A healthy diet is a balance of foods that provide all the nutrients your body needs. It should include a variety of whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, protein, dairy, fat and grains. Eating a healthy diet can help you maintain an active lifestyle, improve your health and prevent disease.
A well-balanced, nutritious diet includes a wide range of foods that are low in saturated fat and high in fibre. It should also include a good source of protein, calcium and other vitamins and minerals.
It’s important to eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables at every meal. These are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals and they can help keep your weight under control.
Serve at least five servings a day of vegetables and fruit, and include them in breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try to eat fresh, rather than canned or frozen vegetables and fruits.
Avoid processed and fast food, fried foods and margarine-based pastries. Instead, choose whole-grain cereals, fresh and tinned vegetables and fruit, quality meats, fish and beans.
Use a variety of cooking methods, including roasting, grilling, boiling, sautéing and steaming. This will encourage children to eat different kinds of foods, which can increase their consumption of vitamins and minerals.
Limit added sugars, especially refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Added sugars can be found in many different foods and are often high in calories, so it’s best to avoid them.
Drink lots of water (at least 2 litres a day). It helps to fill you up and is good for your digestive system, skin and hair. It can also lower your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Aim to eat more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains and nuts. These can help you to stay trim and feel fuller for longer, which will help you to lose weight.
The main sources of carbohydrates should come from whole grains, rice, pasta and oats. These contain fibre and a range of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease.
They are also an excellent source of protein and contain essential fatty acids that are needed by the body to function properly.
Saturated fat is found in animal products such as fatty meats, butter, cheese and whole milk and plant products such as palm oil and coconut oil. Diets high in saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease, so limiting intake is important.
You should also eat plenty of protein, particularly from lean meats, fish and eggs. Protein can also be found in nuts and seeds, soya, beans and pulses. Getting enough protein is also crucial to preventing muscle loss and building new muscles.