All of us know that eating foods rich in nutrients is essential. A diet rich in dairy, vegetables or fruits has been proven to have several health benefits. They prevent your chances of getting severe diseases and keep your body healthy and agile.
However, it is not so easy to stick to such a diet. Foremost, it can be overwhelming to make significant changes in your diet. Junk food, unhealthy carbs and fats can be pretty addictive.
It is why it is essential to start by making more minor changes which are more manageable. A few small changes that you can make to improve your diet habits are listed below:
Eat a lot of fruits & vegetables
Experts advise that you eat at least five portions of any fruit or vegetable daily. It can mean chopping up a banana with your breakfast muesli or cereal and having fresh fruits for brunch.
For easy use, you can also have canned or dried frozen fruits and vegetables. For instance, a glass of 150 ml of juice would count as one portion. You can incorporate a wide variety of vegetables and fruits.
An exciting way of looking at this is to include all kinds of colours, from dark green, yellow, orange and red. Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, which can help you maintain a fit body and decrease your appetite for unhealthy foods.
Incorporate wholegrain foods
Wholegrain foods include anything ranging from quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, crackers, green bread and barley. As the name suggests, these items are made using whole grain.
They are rich in B vitamins, protein and fibre, and they can help you stay healthy and fit. Ensure you avoid refined grains like pasta and white bread and that those whole-grain foods make up a quarter of your plate.
Eat protein-rich food proteins
Protein-rich food includes poultry, fish, shellfish, tofu, nuts, legumes, soy, etc. They also include lean red meat, low-fat milk, low-fat yoghurt, and certain kinds of cheeses, and they help you maintain the strength of your bones, muscles and skin.
But, of course, dairy is also a potent source of protein. And it would be best if you tried to eat at least two portions of fish every week. In addition, certain kinds of fish, such as oily fish, can be high in omega-3 fats, which are a good source of protection against certain heart diseases.
Decrease heavily processed foods
Processed foods can have many added preservatives, flavours, etc. These foods, when processed, lose their essential nutrients such as minerals, fibres, and vitamins because of the addition of excessive amounts of salt and sugar. Processed foods include cookies, chips, hotdogs, fast foods, deli meats, frozen pizzas, white rice and white bread.
However, few foods are not as heavily processed, including frozen vegetables and fruits, salads, eggs, milk, cheese, flour, dried herbs, brown rice and oil.
These retain their nutrients despite being processed, and you may continue consuming them.
Decrease the amount of salt you consume
Consuming too much salt can be dangerous for your health. It can significantly increase your blood pressure, and people who are predisposed to high blood pressure can develop diseases such as heart disease or may have a stroke.
Since most of the food we consume is store-bought, including bread, sauces, cereals and soups, they already contain three-quarters of the salt we need daily. If 100 grams of food contains more than 1.5 grams of salt, the salt is present in excessive quantities.
Therefore, it is suggested that we do not eat more than six grams of salt per day. And children who are younger than the age of 11 should eat an even lesser amount of salt per day.
Always eat breakfast
Many of us are in the habit of waking up late and skipping breakfast. We also think skipping breakfast or any other meal will help us lose weight faster. However, this is not true. A healthy breakfast can be high in fibre and low in salt, sugar and fat and, therefore, can form a balanced diet.
To ensure you get all the nutrients you need, To remain fit. A whole grain cereal, for instance, with low-fat milk and fruits, can make for an incredibly healthy breakfast.
Decrease the intake of saturated fat and sugar
While it is essential that all of us need some amount of fat in our diet, It is also necessary to know what is the right kind of fat to consume. There are saturated fats and unsaturated fats.
Saturated fat in an excessive quantity can lead to high cholesterol levels, which can then cause heart diseases. The recommended dosage for men is about 30 grams of saturated fat per day, whereas, for women, it is 20 grams of saturated fat per day.
Younger children under 11 should have even lesser amounts of saturated fat. However, this should not be the case for children under five. Foods rich in saturated fat include biscuits, lards, pies, cakes, cream, cheese, butter, sausages, and fatty cuts of meat.
Unsaturated fats can be pretty healthy, including vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados. Olive oil is an excellent source of it and can be used in place of ghee and butter. Leaner cuts of meat are better than fatty portions of meat.
Overconsumption of sugar is equally bad. Regularly Drinking high sugar drinks can increase the risk of obesity and tooth decay. However, it is free sugars that you should be worried about.
These are sugars that you add in addition to a food or drink, or in their natural form, occur in honey, fruit juices, smoothies and syrups. Sugar found in fruit and milk is good for your health.
Foods containing free sugar include sugary fizzy drinks, pastries, puddings, cakes, biscuits, breakfast cereals, chocolate, sweets, alcoholic beverages, etc. If a food contains more than 22.5 grams of sugar per 100 grams, it has excessive sugar.
To maintain a healthy and balanced diet, you must check what foods you’re consuming and in what quantity. While it may seem arduous, this can be made easy by using several online tools to measure the amounts of ingredients present in each fruit, vegetable, or meat item.
Processed foods already have a label on their backs that can give you a fair idea of them. Consuming foods in quantities more or less than your body needs can lead you to gain weight or lose weight in excessive amounts.
Ultimately, a balanced diet includes a wide range of food items to receive all the nutrients you need. An average man needs about 2500 calories a day. At the same time, an average woman requires 2000 calories per day.