One of the best things we can do in our lives besides regularly visiting the gym is to switch to a healthy diet. Because we can find loads of information for low-fat, low-carb, and carb-cycle diets on the internet, a healthy diet can be confusing.
Based on our research and our experience so far, here is what a healthy diet should include.
1. The overall principles of a healthy diet.
Healthy eating should provide the body with needed nutrients without giving it lots of calories, and will prevent us from wanting unhealthy things (foods that include trans-fats and chemicals and exceed the recommended levels of nitrates and sodium).
That’s our long-term definition, but it probably won’t work for day-to-day meals. One day we may eat far more calories than the next, then almost no calories, and so on. The central goal of a healthy diet is balancing our food. If we want to be more careful about what we’re eating, then the best way to control our diet is to watch the nutrients-to-calories ratio.
When it comes to nutrients, what kind do we need? Essential amino acids (proteins) are a must if we want to survive. A few carbs for an energy boost, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals like vitamins D, B6, B12, and C, plus iron, magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, and so forth.
To create a healthy diet, we start with the foods we love. Write them all down and examine their nutrient value. The ones that have a lot of healthy nutrients and fewer calories are the ones we should keep.
For example, a healthy diet could include spinach since it’s rich in protein, iron, phosphorus, thiamine, vitamins A, D, C, E, and B6, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, and lots of fiber.
On the other hand, if our diet includes eating bread frequently, then we might want to consider changing it. A loaf of white bread gives us only empty calories which with time will lead to obesity.
Some diets include bread; if it’s once or twice a week, we can eat bread without feeling any guilt.
2. Include these nutritious foods.
Keep in mind what we’ve said so far, and consider this list of what our healthy diet should contain:
Greens, like spinach, broccoli, bok choy, mustard greens, kale, green bell peppers, and lettuce, will provide us with a lot of minerals, vitamins, and fibers with few calories. So remember greens. A healthy diet must include them.
B. Colored fruits and veggies (red, yellow, and orange).
What a great spectrum of colors! No, just kidding, colors aren’t important for our nutrition, but we’ll still want to add an enticing, fresh look to our dining plate, and these will do that healthily. Include yellow and red bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, carrots, squash, pumpkin, etc.
Some good fruits are oranges, mangos, papayas, bananas, and apricots. They’re all rich in vitamins and minerals we won’t get elsewhere.
C. Onion and garlic.
We can eat these fresh if we don’t have a problem with the smell! But probably the best option is to use them in our meals as spices. They also have cancer-prevention properties.
Black beans, red beans, white beans, peas, lentils – they contain protein and lots of fibers and minerals. What about a black-bean burger or lentil soup?
E. Seeds and nuts.
Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, and quinoa are rich in proteins and healthy fats.
A healthy diet must include the right amount of proteins. But what if we’re vegans? Then the best alternatives are soy milk, tofu, seitan, and tempeh. If we’re not vegan, then eggs, fish, and poultry are just fine. Also, we can eat red meat, but avoid processed meats. They increase the risks of cancer.
Don’t be afraid of them even though they contain a lot of sugar. Now, which is better: chocolate or blueberries? From the nutrient viewpoint, blueberries of course, but we can completely change up our desserts and still have a healthy diet with tropical fruits, apples, and stone fruits.
H. Healthy fats.
Our body needs healthy fats like polyunsaturated because they are beneficial to our health and prevent heart attacks. These include sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, canola oil, soybeans, olive oil, whole grain wheat, and fish.
I. Dairy or soy.
The vegans won’t advocate dairy, but they must have the nutrients that are in dairy, so they compensate with soy milk, which contains calcium, vitamin D, and protein.
Water is the best. When it comes to drinks, water is king! Other beverages that contain an enormous amount of sugar are not welcome in a healthy diet. Instead, we can consider black coffee, tea, fresh juices, and smoothies; and from the alcohol area, one glass of red wine is fine. Avoid other alcoholic drinks.
Once we’ve learned the above main principles and nutrients that a healthy diet should contain, we should choose our foods accordingly.
3. How to change our diet: what’s the best way?
Gradually, step by step, is the answer. At first, we should try replacing one meal with a healthy alternative. Next, we can replace our desserts with fruits, and so on, until we create an entirely healthy diet. And to be successful in this process of changes, we need to give ourselves credit.
By this we mean to acknowledge ourselves each time we eat healthily, by saying: “I’m eating healthy,” “I’m healthier,” and so on. Change the way we view ourselves and our health, and go with the flow. The results will be stunning!
No part of this website may be copied or used without the written permission of the owner.