A healthy diet is a way to provide your body with a wide range of essential nutrients. It should be varied, contain foods from all of the basic food groups, and be well balanced. In addition, it should be low in fat, sugar, and salt, and limit alcohol. A good diet should also be tailored to your age and food preferences. When choosing foods, go for whole foods and avoid processed food. This will keep your gut bacteria healthy and protect you from chronic disease. If you're picky about certain foods, try introducing them gradually. For example, start with your favorite fruit or vegetable, and work your way up to that. You can also experiment with new flavors and foods. Another way to eat a healthy diet is to cut back on portion sizes. The serving size of many foods has ballooned in recent years, so try to choose smaller portions. In restaurants, choose a starter instead of an entree, and share your dishes with a friend. Similarly, when cooking at home, avoid supersized foods. You can also use visual cues to help you determine what is a healthy portion size. A serving of meat, for example, should be about the size of a deck of cards. Fish, on the other hand, should be the size of a traditional light bulb. In addition, serving meals on smaller plates can trick your brain into believing it's a larger portion. If you still don't feel full, you can always add a serving of fruit or leafy greens. When it comes to choosing a healthy diet, you should avoid saturated fats as much as possible. Instead, you should try to include foods rich in unsaturated fats. This will satisfy your sweet tooth without adding unnecessary calories. In addition, try to choose lower-fat dairy products and reduce your intake of sugary soft drinks. Another good rule of thumb is to eat foods that are high in nutrients, such as fruits, nuts, and seeds. While many of these foods are highly processed, they are still considered healthy. You should limit the amount of processed foods in your diet, and choose whole foods whenever possible. A diet rich in nutrient-dense foods has proven to be beneficial in preventing many diseases and improving your health. If you are not sure which foods are high in these nutrients, try reading the Canadian Food Guide. You can also make healthy choices when dining out. If you go out for dinner, limit the amount of high-fat, high-salt foods. Also, try to request smaller portions if you have to. You can even make some of your favourite meals in your own home by following simple cooking techniques. For example, if you're having pizza for dinner, choose a low-fat version. A balanced diet should include both protein and fat. This will help you feel full for longer. It's also important to keep in mind that juices and soft drinks are usually considered 'junk foods' - although they're perfectly acceptable in small quantities. Fish can also be included in your diet because it contains essential vitamins and minerals. It also contains oily fats that may help prevent heart disease. However, fish may contain a lot of salt and should only be eaten in moderation.