Tips For a Healthy Diet

healthy diet

A healthy diet includes foods from all the food groups in the right proportions. This helps you get the nutrients your body needs to be healthy and feel full. Eating a wide variety of foods and keeping serving sizes in check are also important. Many health problems can be caused by eating too much or too little of certain foods or by having unhealthy eating habits.

Eating a balanced diet can help you control your weight and avoid diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Almost all people can benefit from healthy eating habits. Some groups of people may need to eat more or less than other groups, but everyone can make improvements to their diets to be healthier.

It is recommended that adults eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day, whether fresh, frozen or canned. The carbohydrates in these foods provide energy for your body and a range of vitamins and minerals. Protein is also a key part of meals and can be provided by meat, fish, eggs and beans, as well as some dairy products. Fat is another essential nutrient, but you should aim to reduce your intake of saturated fats and trans fats (found in some margarines, hard butters, lard and shortening) and increase your intake of unsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils, spreads, oily fish, avocados and olives.

Most of the food that you eat should be unprocessed and wholesome, such as whole grains, lean meats, poultry, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. These foods can be prepared in a variety of ways to create tasty, satisfying meals. Processed foods should be eaten only occasionally, as they often contain added sugars, salt and fat.

Try to eat meals with family or friends as much as possible. This will help you enjoy your food more and eat slower, which can help prevent overeating. Make mealtimes fun for children by getting them involved in preparation and setting a good example. This can also help with the introduction of new foods to younger children.

Plan ahead and keep healthy snacks on hand, such as cut-up fruit, low-fat yogurt and cheese, hummus and carrot sticks with whole grain pita, or peanut butter on celery sticks. Having these options on hand will help you avoid going out to fast food restaurants or eating too many high-calorie, low-nutrient snacks.

Changing your diet can be difficult, so try to make small changes at a time. This will give you the best chance of success and can also be easier on your budget. For example, you could start by replacing processed meats with grilled chicken or adding beans to salads. You could also start by choosing lower-sodium condiments and swapping sugary soda for water or a homemade smoothie.