You are what you eat. What you eat every day affects your health and how you feel now and in the future. Good nutrition plays a key role in helping you lead a healthy lifestyle. When coupled with physical activity, your diet can help you attain a healthy body weight and lower your risk of chronic conditions. However, the path to improved health is not easy. It can be challenging to change your eating habits. But, it helps to focus on the small changes. The key to all this is to find a balance between your lifestyle needs and what you eat. Very few diets are either all bad or good. Having an idea of the balance in your diet makes it easy to enjoy food and be healthy.
This guide will look at good dietary recommendations and how to incorporate them into your lifestyle.
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Go for orange, red, and dark-green vegetables along with other vegetables for your meals. You can also add fruits to meals as part of your main or side dishes or desserts. The more colorful your plate is, the more likely you’ll get vitamins, minerals, and fiber to help your body. You can also make the switch to live the Keto lifestyle. This is a diet rich in fats, moderate in protein, and low on carbs. For many years, it has been used to treat epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes seizures. In the case of fruits, instead of getting fruits from juice, health experts recommend eating whole fruits. Juice has fewer nutrients. Additionally, the manufacturing process often adds empty calories because of added sugar.
2. Understand Calorie Intake
Calories indicate the energy content in the food you consume. Once you eat, the calories are consumed when you walk, breathe or think. On average, nutritional experts say a person requires about 2000 calories per day to maintain their body weight. However, your calorie requirements may depend on gender, physical activity, and age. Generally, men require more calories than women.
Additionally, people who are into exercising require more calories compared to people who don’t. It’s also vital to remember that the source of calories is equally essential as the amount. Avoid stuffing your food with empty calories. This includes foods with less nutritional value.
3. Out Sugary Drinks, In Water
Sometimes, you’ll crave having a cold bottle of Pepsi to quench your thirst. However, this is only doing more harm than good to your body. Consider drinking water to eliminate unnecessary calories from sugary drinks. Energy drinks, soda, and sports drinks are a major source of added sugar and calories in many American diets. If you want to add flavor to your water, you can try adding a slice of lime, lemon, apple, or fresh herbs like basil or mint.
4. Consider Seafood
Seafood, like fish, is a good source of proteins and contains many minerals and vitamins. You should aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week. This should also include one portion of oily fish. Oily fish have a rich source of omega-3 fats, and these fats may help prevent heart disease. Some popular examples of oily fish include trout, salmon, mackerel, herring, and pilchards. You’re free to choose from frozen, fresh, and canned fish. However, most smoked and canned fish contain salt in high amounts.
5. Reduce Your Intake of Saturated Fats
While you need some fat in your diet, it’s vital to pay attention to the quantity and type of fat you’re eating. Ideally, there are two main types of fats: saturated and unsaturated. Consuming excess saturated fat can increase the levels of cholesterol in the blood. This raises your risk of contracting and developing heart disease. Health experts recommend that men have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day and 20g in women. Children under 11 years should have less saturated fat than adults. Additionally, a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under five years. Saturated fats can be found in many foods such as cream, biscuits, butter, sausages, lard, or cakes.
6. Get Active
Regular exercise may also help lower your risk of getting serious health conditions coupled with a good diet. This is also vital for your overall wellbeing and health. Being obese or overweight can lead to serious health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Being underweight is also bad for your health.
Finally, remember to have your meals in controlled portions. If you’re preparing meals at home, health experts recommend using smaller plates. Don’t overfeed if you’re full. However, you should also understand that portion sizes depend on an individual’s gender, age, and physical activity level. Work on your eating habits, both good and bad, and try to resolve your unhealthy eating triggers.