What is a healthy diet? A healthy diet includes all the nutrients that are necessary to ensure good health. A healthy diet isn’t only about the right foods but also about the right proportions. Staying on a healthy diet for a considerate amount of time will help you gain various benefits such as weight loss, reduce risks of catching major life threatening diseases, controlled blood pressure, improved sugar levels and an active and physically capable body. Now, a healthy diet isn't only about eating the right foods but restricting unhealthy foods too so that you can keep your body safer from germs, bacteria and other organisms that may harm your body.
Let’s dig in:
What To Eat?
The foods that make up a healthy diet include:
Fruits And Vegetables: Minerals, fiber and vitamins are essential for the human body to grow and keep diseases away. To fulfill the needs of these nutrients, vegetables and fruits are ideal. As per the The American Heart Association, it is recommended to take more than 8 servings of vegetables and fruits on a daily basis.
Adding fruits to your everyday diet isn’t a daunting task, you can eat a banana or an apple while walking to your workplace or even when you’re sitting idle in your home.
According to nutrient experts, a healthy individual should take at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables in a day. Five portions equates to 400 grams. Including fruits and veggies in the three meals and eating an extra 2 portions in a day will cover the requirements.
Meat And Fish: Meat is high in fat and protein, and should be included in the meal if you don’t have any heart or other disease, but only in limited amounts. Over consumption of meat can cause serious issues. On the other hand, fish is one of the most beneficial foods one can eat. It provides us with many nutrients, including omega 3 fatty acids.
One should look forward to taking two portions of fish per week. Aim for an oily fish like sardines and salmon as they are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids.
Here are more on what to eat.
Dairy Products: The benefits of milk, cheese and yogurt are endless. Hey provide you with calcium and protein.
Calcium is one of the most important nutrients required by the body to keep the bones strong. However, make sure you go for low fat milk as it is more protein rich and has no side effects.
Fats: consumption of fats can help improve brain health, skin, hair and also helps in the absorption of various vitamins. However, it is important to know which type of fat is recommended.
- Saturated Fats: One should limit the consumption of this type of fat because it can lead to heart diseases. Saturated fat can be found in fatty meat, food that is fried, creams etc.
- Unsaturated Fats: They are known to have a positive impact on people who have heart conditions. Foods like oily fish, seeds, nuts, plant oils etc., are rich in unsaturated fats.
Unsaturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart diseases among healthy people. Therefore, among the two types of fat containing foods, unsaturated fat is more healthy.
What Not To Eat:
There are some foods that can bring many changes in your body and cause you to fall sick. You should avoid such foods. These include:
Sugars: Sugar containing foods and drinks may be a delight to consume but they have their drawbacks too.
Added sugar and artificial sugar found in sweetners, soft drinks, alcohol and beverages can lead to diseases like diabetes.
Therefore, one should limit the foods and drinks that are sugar rich.
Processed Foods: Sadly, 70% of American diet includes processed foods. Processed foods may provide you with energy but they don’t provide you with all the nutrients that you require as sugars and preservatives are added to it to increase the taste.
All in all, they contain minimal amount of nutrition value and eating a large amount of processed foods on daily basis can lead to heart problems.
Animal Fats: Animal fats are loaded with saturated foods, hence they may increase your level of cholesterol. However, this doesn’t mean that you should cut off the consumption entirely, you can opt for a better approach:
- Choose low-fat animal meat.
- Cook the meat thoroughly and see that the skin is peeled off completely.
- Don’t fry the meat, boil it.
- Use vegetable oil for cooking.
Sodium: The sodium found in salt can increase blood pressure. To fight this, you can up the consumption of potassium as it counteracts the effects of sodium. Banana and tuna fish are rich in potassium and can help keep blood pressure under control.
Benefits Of A Healthy Diet
Flat Belly: There are few things as frustrating as a bloating belly. This can be reduced if you turn to a healthy diet and eat foods mentioned above.
A healthy diet encourages to limit the consumption of unhealthy foods that contribute to belly fat.
Constipation is another reason for the formation of a belly. Eating foods which are high in fiber such fruits, whole grains and veggies can help reduce constipation.
Improved Cholesterol: Bad cholesterol means bad heart. Eating unsaturated foods can help control cholesterol level and keep the heart health in a good condition.
Less Diseases: A person on a healthy diet will have less risks of getting diseases and a better ability to fight them.
Healthy Diet Recipes
Here are some healthy recipes to know about:
Healthy Turmeric Chicken Stew (33 minutes)
- Olive oil - 2 tbsp.
- Boneless and cubes chicken breast pieces - 2
- Cubed sweet potatoes - 2
- Chopped red onion - ½
- Small cubed eggplant - 1
- Minced garlic cloves - 2
- Minced fresh ginger root - 1 tbsp.
- Ground turmeric - 2 tbsp.
- Low sodium chicken broth - half cup
- Take olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat.
- Add chicken and cook it until it turns brown (this will take around 5 minutes).
- Add sweet potatoes and onion. Cook and keep mixing until the onion becomes translucent (will take 2 -3 minutes).
- Now, add turmeric, garlic, ginger and eggplant. Cook it for a minute more. Add broth and simmer until the stew begins to get thick.
- Keep mixing within small intervals and your dish will be ready in about 20 minutes.
Cherry Diamond Oatmeal (5 minutes)
- Rolled oats - 2 cups
- Salt - ⅛ tbsp
- Dried tart cherries - ½ cup
- Vanilla almond milk sweetened - 3 1/2 cups.
- Take a large microwave bowl and add oats, almond milk, salt and stir them nicely.
- Keep the microwave on high heat for about 5 minutes but keep stirring after every 2 minutes until the point when the oats become soft and all the liquid is absorbed.
- Include the cherries and serve.
A healthy diet means a healthy life. You’re never too late to turn healthy, so make this decision today.