Healthy Diet – What You Need to Know

A healthy diet is a pattern of eating that builds in the daily choices that work best for you. It consists of foods and beverages that give you the nutrients you need to stay healthy, including the five food groups—milk, yogurt, cheese, meats, fish and vegetables—plus grains and fruits. It limits sources of rapidly digested carbohydrates, such as white flour, pastas, pastries and sugary drinks, and emphasizes nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains (brown rice, barley, bulgar, quinoa or wheat berries), vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans. It also limits sources of saturated and trans fats, such as butter and shortenings, and adds heart-healthy oils like olive, canola, soy and peanut.

It is recommended to eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. This can be done by choosing a variety of fresh, frozen or canned options. For example, 1 large apple, banana or a medium-sized piece of pineapple is considered to be one portion. You can also get 3 heaped tablespoons of dried fruits, such as raisins, or a cup of frozen or canned fruit juice to meet this target.

Protein is important for a healthy diet, as it helps to preserve muscle and encourages fat burning. It is recommended to eat a variety of protein-rich foods, including fish, lean meats, eggs, poultry and legumes. It is also recommended to limit processed meats, as they may increase the risk of cancer and other diseases. When choosing protein, look for options that are low in saturated and trans fats and added salt.

Getting enough fibre is important for a healthy diet, as this can help lower cholesterol levels and regularize bowel movements. It is also recommended to eat a variety of fibre-rich foods, such as beans, lentils and peas, as well as fruit and vegetables.

Healthy fats are important for a healthy diet, as they help to protect against heart disease. It is recommended to choose unsaturated fats, such as those from plants and nuts, instead of saturated and trans fats, which can raise cholesterol levels.

It is important to eat at regular intervals throughout the day and to avoid skipping meals, as this can lead to overeating and weight gain. It is also a good idea to eat mindfully, to pay attention to the food you are eating and enjoy it. A healthy diet should not be restrictive or boring, and you can achieve your health goals by making small changes to your current eating patterns. It is also a good idea to drink water or unsweetened, low-sodium beverages, rather than soda and fruit juice, as these can be high in kilojoules. It is also a good idea to check food labels, as these can provide useful information on nutrition content. The top part of the label shows the number of servings in a container, and the rest of the label provides the nutrition information per serving. This can help you compare similar products and make informed decisions when grocery shopping.