Different people prefer different foods. Their usual food is their diet. Now, if one ate and drank according to a regulated system, so as to positively impact on one’s health, usually to achieve and maintain a healthy weight or control a medical condition, one has a healthy diet. Healthy eating is an essential part of a healthy diet.
A healthy diet is usually a balanced diet and balanced diet is a healthy diet. Following and maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can have a positive impact on one’s health.
This basically means eating a variety of foods from the four main food groups, to strike a good balance of vitamins and nutrients. To maintain this balance one needs to eat the right quantities from each food group and to limit the amount of foods containing high levels of salt, sugar, saturated fats and alcohol. So, controlling the types and quantities of foods one eats will help one to manage one’s weight and promote one’s health, as well as minimising the likelihood of health problems in the future.
Besides providing nutrients for energy, each of the four food types provides specific nutrients essential for growth and body maintanance. The main food groups are:
1. Fruit & Vegetables
should make one third of your dietrich in vitamins and fibrefull of antioxidantsa lot of vitamins can be lost when cooking – steaming or grilling (instead of boiling) preserves nutrientsaim to eat at least five potions of fruit and vegetables daily – build them into your meals
2. Starchy Foods
should make a third of your dietbread, pasta, beans, potatoes, rice etcmain source of energyhigh in fibre and also provide iron, calcium and B vitaminsvital part of abalanced diet
3. Protein-rich Foods
meats, fish, eggs and suitable alternativesgood source of proteins, vitamins & mineralseat at least two portins of meat and fish per weekoily fish like salmon and fresh tuna are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins A & Dgo for less fatty meats or cut off excess fat from meat
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4. Milk & Dairy
good sources of protein, vitamins A, D & B12rich in calcium – very important for growing children to maintain healthy teeth and bones caution: a lot of dairy products contain hugh levels of saturated fatsthere are low fat options e.g.
One other thing to cosider when planning your healthy balanced diet is the salt and sugar content of your food. If too much salt is eaten it can lead to high blood pressure. It is a good idea to go for low salt foods.
Sugar contains a lot of calories and few nutrients. Controlling the amount of salt and sugar in the food one consumes goes a long way in promoting and maintaining one’s health.