A healthy diet is key to living a long, healthy life. However, staying true to a healthy diet can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what types of food you should be eating. In this article, we’re going to talk about the healthy food options that you should be incorporating into your daily diet and why those foods are so important. We’ll also talk about what foods to avoid and how they can affect your health. Everyone’s health situation is different, so it’s important that you talk to your primary care physician before making any immediate changes to your diet.
Fish. High in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins (such as vitamin D and B12) and minerals (including zinc and iron), fish is an important part of a healthy diet. It is recommended to eat fish at least two times per week.
Leafy greens. Greens, such as kale, romaine lettuce, collard greens, arugula and spinach, are part of an essential diet because they are full of important vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. They are also low in calories, so eating a salad once per day can keep your calorie count low, and your digestive system on track.
Fruits. Various fruits provide various health benefits, however, a good rule of thumb is that most fruits are high in essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. They also provide important antioxidants.
Nuts. Nuts, including almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews, are a good source of protein, fat and fiber. They are also heart healthy! Eating a handful of nuts every day can greatly impact your health and help reduce your risk for heart disease.
Dairy. Dairy products are high in calcium and can help maintain strong bones. Milk, yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese are all essential dairy products to incorporate into your daily diet. For those who are lactose intolerant, there are now great alternatives to get the calcium you need.
Foods to Avoid
Sugar. Natural sugars, found in fruits, are sugars your body needs. However, processed and artificial sugars, found in sweet foods such as candy, flavored snacks, and much more, can be harmful to your health. Too much sugar leads to a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health conditions. Be sure to read the nutrition label carefully and stay away from processed and artificial sugars.
Processed foods. Foods, such as cereal, frozen dinners, and packaged snacks, pastries, and cookies, are highly processed and contain a lot of added fats and sugars. It is also common to find that cheese, bread and other staple food items are processed. Read the label carefully to find foods that are all-natural, with little to no artificial sugars, preservatives and saturated fats.
Saturated fats. Unlike unsaturated fats, saturated fats are not as healthy and it’s recommended that you limit the amount of saturated fats you consume on a daily basis. Of course, there’s always exceptions such as coconut oil, which is high in saturated fat, yet has been proven to be a key part of a healthy diet.
While everybody is different, following this healthy diet guideline can help you live a better, healthier life. Don’t forget to consult with your doctor before making any immediate changes to your diet.