The food you eat plays a crucial role in your health and wellbeing. It provides your body with the energy it needs and is packed with vitamins and minerals. By making smart dietary choices, you can keep your body healthy and prevent many diseases. If you want to be healthy, it is a good idea to plan ahead and take control of your eating habits.
Healthy eating involves choosing a wide variety of nutritious foods to ensure a balanced diet. For example, you should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. This helps you reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and other illnesses. Eating a range of colourful fruit and vegetables is recommended, and you can try new fruits and vegetables each week to expand your diet.
Fruit and vegetables are full of antioxidants, which help protect your body from a range of illnesses. They are low in fat and naturally contain nutrients, such as fibre. Some foods that are high in fibre are whole grain products, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal. Whole-grain foods may help you stay full for longer, preventing overeating.
You should also try to include a wide range of protein-rich foods into your diet. Meat and fish are great sources of protein, but you should also eat other plant proteins, such as nuts, seeds and beans. Ensure you choose lean meat, poultry and seafood that has been cooked thoroughly. Protein foods can be a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones. Other protein-rich foods you should consider are eggs, tofu and legumes.
Dairy is also a good source of protein. Foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese are low-fat and can be an easy way to add protein to your diet. Make sure to buy unsweetened versions of these products and check the labels for the amount of fat. Alternatively, you can try soya drinks or other dairy alternatives.
Foods that are high in fat, sodium and free sugars are likely to contribute to obesity and unhealthy weight gain. However, there are foods that can help you lose weight, such as whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy and low-sodium canned or frozen fruits and vegetables.
If you have diabetes, you should eat three ounces of whole-grain products per day. A serving of whole-grain foods should contain at least 3 grams of fiber. Also, if you are trying to lose weight, you should eat less red meat and more fruits and vegetables.
You should also drink plenty of water. Water is a vital component of a healthy diet, and you should try to keep a reusable bottle with you in your purse, car or office. Drinking a lot of water can help you avoid the urge to snack between meals.
Avoiding processed foods is also an important part of healthy eating. Processed foods often contain added salt and sugars. When you’re cooking, be sure to use unsaturated oil, such as canola, olive or sunflower oil.