How to Eat a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is based on eating a wide variety of foods that provide the nutrients your body needs. It also helps protect you against chronic noncommunicable diseases.

A diet low in salt, sugar and unhealthy fats can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It can also help you control your blood pressure and blood cholesterol.

It is important to get a range of nutrients from food, including protein (from lean meats and fish), carbohydrates, fiber and fats. A healthy diet is high in complex carbohydrates, which can be found in whole grains, beans and fruit. It is low in added sugars and refined fats, such as industrially-produced trans-fats. It includes unsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts and avocados, but does not include the saturated fats that are often found in animal products.

The majority of your calories should come from foods that are low in fat and salt. This includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and beans. It also includes fortified dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese.

Vegetables are one of the best sources of dietary fiber, which can lower your risk of obesity and certain cancers. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals. Aim for five portions of vegetables and/or fruit a day. A portion is 80g of fresh, canned or frozen vegetables/fruit, or a 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie.

Aim to have two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily (salmon, trout or tuna). This is a good source of protein and contains the healthy omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Replace processed meats with lean, unprocessed meats. This is better for you and can help you cut back on salt, unhealthy fats and saturated fats.

Try to eat a variety of vegetables each day, especially those that are dark green and orange in color, such as broccoli, spinach and carrots. They are a good source of vitamin A, which is important for eye health. It is also good to eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach.

If you find it difficult to eat healthier meals at home, there are meal subscription boxes that can help. This way, you can enjoy restaurant quality meals at home without the extra salt and sugar. The key is to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. This makes it easier to keep your meals nutritious and avoid temptation. You can start by planning your meals for a week and shopping accordingly. This will save you time and energy when it comes to preparing your meals. You should also be mindful of the portion sizes you consume. Restaurant and fast food serving sizes have recently become much larger, so it is a good idea to order the smaller options or share a dish with a friend when you are out.