The food you consume each day impacts your health; both physical & mental. A nutrition-based dietary approach always boosts up a healthy lifestyle. Including it with your consistent physical activity even leads towards maintaining a healthy weight and lower the possibilities of chronic diseases. Planning and following a healthy eating habit is not that difficult. Start incorporating small changes in your daily lifestyle, and you can develop everlasting good body health. However, one can feel a little bit confused by the differing nutrition advice present in the public domain. Let’s try to understand what constitutes a healthy diet, what are its benefits and how can one stick to it.
Healthy diet- What do you mean by it?
A healthy diet constitutes all the nutrients, your body need to function properly. It’s not depriving yourself of the foods you cherish. Instead, it’s about consuming those foods that help you feel great and improve your overall health. While some particular food items do impart some great benefits, it’s the dietary pattern in wholesome that is most significant. The focus point of a healthy diet includes replacing processed food with real and healthy food at most times. Consuming food that is most closer to nature can truly make a great impact on how you feel, look and think.
Basic elements of a healthy diet:
All you need to constitute a healthy diet is a perfect balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibre, minerals and vitamins. Let’s discuss them one by one in this section.
1.Carbohydrates: They are the primary sources of energy. Ensure you receive them from unrefined carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and no refined carbs and sugar. Lower your intake of white bread, starches, sugar, soft drinks, etc. to prevent hikes in blood sugar and build-up of fat.
2.Proteins: They are responsible to regulate the mood and cognitive function of your body. While proteins help to get up and keep going, excessive protein can harm people with kidney diseases. As we age, our body requires quality protein. It does not indicate that you have to consume animal-based products. A range of plant-based products can help your body gets all the protein it needs. However, plant proteins are incomplete proteins & therefore vegetarians need to take proteins from multiple sources to complete their dietary protein requirement.
3.Fats: Fats may reflect a negative connotation, but not all of them are the same. Bad fats can augment the risk of specific diseases while good fats shield your brain and heart.Incorporating healthy fat in your diet improve your health, enrich your mood, and even slim your waistline.
4. Fibre: Consuming food such as fruits, nuts, beans, grains, etc. which are rich in fibre, can help you reduce the risk for diabetes, stroke, heart diseases, etc. High-fibre products can also improve your skin and help you lose weight.
5.Minerals: Minerals have various roles, such as building calcium in teeth, bones, or sodium and potassium in fluid balance and muscle contractions. One can get minerals from both plant and animal-based sources.
6.Vitamins: They help to convert food into energy and assist your body to utilise fat, carbohydrate and protein. They also help in maintaining growth, producing red blood cells, and shielding the body from harmful microbes. Include foods that are as fresh and unprocessed as possible. Moreover, pick fruits and vegetables which are grown locally and not those which have to travel from far.
How to engage in healthy eating?
Here is a compilation of effective tips which you must incorporate into your diet.
1.Compare sodium in foods: Read the nutrition facts label to pick the low sodium versions in soup, bread, frozen food items, etc.
2.Reduce the intake of solid fats: Cut down on food products that contain solid fats. These include cakes, biscuits, cookies, pizza, processed meats, etc.
3.Add PUFA & MUFA on your daily diet: PUFA or Polyunsaturated fatty acids are source healthy lipid molecules. Walnut, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and poppy seeds are enriched source of PUFA. On the other hand, Monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs are another type of healthy fat which too can be replaced with unhealthy fats. Olive oil, nuts, such as almonds, cashews, pecans and macadamias, canola oil, avocados, nut butters, olives, peanut oil are good source of MUFA.
4.Consume water and not sugary drinks: Energy drinks, soda, etc. are a primary source of high sugar and calories. Hence, try to drink water to quench your thirst and not the drinks mentioned here. You can even add a slice of lemon or fresh herbs like mint or basil to add taste to the water.
5.Take your time: Think about your food as nourishment and not just something you eat for taste. Hence, eat slowly and stop before you fill full.
6.Consume home-cooked food: Eating home-cooked food is the best way to avoid unhealthy fats, chemical additives and unhygienic ingredients. It would be better to cook your own meal as you can have more control of what you are consuming and can also have better monitoring on all the ingredients easily.
Healthy eating is the basic requirement for healthy living. Therefore, reflect on your dietary patterns, replace the unhealthy eating habits with healthier ones, and reinforce those healthy eating habits in the days to come.
If you have queries about your diet healthy living, consult an expert without delaying. Book your appointment here.