A well-balanced and nutritious diet is all about eating healthily and comprises of a well balanced and nutritious diet and food intake. But what is a balanced diet you might ask?
Well its simple. It just refers to the main food groups and ensuring you get appropriate proportions of each. There are certainly foods that you should avoid at all costs! These include sugary or salty foods and alcohol. Eating healthily can be achieved very easily with a few straightforward points to remember.
Complex carbohydrates or starchy foods should provide the main bulk of most meals. These foods include bread, cereals, fruits and vegetables, pasta, rice and potatoes. They are not fattening as is widely believed.
Ensure your healthy eating campaign gets off to a great start and remember that moderation is the key.
Eating healthily can quickly turn into a difficult task as it is very easy to end up adding fats to the carbohydrate base. For example spreading butter on bread will increase the fat content and also add calories.
Starchy foods contain fibre which is excellent for bowel movement regularity and controlling appetite as you feel full after consumption.
Fruit and vegetables should be consumed daily. Five portions of different varieties should be sufficient to promote good health as you get roughage or fibre as well as a multitude of essential vitamins and minerals to compliment your diet. The antioxidants you'll gain through consuming these foods are also great for keeping your body healthy. The risk of developing cancers and heart disease is immensely reduced. Constipation can also be prevented.
Most people consume more protein than they require. We are omnivores, so we should be eating a balanced diet of proteins and carbohydrates naturally, but it doesn't always work that way.
Meats, fish, pulses, nuts and poultry are all excellent sources of protein as is Marmite!
Try to reduce the fat content of meat by removing as much as possible prior to consumption. Avoid thick, rich, creamy sauces that often accompany meat or fish, as part of meals. Oily fish is recommended to eat around once or twice a week.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as mackerel and sardines help to prevent furring of the arteries which can lead to angina, heart attacks and strokes.
For many years we've had the idea of a low fat diet being the best way to lose weight. Is this correct?
Low fat diets reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes too and can help with a weight plan. However, as is proven, when prepared food ends up as low fat, sugars or salts are piled in to ensure it has flavour. For example in one small yoghurt there can be as many as 8 spoons of sugar. This means carbohydrates, which are stored as fat if there's too many!
Saturated fats should be avoided whilst unsaturated fats (found in sunflower oil, olive oil and low fat spreads) are healthier for you in small amounts.
The consumption of sugary foods and drinks should be reduced immensely as well. They are high in calories and are bad for your teeth. So forget the fizzy drinks and sweets.
Salty foods are also not good or you. You do require a small quantity of salt in your diet to ensure your body has enough sodium to perform its usual chemical reactions.
Avoid fast foods, pre-packaged and processed foods to limit your salt intake. Low salt diets prove to be highly beneficial to your health. High blood pressure and heart disease can be prevented for longer.