A healthy diet provides essential vitamins and nutrients, with limited added sugars (brown sugar and corn syrup are examples) and fats – particularly saturated ones.
Healthy eating habits can help manage weight, prevent certain diseases and promote overall wellness throughout life. They also protect against malnutrition and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Read more about the importance of eating right.
Vegetables are an excellent source of nutrition. Low in fat and calories but rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals, nutritionists recommend that people aim for five servings or more each day of vegetables as part of a balanced diet.
Leafy green vegetables offer many essential vitamins and nutrients that are good for our health, such as folate (vitamin B9), vitamin A and sulforaphanes which may reduce cancer risk. Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, tomato products such as sauce or paste and spinach beans peas can all provide significant amounts of potassium which is known to promote healthy blood pressure levels.
Diets that include vegetables vary greatly in their nutritional content, so it’s wise to try new ones regularly and diversify your intake to include dark-green vegetables, starchy vegetables, red and orange vegetables as well as beans and peas in order to get all their benefits.
Fruits are seed-bearing structures found on flowering plants that serve to disseminate their seeds while feeding birds and other animals. Eating fruit regularly is part of maintaining a healthy diet as fruits provide vital vitamins like Vitamin C and potassium.
Always have fresh, wash and ready-to-eat whole fruits on hand so that you can satisfy hunger at any time of day. Avoid fruit juice as this often contains added sugar.
Your daily fruit intake depends on both age and gender. A cup of fruit counts as one serving and can come from fresh, frozen, canned or dried sources. Most fruits are low in fat and sodium content while still providing essential fiber-rich and electrolyte-rich potassium sources to support maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
Many people mistakenly believe that meat can be harmful to health; however, when eaten in moderation it provides essential nutrition. When selecting unprocessed animal proteins free from harmful chemicals and preservatives as well as high heat cooking techniques. Organ meats provide rich stores of collagen and amino acids – essential building blocks of health!
Meat can provide many nutritional advantages, including protein, minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and iron. However, overeating meat may have adverse side effects and should be consumed within reason.
Milk, yogurt, cheese, kefir, and other dairy products are nutrient-rich foods, providing protein, calcium and other vital vitamins and minerals essential to bone health. Furthermore, dairy foods contain healthy monounsaturated fats found in olive oil and avocados that may also promote heart health.
Dairy products can be beneficial, yet lactose intolerant individuals may find them hard to digest. If this is the case for you, try non-dairy alternatives such as oat milk and coconut yogurt yogurt instead.
Studies on dairy can be limited and occasionally conflicting; however, overall adding one or two servings of low-fat and/or reduced-fat milk and yogurt each day to your diet may help protect against bone fractures, strengthen muscles and enhance overall health – one cup counts as one of the recommended servings from the Dairy Group!