The key to a healthy diet is to:
- Eat the right amount of calories, so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink too much, you’ll put on weight. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.
- Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
It is recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day. Women should have around 2,000 calories a day. Here are a few ways in which you can improve your diet and eat healthy.
- Include lots of fruits in your diet
It’s recommended that we eat at least two different types of fruits everyday. It’s easier than it sounds.
Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?
2. Cut down on sugar and saturated fat
Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as:
- hard cheese
Try to cut down on your saturated fat consumption, and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.
For a healthier choice, use just a small amount of vegetable oil or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee. When having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat.
3. Don’t skip breakfast at any cost
Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. In fact, research shows that people who regularly eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight.
Breakfast has also been shown to have positive effects on children’s mental performance and increase their concentration throughout the morning.
4. Include whole grains in your diet
Make at least half your grain choices whole grains. Whole grains are supposed to be higher in vitamins, minerals
- Start your day with a bowl of whole grain cereal
- Make sandwiches with whole grain bread or rolls
- Add barley, lentils, kidney beans or brown rice to soups and stews
- Substitute whole-wheat flour for all or part of the white flour when baking
- Choose whole-grain crackers
- Use whole grain pasta
5. Choose healthier fats
Fats and oils add a lot of flavour to food, and they help us absorb some nutrients. But diets higher in unhealthy fats are also linked to health risks such heart disease. Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats.
Healthier unsaturated fats come from foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds as well as oils such as olive, canola, flaxseed or nuts oils.