Whether you’re looking to improve your health or feel better, it can be challenging to decipher the various nutrition and diet advice out there. Every expert has a different opinion!
Eat mostly unprocessed foods, including vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Limit added sugars, unhealthy fats, and sodium.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Maintaining good health and well-being is crucial, and a balanced diet plays an important role in achieving it. It is essential to choose foods low in ultra-processed carbohydrates, sugars, and sodium while including nutritious whole foods in your diet. To ensure good health, limit the intake of foods and drinks with high levels of saturated fats, added salt, and sugar, also known as discretionary choices, to occasional meals or snacks. This is the most effective way to obtain all the essential nutrients that the body requires.
Eat More Fruits & Vegetables
A daily diet added with fruits and vegetables is essential for a healthy lifestyle. These foods add flavor and variety while providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Aiming for at least five portions of different fruits and vegetables each day is recommended. One portion is equivalent to 80g, roughly the size of a large grapefruit or two satsumas.
Research shows that consuming a fruits and vegetables diet can reduce the risk of various health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. With more fruits and vegetables that are added to your diet, you can decrease your intake of high-calorie foods like saturated fats, sugar, and salt. This, in turn, helps you maintain a healthier lifestyle and reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases.
Eat More Whole Grains
While grains have been getting a bad rap lately, carbs fuel our bodies. Carbohydrates are necessary for energy and our body’s optimum diet.
A healthy eating habits with more whole grains can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of diabetes, and improve heart disease. It can also improve your digestion.
Look for foods that contain at least 50% whole grains based on dry weight. You can identify whole grain foods by looking for the “whole grain” stamp on the packaging or a “whole grain” listing in the ingredient list. Choose unprocessed whole grains whenever possible. The outer coating of some whole grains, called bran, has fiber that helps you feel full.
Eat More Lean Protein
The body needs protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other critical bodily chemicals. It also serves as the primary building block of bones, muscles, skin, and blood.
It’s recommended that adults get 10-35% of their calories from protein. Choose lean protein with less saturated fat and more heart-healthy unsaturated fat.
One ounce of a low-fat top-round steak offers 52 calories, 2 grams of fat (0.5 grams of saturated), and 8 grams of protein. Proteins from plants, such as tofu, tempeh, beans, and lentils, are also good choices. They can be a great source of fiber, B vitamins, and essential amino acids.
Eat More Healthy Fats
It is important that your diet includes healthy fats, but you must ensure it’s the right kind. Ideally, your diet should come from unsaturated fats like fish, avocado, olive oil, and nuts. This helps you feel full and slows down the digestion of carbohydrates. It also aids hormone function, memory, and the absorption of specific nutrients. However, it’s essential to limit saturated and trans fats found in fatty meats, butter, lard, shortening, processed vegetable oils, and baked goods. Eating too much fat can lead to weight gain.
Eat Less Carbs
A high sugar and carbs diet can lead to digestive issues like candida, IBS, and leaky gut syndrome. Reducing these foods may relieve those symptoms and improve overall digestion function. It is also essential to avoid processed and fried foods as they contain trans fats known to cause inflammation in the body. Instead, choose whole food sources of fats such as eggs, nuts, and avocados. These will be healthier options for most people than packaged snacks filled with refined sugar and carbs.
The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Eating is the ideal resource for learning about nutrition basics, building a balanced meal plan, understanding the benefits of different types of diets, managing dietary restrictions and allergies, making wise choices when eating out, and more.