Experts agree the key to healthy eating is the time- tested advice of balance, variety and moderation. In other words, that means eating a wide variety of foods without getting too many calories or too much of a particular nutrient.
These 5 tips can help you balance your diet while you still eat the food you enjoy.
Eat variety of nutrient-rich foods
You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and not just a kind of food supplies them all. Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, fish and other protein foods.
How much you should eat depends on your calorie needs. Use the food guide pyramid and nutrition facts panel on food labels as handy references.
Enjoy plenty of whole grains
Survey shows that many people do not take fruits, whole grains and vegetables. You should eat 6-11 servings from the bread, rice, cereals and pasta group, three of which should be whole grains.
Fiber is one big reason to eat whole grains. Adults need about 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily, and whole grains contain two types—soluble and insoluble—which are both beneficial to your health.
Because it digests slowly, fiber also helps you feel fuller longer. And fiber’s health benefits are well known—it can help control blood sugar, lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and reduce colon cancer risk. Not all whole grains are high in fiber, though. Focus on oats, for a start.
Maintain a healthy weight
The weight that is right for your depends on many factors including your sex, height, age, and heredity. Excess body fat increases your chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and other illness.
Being too thin can increase your risk for osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities and other health problems.
If you are constantly losing and regaining weight, you should meet with a registered dietician who can help you develop sensible eating habits for successful weight management.
Eat moderate portions
If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it’s easier to eat the foods you want and stay health. Do you know the recommended serving of cooked meat is 3 ounces, similar in size to a deck of playing cards?
Eating large portion is one bad habit common among youths. When you eat large portions you are more likely to store the extra calories as fat.
Your body can only handle a certain amount of food at one time. Smaller more frequent meals and snacks help the body to metabolize food more efficiently.
Eat regular meals
Skipping meals can lead to sever hunger, which often results in heavy consumption of food. When you are hungry, it is also tempting to forget about good nutrition.
Taking snacks between meals can help curb hunger, but do not eat so much that your snacks become an entire meal.