Eating a healthy diet throughout the course of your life-course helps to prevent malnutrition in all its forms in addition to a variety of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as well as conditions. However, the increased production of processed foods, rapid urbanisation and changing lifestyles have led to a change in dietary patterns.
Individuals are now consuming more food which are high in energy, fats, free sugars as well as salt/sodium. Many individuals do not eat sufficient amounts of fruit, vegetables and other dietary fibre for example whole grains.
The precise make-up of a varied, balanced and healthy diet will be different depending on individual characteristics (for example, age, gender, lifestyle as well as degree of physical activity), cultural context, locally offered foods and dietary customs. However, the fundamental principles of what constitutes a healthy diet remain the same.
What To Eat For A Healthy Diet?
A healthy, balanced diet will include the following nutrients:
- Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants,
- Carbohydrates, including starches and fibre,
- Protein, and
- Healthy fats.
A healthy diet will include a variety different of foods from the following groups:
- Dairy, and
- Protein Foods.
Instances of protein foods include meat, eggs, fish, beans, nuts as well as legumes.
Individuals who follow a vegan diet will concentrate entirely on plant-based foods. They won’t eat meat, fish, or dairy however their diet will include other items which provide similar nutrients. Tofu and beans, for instance, are plant-based sources of protein. Some individuals are intolerant of dairy but can still build a balanced diet by selecting a variety of nutrient-rich replacements.
It’s All About The Calories
The crucial element in a healthy and balanced diet is to eat the correct number of calories for just how physically active you are so that you balance the energy which you eat with the energy you use. If you eat or drink far more than your body requires, you’ll put on weight as the energy you do not utilise is stored in your body as fat. If you eat and drink far too little, you’ll end up losing weight.
Base Your Meals On Carbohydrates Which Are Higher Fibre Starchy
Starchy carbohydrates need to make up just over a third of the food you eat. These include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta in addition to cereals:
- Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, for example wholewheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes which have their skins on.
- They contain more fibre – as opposed to white or refined starchy carbohydrates – and can assist you feel full for longer.
- Attempt to include at least one starchy food with each main meal. Some individuals think that starchy foods are fattening, however gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain requires fewer than half the calories of fat.
Keep an eye on the fats which you add when you’re cooking or serving these types of foods as that’s what increases the calorie content – for instance, oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.
In addition, you should eat a wide range of foods in order to make sure that you’re getting a healthy diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs. It’s recommended that men have around 2 500 calories a day (10 500 kilojoules). Women should have around 2 000 calories a day (8 400 kilojoules).
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