Healthy eating is a way of balancing the food you eat to keep your body in great health. With healthy eating, you’ll have energy all day, get the vitamins and minerals you need, stay strong for activities you enjoy, and maintain a healthy weight.
An effective weight management program promotes the consumption of a healthy, balanced meal. It involves eating the right quantity of calories depending on how active you are.
This helps a great deal in ensuring a balance between the energy consumed and energy used. Generally, an average person requires 2,500 calories daily, while an average woman requires 2,000 calories daily.
Therefore, if you end up eating or drinking too much, you are more likely to put on extra weight. On the contrary, if you eat and drink little, you will lose weight.
Furthermore, it is advisable to eat a variety of foods to receive a balanced diet and all the necessary nutrients. The practical tips for healthy eating include:
• Starchy foods
Starch should account for about a third of your diet. Common starchy foods include cereals, pasta, potatoes, bread and rice. Dietitians often recommend taking whole grain varieties or potatoes for the skin.
This is because they contain extra fiber and are filling. It is advisable to consume more starch, by eating at least one starchy item with every main meal.
There is the false misconception that starchy meals are fattening. However, gram for gram has less than half the fat calories.
• Fruits and vegetables
It is highly recommended to eat at least five portions of different fruits and vegetables every day. A glass of 100 percent unsweetened fruit juice accounts for one portion.
Cooked vegetables in dishes also count. Therefore, chopping a banana over your cereals or swapping your mid-morning snack for fruit can prove beneficial.
Fish is a rich source of proteins, as well as vitamins and minerals. At least 2 portions of fish are recommended every week, including a portion of oily fish, which has high omega 3 fats.
Omega 3 fats are particularly helpful in preventing heart disease. Generally, people can choose from canned, frozen or fresh fish, although smoked and canned fish may contain high salt levels.
Oily fish includes mackerel, trout, salmon, fresh tuna, herring, pilchards and sardines. Non-oily fish includes coley, plaice, haddock, hake, skate, tinned tuna and cod. It is advisable to eat a variety of fish.
• Reduce saturated fats
Fat is an important ingredient in our diet. However, it is advisable to pay close attention to the type and amounts of fat. The main types of fat include saturated fats and unsaturated fats.
Consumption of excess saturated fat is likely to result in increased levels of cholesterol, which increase the risk of heart problems.
Saturated fats are found in lots of food, such as cakes, hard cheese, cream, sausages, biscuits, pies, lard and butter. Therefore, unsaturated fats like oily fish, avocados and vegetable oils offer a better alternative.
Below, you’ll find tips designed to help you with healthy eating.
1. Don’t skip any meals
Eating 3 meals with snacks in between is the ideal way to maintain both energy and a healthy weight. When you skip meals and get hungry, you are more than likely to choose foods that aren’t very good for you.
If you are eating away from home, take food with you or know where you can buy healthy food from.
2. Learn about how to prepare foods
Instead of deep frying, try grilling, stir frying, microwaving, baking, and even boiling. You should also try fresh or even dried herbs and spices to add flavor to your food. Before you eat any type of meat, be sure to trim the fat and skin off of it.
3. Avoid a lot of sugar
Drinks that contain sugar are a major source of empty energy. What this means, is that the drinks contain a lot of energy that your body may not need, and it doesn’t contain any vitamins or minerals.
If you plan to drink sugary drinks, don’t go overboard – limit yourself to 1 a day.
4. Avoid thinking about diets
There are no good foods or any bad foods. All food can be a part of a healthy diet, when eaten in moderation.
You don’t need to buy any low carb, fat free, or even diet foods, as these foods normally have lots of other added ingredients to replaces the carbohydrates or fat.