What if we told you healthy eating could be tasty, fun, and enjoyable?

The possibility of making significant changes toward a healthier lifestyle can be daunting – especially in the South. Below the Mason-Dixon, we make a habit of frying food, always adding a bit of extra sugar, and indulging in over-the-top portion sizes. But, here's the good news: home-cooking meals is also very common, which means you're already on your way to a healthier eating routine. It can prove to be challenging to start cutting unnatural food out of your diet, but you'll feel, stronger, happier, and more energetic! Here are five easy ways to achieve a healthier cooking routine.

Pile On The Fruits And Vegetables

Most folks don't get near enough fruits and vegetables into their daily diet. You should aim for 6 to 10 servings a day. Of course, be sure to choose a wide variety of types to get an assortment of vitamins and antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables are great for you, and they will keep your stomach full.

Hold The Dairy

Dairy products like sour cream, yogurt, milk, and cheese are fantastic sources of calcium, but they can be hard to digest, and many people are completely dairy intolerant. Low-fat dairy is a great alternative! It's a great way to get saturated fat in your routine without the possible internal irritation.

Make Your Portion Size Reasonable

This one is tough; we know. Southern cuisine is difficult to say no to, but for the sake of your health, it's important to have a reasonable portion size. Here's a tip: after your first serving, wait at least 10 minutes before going back for seconds. This gives your body time to digest the food – allowing you to fill up before replenishing your plate.

Watch Out For Salt

Even if you don't have high blood pressure, consuming more than 1 teaspoon of sodium daily can be extremely harmful to your body. It puts an increased strain on your heart and causes water retention.

Say No To Junk Food

Want to know the easiest way to stay away from sweets? Don't keep them in your home! If you're pantry is filled with chips, soda, and candy, you're far more likely to indulge. Make dessert a special occasion occurrence. Unhealthy sugar adds several calories without any nutritious value.