Every day, the choice you make when it comes to food affect your health, how you feel today, and how you will feel in the future. Good nutrition is a crucial part of leading a healthy lifestyle. This, with physical exercises, your diet can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risks of chronic diseases, and it can help promote your overall health.
The actual impact of nutrition on your health
Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic happening in hundreds of cities around the world. Even for people who are at a healthy weight, a poor diet can lead to major health risks that can cause serious illnesses and even death. The risk factor for adult chronic illnesses, like hypertension or type 2 diabetes are increasingly seen in younger generations, often a result of unhealthy eating habits. Teaching children how to eat healthy at a young age will help them stay healthy later in life.
So, you might ask yourself, what is actually a balanced diet? And probably you searched diet tips, but no need to look anymore because we have the answer. It is a diet that gives your body the nutrients it needs in order to function properly. In order to get the necessary nutrients from the food you eat, you should consume the majority of your daily calories in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and lean proteins.
The number of calories in food is actually the amount of energy stored in that food. Your body uses those calories obtained from food for basic things, like walking, thinking, breathing, and other important functions. The average person needs to eat 2.000 calories to maintain their weight. However, this will all depend on their age, gender, and physical activity levels.
How to achieve a balanced diet?
The structure of balanced diet food is that they are low in fats and sugars, but high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Here are some food groups and tips for a balanced diet:
1. Fresh fruit – besides being a great source of nutrition, fruits make tasty snacks. Choose fruits that are in season in your are. They are fresher and provide the most nutrients. Although fruit is filled with sugar, the sugar is natural, so it is still a better choice for you than other foods with added sugar.
2. Fresh vegetables – vegetables are the primary source of important vitamins and miners. Dark, leafy greens have the most nutrients and can be eaten at every meal. Eating a variety of vegetables will help you obtain the nutrients you will need. Some dark, leafy vegetables are spinach, kale, green beans, broccoli, collard greens, and many more.
3. Grains – refined white flour has poor nutritional value because the outer shell is removed during the refining process. On the other hand, whole grains are prepared using the entire grain, including the shell. They provide much more nutrients, which instantly makes it healthier. You could try to switch white bread and pasta to whole-grain products.
4. Proteins – meats and beans are the primary sources of protein, an important factor for proper muscle and brain development. Lean, low-fat meat such as chicken, fish, and certain cuts of pork are the best options. Nuts and beans are good sources of protein and they contain other health benefits as well. You could try eating lentils, beans, peas, almonds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. Keep in mind that tofu, tempeh, and other soy-based products are great protein sources and are quite healthy alternatives to meat.
5. Dairy products – these products provide calcium, vitamin D, and many more important nutrients. However, they are also a big source of fat, so it might be wise to consume small portions of cheeses and reduced-fat or fat-free milk. Plant-based milk, such as those made from flaxseed, almonds, and soy typically contain a lot of calcium and other vitamins make them a perfect substitute for milk produced by cows.
Now that you have learned what the benefits of a balanced diet are, it is time to start eating healthy.