Healthy Food Choices
The foods you eat does more than just fill your stomach; it gives your body the energy it needs to thrive. Your diet has a large impact on your physical and mental health. You need to choose the most nutritious foods over unhealthy foods that may deplete your energy, impair your digestive system or raise other health risks. Making healthy food choices means taking a closer look at your current eating patterns. Making small changes to your dietary plan can go a long way in making your bodies immune against certain health risks and diseases. But why is it difficult to make healthy food choices? The answer is, we indulge in bad eating problems when we don’t have a healthy food plan. The answer lies not in eliminating certain kind of foods from your diet but instead limiting the size of servings of such foods
What constitutes a healthy diet?
Eating healthy isn’t a complicated task, it is about making smart choices. We all need a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals to sustain a healthy body. The Food Groups and typical serving sizes
You should consume a variety of foods from the major food groups. Each group supplies important nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.
6-8 servings per day. Choose mostly whole grain or high fiber cereals
- 1 slice of bread
- 1/2 cup of rice or pasta
- 1 ounce of cereal
Fruits & Veggies
4-5 servings per day. Choose fresh, frozen, and canned without added sugar or salt
- 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
- 3/4 cup of vegetable juice
- 1/2 cup of other vegetables
- 1 medium Apple or banana
- 1/2 cup of sliced fruits
Meats & Alternatives
2-3 servings per day
- 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans
- 2 tbsp of peanut butter
2-3 servings per day
- 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
- 1 cup fat-free or low-fat yogurt
- 1 and 1/2 oz fat-free or low-fat cheese
Fats & Sugars
Choose very small amounts. Indulge in these comfort foods occasionally. Avoid those high in sugar, salt such as sodas, chips, commercially baked goodies, altogether.
Carbohydrates are body’s main source of energy. There are mainly two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.
Simple Carbohydrates: Fruits, vegetables, and milk products
Complex Carbohydrates: Breads, cereals, pasta, rice, corn, beans, potatoes
For a healthy lifestyle, your carbohydrate intake should include:
- Whole grain foods over foods made with refined grains and flours
- Eat whole grain bread and cereals.
- Choose whole fruit over fruit juice.
Proteins are often called the body’s building blocks. They help in body growth and developments as well repair the tissues. Proteins also play an important role in the immune system and as well as in supporting mood and cognitive functions.
Sources of protein include seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans, soy products, nuts and seeds. Protein is also found in dairy products.
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are essential for the smooth functioning of the body. Not only do they keep your body healthy and functional, but they also protect you from a variety of diseases. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Vitamins are organic substances produced by plants or animals. They are divided into two categories: water soluble—eight B vitamins (B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-7, B-9, and B-12) and vitamin C—and fat soluble Vitamin A, D, E, and K.
Vitamin A: beef, liver, spinach, fish, sweet potatoes, carrots.
Vitamin B: milk, yogurt, cheese, meat, chicken, poultry, fish, ham, fortified soymilk, tofu and other soy products, whole grains and cereals. You can also have Vitamin B complex with B12 supplements if your diet doesn’t provide the necessary requirement. The risk of overdose is lower than other nutrients because B vitamins are water-soluble.
Vitamin C: Citrus fruit, potatoes, bell peppers, strawberries.
Vitamin D: Fortified milk and cereals, fatty fish
Vitamin E: Vegetable oils, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts. Cranberry Concentrate Softgels are also highly recommended if you lack Vitamin C and Vitamin E. They are known to improve digestion and regulate blood sugar levels too.
Fats give you energy and feeling of satisfaction after consuming food. There are different kinds of fats; while bad fats wreck your health and increase the risk of diseases, the good fats protect your brain and heart. Healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids are vital to your physical and emotional health.
- Unsaturated fats are healthier fats and include vegetable, rapeseed, olive and sunflower oils.
- Include black Cumin Seed Oil capsules which are a good source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids