If you really want to have a healthy diet, make it convenient

 
Sarah Spickernell
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Snacking on lemons? Unlikely (Source: Getty)

Make no more plans to spend hours putting together complicated salads and homemade juices – it's time to get real.

Most of us just won't put in the effort to become culinary health food wizards with the limited free time we have, and we only end up consuming lots of good foods if it is easy for us to do so.
That's the conclusion a group of medical experts at Cornell University in the US arrived at after studying the eating habits of hundreds of people across the nation. They say the number one thing that determines whether or not a person has a healthy diet is convenience.
What this means is having access to good foods that are not too expensive and are easy to consume. So rather than tracking down unpeelable lychees in the few shops that sell them, you should buy apples, bananas and grapes, and put them in a fruit bowl in the middle of the table where they'll be constantly in view.
The same goes for salad – if you're in a rush, you have more of a chance of getting your greens by buying a ready-made and washed salad than by purchasing all the ingredients for one.
When it comes to unhealthy snacks like biscuits and chocolate, the researchers found that putting them in hard to reach places in the house, or indeed not having them at all, makes a big difference to whether or not you'll end up eating them.
"A healthy diet can be as easy as making the healthiest choice the most convenient, attractive, and normal," explained Dr Brian Wansink, a lead researcher in the study. The results are published in the journal Psychology and Marketing.

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