The market today is flooded with diet advice. With a host of diet plans, pills, quick weight-loss methods, it can be difficult for most people to remember the basics of healthy eating. Shove aside the entire information overload and focus on the basic nutritional guidelines as set by experts for a healthy diet. Here are the details:

Nutrition Guidelines: Getting Started

• Eat more of vegetables and fruits
It is recommended that you fill at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables in every meal of the day.

• Opt for low-fat dairy
Include at least three cups of fat-free or low-fat milk every day in your diet or any equivalent calcium rich foods such as yogurt or cheese.

• Go for whole grains
Eat at least six to eight servings of whole grains every day.

• Take lean proteins
It is advised that around 15 percent of your total calorie consumption should come from proteins including nuts, legumes, fish and beans.

• Consume enough fiber
When you do not take enough fiber, you might feel bloated and get the tendency to snack on poor quality foods.

Also Read:A Guide to the Food Pyramid

Some more tips to help you form a healthy eating plan:

  •  Keep a close watch on portion control
  •  Drink a lot of water every day
  •  Eat a wide variety of food to ensure that you get all the nutrients and vitamins
  •  Know about the recommended calorie intake for your weight, height, age, gender, and activity level
  •  Eat all the foods you love, just remember to do so in moderation

Nutrition is divided into macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Micronutrients on the other hand include the minerals and vitamins that we require in order to be healthy.

Also Read:Burning Calories with Everyday Activities

Good fat
Contrary to popular belief, fats are essential for good health as it supplies the energy for basic body activities. However, keep in mind that not all fats are good. It is good to consume unsaturated fats that are found in plant sources such as avocados, oils, and nuts. Limit the fat consumption from animal sources such as whole milk, poultry, red meat, butter. Avoid trans fats; it is mostly found in processed foods.

Carbohydrates
While carbohydrates are important as they are the chief source of body fuel, too much of it gets stored in the body as fat. It is therefore important to be aware of how much you are consuming.

Nutrition Guidelines: Getting Started

Proteins
They are the building blocks for every organ, cell and tissue in the body. The daily intake of protein should be 15-20% of the total calories. While choosing protein based foods, keep in mind to vary the sources.

It is best to stay away from packaged, processed and fast foods. They are depleted of their nutritional components through mechanical processing. There are many people who are overweight but are starving. This is because while they may be consuming food high in calories, those do not contain any nutrition. Processed foods do not carry any energy. Moreover, they also sap the energy in the body. They drain the body of important minerals and vitamins thereby making you weaker.

A thorough knowledge of nutrition basics is key to lead a healthy life. Knowing what to eat and how much can go a long way towards helping you to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle. For those of looking to shed weight, keep in mind that starving will not get you anywhere. It will slow down your metabolism and cause more weight gain in the end.

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Proper food habits can help decrease the risk of heart ailments and several other diseases. A healthy eating plan means that you pick the right foods to eat and prepare them in a healthy way. While it is a fact that knowledge about diet and nutrition is constantly evolving, there are certain nutritional guidelines that remain the same. It is essential to understand the roles that certain nutrients play in a healthy diet. You can talk to your dietician or doctor for personalized advice on diet that takes into account your lifestyle, health status and food preferences.

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