What to eat?
A person must eat a healthy balanced diet in order to maintain a good health. A balanced diet is a diet containing a wide variety of foods in the right proportion and helps to improve and maintain health. A balanced diet provides nutrients, a body requires to function. A body becomes more susceptible to diseases, infections, fatigue, and poor performance when it lacks in good nutrients. A poor diet can lead to obesity, diabetes and also cardiovascular diseases.
A balanced diet must be high in vitamins, minerals and nutrients and low in unnecessary fats and sugars. Thus a balanced must include:
Seasonal fruits should be preferred as they are fresh and provide most nutrients. Fruits are not only nutritious but make tasty snack. They contain natural sugar which is better than foods containing added sugar.
Vegetable are a primary source of essential vitamins and minerals. Dark, leafy greens generally contain the most nutrition and can be eaten at every meal.
Protein is essential for proper muscle and brain development. Meats and beans are primary sources of protein. Lean meats contain low-fat meat such as chicken, fish, and certain cuts of pork and beef are the best options. Removing the skin and trimming off any visible fat are easy ways to reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in meats. The health and diet of the animal are important and influence the fatty acid profile of the meat, so grass-fed choices are ideal. Nuts and beans are good sources of protein and contain many other health benefits, as well as fiber and other nutrients. A healthy alternative to meat can be tofu, tempeh and other soy-based products which are also an excellent source of protein.
Dairy products provide calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients. However, they’re also major sources of fat, so it may be best to select small portions of full-fat cheeses, and reduced-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt. Plant-based milks, such as those made from flaxseed, almonds, or soy are typically fortified with calcium and other nutrients, making them excellent alternatives to dairy from cows.
Grains are divided into: Whole Grains and Refined Grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm. Example: whole-wheat flour, bulgur (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole cornmeal, and brown rice. Refined grains have been milled, which removes the bran and germ. This process removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Example: white flour, de-germed cornmeal, white bread, and white rice.
Thus, whole grains provide much more nutrition.
Oils should be consumed sparingly. Opt for low-fat and low-sugar versions of products that contain oil, such as salad dressing and mayonnaise. Good oils, such as olive oil, can replace fattier vegetable oil in your diet.
Guidelines for Healthy Eating
- Never skip your meal. Skipping your meal lowers your metabolic rate. Breakfast remains the most important and vital meal of the day
- Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean complicated eating. Eat more raw foods such as salads, fruits and vegetable juices, and focus on the pleasure of eating healthy food rather than the calories.
- Do not over eat, stop when you feel full.
- Drink lots of water.
- Consume variety of food.
- To improve the cereal and pulse protein quality, a minimum ratio of cereal protein to pulse protein should be 4:1. In terms of the grains, it will be eight parts of cereals and one part of pulses.
- Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Replace unhealthy snack with a healthy snack.
- Remove all visible fat from food before you cook it – take the skin off chicken and trim the white fat off any meat.
- Limit consumption of caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar.
- Cook your own meal, prevent eating outside food.
- Only eat things you like the taste of – find what works for you and don’t force yourself to eat things just because they’re good for you.