in 2024, it’s important to clarify things. As a basic rule, foods which include ingredients that you wouldn’t find in a domestic kitchen are ultra processed. This includes elements that are emulsifiers or stabilisers. Many processed foods are done so in pretty natural and traditional ways; things like yoghurt and cheese being key examples.

Fermented food

Is fermented food proceed? Strictly speaking, yes. Fermentation is an ancient processing technique that actually increases the health of many foods. Yoghurts and pickles such as kimchi or sauerkraut are seen as superfoods due to their fermentation process. Aged cheeses such as stilton and other blue varieties are another healthily fermented food. Try our smoked Shropshire Blue for even deeper flavour.

Smoked food

Smoking, like fermentation, is a natural process that preserves and adds flavour to food. When most of us assume that making dietary changes for the better means forsaking flavour and joy, smoked foods are a game changer. Our smoked salmon varieties use a range of different flavours, from juniper to cherrywood. These will reignite depths of flavour as part of healthy meals that are maintainable long term.

 

Meals and Society

Of course, it’s not just about what you eat. It’s about how you eat. It can be easy to get preoccupied with what our meals consist of, when sometimes the problem lies in our approach to food. As artisan food smokers, we want to spread the love of good ingredients far and wide. So we think that the enjoyment of a meal is incredibly important.

Social dining

In reports of what ‘the healthiest diet’ is, more often than not the Mediterranean diet comes out tops. Much of this is down to those natural ingredients and oils that are prevalent in the region. However, there’s also an interesting correlation between health and social dining. By making meals a social event, we naturally elongate the eating process and prioritise quality over quantity.

Chewing

Admittedly, not every meal can be a social event. That would be quite the luxury (and also quite exhausting for us Brits!) A key principle to bear in mind day to day is how much we chew our food. If in doubt, you’re probably not chewing it enough. Dieticians will tell you that it takes 10-20 minutes for our gut signals to tell our brain that we’re full. If we’re rushing the eating process, it’s easy to miss this signal and either overeat, become bloated, or suffer from indigestion.

Breakfast

While intermittent fasting is a popular practice to promote gut health, it’s still true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s just that for some people, breakfast might take place at 11am rather than 7am! Our first meal of the day is psychologically likely to influence our eating decisions for the rest of the day. That’s why nutrient rich options like smoked mackerel on whole grain sourdough toast is an ideal start.

 

By making some key changes to our approach to eating, we can all enjoy a healthier 2024. The best benefit to including smoked foods in the changes that you make is that you can enjoy health without compromising flavour. Shop our ranges here.