What is a healthy diet? Is it what we have been lead to believe – milk for strong bones and teeth, protein in the form of lean beef or chicken and maybe a “healthy” microwave dinner if we are “on the go.” A healthy diet contains lots of fruit and vegetables; is based on starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice; and is low in fat (especially saturated fat), salt and sugar. This section contains details on what a healthy diet should consist of and why each vitamin and mineral is an essential part of staying healthy.
Maintaining a healthy diet is the practice of making choices about what to eat with the intent of improving or maintaining good health. Usually this involves consuming necessary nutrients by eating the appropriate amounts from all of the food groups including an adequate amount of water. Since human nutrition is complex, a healthy diet may vary widely, subject to an individual’s genetic makeup, environment, and health. For around 20% of the planet’s population, lack of food and malnutrition are the main impediments to healthy eating; people in developed countries have the opposite problem, and are more concerned about obesity..
Tips for Healthy diet
Maintain a healthy weight. The weight that’s right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and heredity. Excess body fat increases your chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and other illnesses. But being too thin can increase your risk for osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities and other health problems. If you’re constantly losing and regaining weight, a registered dietitian can help you develop sensible eating habits for successful weight management. Regular exercise is also important to maintaining a healthy weight..
Eat less high kilo joule foods-The total amount of energy-dense (high kilo joule) foods you eat may be as important as the total amount of fat in your diet. To reduce the energy density of your diet, you need to increase the amount of plant foods you eat. This will provide essential nutrients, help to make you feel ‘full’ and also reduce the amount of fat in your diet.
Milk and dairy foods-Milk and dairy products include cheese, yoghurt, milk and fromage-frais. They are rich in protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. Eat or drink a moderate amount of these foods – about 2 to 3 servings per day. These foods contain a good source of calcium, which is essential to our diet, but as these foods can also be high in saturated fats try to choose reduced fat versions when possible.
Limit fast food and other low-nutrient snacks, such as chips and candy. But don’t completely ban favorite snacks from your home. Instead, make them “once-in-a-while” foods, so kids don’t feel deprived.
Avoid stress while eating. When we are stressed, our digestion can be compromised. Avoid eating while working, driving, or watching TV (especially disturbing programs or the news). Also avoid confrontations, serious discussions or worry during meals. If you feel stressed or upset, stop eating and relax before continuing with your meal. Try taking some deep breaths prior to beginning your meal, or light candles and play soothing music to create a relaxing atmosphere.