What is a good diet? Apart from breastmilk as a food for babies, no other food contains all the essential nutrients the body needs to stay healthy and work properly.
That is why we need to have a variety of different food in our diet with wide range of nutrients our body needs. They provide our body with energy (calories or kilojoules) to maintain energy balance.
World recognise 5 food groups to ensure a healthy well-balanced diet. Choosing the right foods may lower disease risks, such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and cancer.
To ensure enough nutrients we should choose a variety of vegetables. Every week we should eat leafy greens, red or orange vegetable, starchy vegetables, beans and peas (legumes).
Don not settle for a juice from extract or canned preserved fruits. Eating whole fresh fruits will benefit you more. NHS reports that people who eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day have lower risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers. After all getting 5 portions is not that hard. For example: 1 apple + 1 banana for breakfast, 1 salad for lunch, 1 slice of melon, 1 tablespoon of raisins and your daily intake is done!
Whole grains are the most suitable as they contain more fibre and protein. You can include quinoa, oats, brown rice, barley, buckwheat.
Proteins should take up to a quarter of persons plate. Nutritious protein choices are chicken, beef, pork, fish, eggs, beans, peas and legumes.
Dairy and soy products are a vital source of calcium. You can include cheese (ricotta, cottage), low fat milk, yogurt, soy milk.
World Health Organization (WHO)
The WHO makes recommendations with respect to both population and individuals.
1. Maintain a healthy weight by eating the same number of calories your body is using
2. No more than 30% of the total calories should come from fats
3. Eat at least 400 grams or 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
4. Limit sugar intake to 5% or ideally to 25 grams
5. Limit salt/ sodium to less than 5 grams a day
A healthy lifestyle includes getting exercise every day along with quality eating and healthy diet. Dietary guidelines change over time, so it is impotant to get to know your body and choose the right fuel. Good luck!