A Healthy Diet For a Healthy Lifestyle

healthy diet

Eating well is key to a healthy lifestyle. Changing your diet to include more fresh foods, low-fat options and fewer added sugars and salt can make a huge difference in the way you look and feel. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

The best place to start is to replace processed food with more whole foods, which are closer to the way nature made them. This means eating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, eggs, milk and yoghurt and nuts.

It’s also important to limit sugary drinks – water is the best choice. If you do drink soda or fruit juice, try to limit it to one small glass a day, and avoid sugary energy drinks. Drinking too many high-sugar drinks over time can lead to tooth decay and weight gain.

Reducing the amount of fat in your diet can help you lose or manage your weight and lower your cholesterol levels. However, kids and adults still need some fat in their diets to provide essential fatty acids that cannot be made in the body. Choose ‘healthy fats’ like avocado, nut butters and oily fish such as salmon, trout or sardines.

A healthy diet includes at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Getting your 5 A Day can be as simple as adding a piece of fruit to your breakfast cereal, having a salad at lunch or snacking on some dried fruit after school.

If you eat takeaway or restaurant meals, try to limit them as these can be high in saturated fat, added salt and kilojoules. Instead, eat more meals at home where you can control the ingredients and portion sizes.

When eating out, a single energy-dense meal may contain most of an adult’s daily kilojoule allowance, so be mindful of your portion size. When ordering, ask for a smaller serving size or share a dish with a friend. When shopping, use the ‘Percentage of Daily Values’ on food labels to compare products and select those with less sodium.

The My Plate plan outlines today’s best scientific advice about what to eat and how much to eat. The plan helps people of all ages achieve and maintain a healthy weight by making good choices from each of the main food groups. It can also help you reduce your intake of foods and beverages that are high in added sugars, saturated fat, trans fat and salt.