There is so much contradicting advice about what to eat for health, that it may leave you feeling a little overwhelmed. By following these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create a varied and nutritious diet that is healthy for your whole being.
When choosing what to eat, choose nutrient-dense foods first. These are packed with vitamins and minerals and have relatively few calories.
Some nutrient-dense foods include:
- Chard, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Mushrooms (crimini and shiitake)
- Potatoes (white or sweet)
- Cantaloupe, papaya, raspberries, strawberries
- Seeds (flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower)
- Beans (garbanzo, kidney, navy, pinto)
- Lentils, peas
- Almonds, cashews, peanuts
- Barley, oats, quinoa, brown rice
- Salmon, halibut, cod, scallops, shrimp, tuna
- Lean beef, lamb, venison
- Chicken, turkey
Making healthful food choicesLimit liquid sugars.
Added sugars, such as those found in soft drinks, sports drinks, iced teas, and sweetened waters, have no nutritional benefits and are clearly linked to higher risk of obesity, tooth decay and diabetes.
Minimize refined carbohydrates.
Minimize your intake of white bread, white pasta and white rice. Also avoid the most high-carbohydrate packaged and processed foods, such as cookies, cakes, pretzels and chips. Instead, choose whole grains, high-fiber breakfast cereals, brown rice, wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta and steel-cut oats, and fruits and vegetables.
Choose healthy fats.
These include fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. These contain healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Don't forget fibre.
Eat plenty of foods that contain dietary fibre such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Fibre from grains helps lower the risk of heart disease.
Balance energy intake and output.
The energy you take in should equal the energy you use. That means if you are sedentary and 5 feet 4 inches tall, you need far fewer calories to remain at your current weight than an active person who is 6 feet tall.