A healthy diet is a nutritious diet that supports total health or improves it. A healthy diet offers essential nutrients to the human body: vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients and enough calories. A variety of vegetables, fruit, legumes, grains, seed, and nuts should be included in the recommended diet. The diet generally eliminates meats, salt, refined sugar and alcohol The primary protein and other nutrients are seafood and poultry.
A healthy diet should consist of at least five main food groups. Each food category includes: carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, fruits, milk and fats. Each of these groups can contain one to two items on any given day. The most important thing to remember is to consume moderately in each of these foods and to eat saturated fats moderately, especially if you try to lose weight.
Variety, Moderation and Balance
You can best achieve a healthy diet by selecting nutrient dense foods according to variation, moderation and balance principles.
Our foods are typically classified into six main categories, namely protein, grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and oils. Variety refers to food consumption on a regular basis by each food group. The variety principle is represented by the “MyPlate” food pattern of the United States Department of Agriculture. The visual MyPlate shows how important it is to regularly choose food from all food groups.
The principle of variety is also important in food groups. For example, a person can choose to have a vegetable for each meal but only choose from potatoes and maize. In the vegetable group, the principle of variety would be best achieved by selecting a variety of colors regularly. The various colorful plants usually contain various essential nutrients and different phytochemicals.
The main grain product on our food supply in the United States is wheat. Other healthy whole grains are often overlooked, like barley, quinoa, rye and buckwheat. The application of the principle of variety also results in excellent health benefits for the selection of grain. Moreover, a new healthy food that you like is part of your food fun!
The moderation principle is applied by not eating too much or too little. Overconsumption is a common problem in places where food is plentiful and easily accessible. Americans have been shown to be particularly concerned about overconsumption of calories, saturated fats, addition of sugars, sodium and alcohol.
Moderation is crucial for optimal health and survival. Burgers, French fries, cake, and ice cream each night for dinner will lead to health complications. However, this should not have too much impact on the general health of the otherwise healthy diet and should only be consumed on a weekly basis. If this is done once a month, the impact on overall health will be even less significant. It is important to remember that eating is partly a pleasure and a moderate spirit. It’s in a healthy diet.
The balance principle puts food into perspective. Every dinner will result in health complications and will not comply with the principle of variation or moderation when eating French fries, cake and ice cream each night. The balance principle teaches us that sometimes, it is okay to choose such a dinner, and when a less dense nutrient dinner is chosen, your breakfast and dinner can be carefully chosen with extra dense nutrient choices from the appropriate groups in order to balance your supplies.
Choose foods high in protein and fiber but low in saturated fat when selecting a balanced diet. The benefits are healthy to eggs, poultry, fish, legumes (such as beans), noodles, seeds, and vegetables. As far as possible, choose low-fat dairy and low-sugar preparations. In lieu of red meat, choose lean meat like turkey and chicken. Include small to moderate portions of meat or poultries for lunch and dinner, low-fat, high-fiber milk products for breakfast.
Another way to build a healthy diet is by restricting or eliminating processed food from your diet. Processed foods are preserved either by adding salt or sugar, freezing or adding chemicals for longer periods of time. Packaged or canned fruit and vegetables, usually higher in calories than fresh, are the main options in this category. Fat, sodium, sugar and chemicals are higher in processed foods. But many people still eat processed food, as it tastes well and is convenient. This may seem an obvious choice.
One of the keys to the development of a healthier calorie diet is the use of fruit and vegetables to prepare meals, rather than frozen meals. Fiber-high fruit and vegetable products contain little or no calories, which makes it better choose using fresh products in the form of a salad or vegetable juice than the more well-known pre-packaged solutions. It’s a healthier choice to use fruit and vegetables instead of highly caloric junk foods like chips, cakes, candy bars and cookies, and can also help you keep to your healthy food plan.
So, are there bad foods, or just bad nutrition? We’ve got both, I think. It is a personal decision whether or not we eat these foods. But stack your plate with enough bad foods and you have a bad diet. Remember the principle of moderation.
In the end, we should be eating as healthy as we can. We have a huge range of foods available to implement variety in our diets. Balance should be less to counter the ‘bad’ and the ‘good’ and more about getting the right quantities to meet your body’s nutrient needs. Lean proteins, healthy fats, and ‘good’ carbohydrates like fruit, vegetables, and whole grain add to a nutritious diet.