So what exactly is a healthy diet? Well, any diet that claims to be healthy should include:
- Protein (meat, fish, eggs, nuts, dairy products etc.)
- Fat (animal products, nuts, oils etc.)
- Carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grain, beans etc.)
- Vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, K)
- Minerals (calcium, potassium, iron)
How does knowing this help you? Well the name balanced diet should give it away. A balance between the items listen up above is essential to a healthy diet. Don’t gorge on one specific food type, try to include as many as possible in every meal. Being aware of what you eat, and how many calories it includes, is the foundation of every good diet.
As for exact numbers, no one can give you those, and if they claim they can they’re lying to you. How many calories you should ingest per day heavily depends on your: goal, age, sex and how active you are throughout the day.
One thing to keep in mind is to not overdo it. Your body still needs to function, so getting the necessary nutrients each day to keep functioning is critical to not giving up. Setting yourself an impossible goal with a hard to keep diet won’t help you.
Learning about nutrition is important, and we recommend you do so in your own time. We will however give you a few tips:
- Choose nonfat or 1% milk instead of 2% or whole milk.
- Pick lean meat instead of fatty meat.
- Select breads and cereals that are made with whole grains and are not prepared with a lot of fat.
- You don’t have to completely avoid all foods that have fat, cholesterol, or sodium. It’s your average over a few days, not in a single food or even a single meal, that’s important.
- If you eat a high-calorie food or meal, balance your intake by choosing low-calorie foods the rest of the day or the next day.
- Check the food labels on packaged foods to help you budget fat, cholesterol, and sodium over several days.
In laments terms: calories are the form of measurement that calculate the energy that is granted to your body from digesting foods.
When you eat more calories, then your body has more energy to spend. If you don’t spend that energy it is stored as fat. And don’t be fooled, even low-carb and fat-free foods can have a lot of calories that can be stored as fat.
Proteins are the backbone of your muscles. They repair and maintain your body. You can acquire it from a lot of different foods, however the most common – and most reliable – are fish, meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, nuts, beans and a variety of others that you should really investigate on your own time.
Buying a protein powder mix from your local health-care clinic is also a good idea if you plan on spending a lot of energy.
It is a well-known fact that a high amount of fats means high cholesterol and potential heart-failure. However, that does not mean that your body shouldn’t be digesting any fats.
Here is a list of the several different types of fat:
- Saturated fats: Typically found in cheese, oils, meat, whole-fat dairy products and butter. This is one of the more dangerous types of fat, and keeping an eye on its products should be a priority. Consult your doctor as to its recommended intake.
- Polyunsaturated fats: These have omega-3 fatty acids (soybean oil, canola oil, walnuts and different types of fish) and omega-6 fatty acids.
- Monounsaturated fats: Typically found in plants, they are one of the safer fats. They include: nuts, vegetable oils, canola oil, olive oil, corn oil and many more.
- Cholesterol: This type of fat is found primarily in animals.
- Trans fat: There are two types of this fat: natural and artificial. It is naturally found in fatty meats and dairy products. Artificial trans-fat on the other hand, can be very bad for your heart’s health. On top of that it is used in most packaged baked and microwaved goods. So always keep in mind to check the label for it.
- Tip: If you see “partially hydrogenated” on the ingredients list, it actually means that the product contains trans-fats, even if it claims otherwise.
These are the fuel to your body’s engine. Adults should get around 50% of their calories from carbohydrates. Eating too many carbohydrates (like processed carbs) leads to obesity, diabetes and prediabetes.
Keep in mind that some are rich in nutrients. These include: whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. The rest are sugary or starchy, and you should ignore these carbs as much as possible.
Vitamins are essential to any diet – any. Why? Because the body doesn’t produce them on its own. There are 13 primary vitamins that the body needs. Vitamin A, D, E and K can be stored in your body, and as with everything, having to many of each can cause problems. Vitamin B and C however, cannot be stored, so you should be ingesting them regularly.
As with Vitamins – Minerals must come from the diet. As your body has to have them and yet cannot supply them on its own.
Minerals like calcium and potassium are more important to your body than others. Such as zinc and copper, which your body needs very little.
The liquid of life. True, it has no nutrients or calories, but it keeps you hydrated. It’s also around 60% of your body’s weight. You can of course drink water, but getting it from foods such as fruits and vegetables is also recommended.