When can you start a healthy diet?
A healthy diet means the consumption of different foods belonging to the basic food groups: proteins, such as meat, eggs and vegetables; dairy products; fruits and vegetables; cereals, such as bread and flour; fats and sweets.
Although it seems simple, it is not always easy to establish a regime appropriate to each individual. Sometimes one consumes more than one food group (preferred) and avoids consuming others or opting for convenience at the expense of quality.
A healthy diet requires a plan, a purpose, and the effort to include a variety of foods in meals. Most people do not consume enough nutrients because they do not include an adequate amount in each food group.
It is important to pay attention not only to what is consumed, but also to what is removed from the diet. For this, it would be advisable to develop a journal in which to write down everything that is consumed and drunk for a week.
Attention should be paid to both the amount of food ingested and the food groups they are part of. It is not necessary to consume a minimum amount of food in each food group daily, but to ingest the recommended amount over a week. A few small changes are enough to balance the diet. In most cases, many important nutrients are eliminated from the diet.
Are drastic changes in the diet necessary?
Since it has been found that the diet is unbalanced and some nutrients are absent from it, small changes can be started, so that the end result is a more balanced and healthier diet.
For example, simply adding yogurt to one of your daily snacks is enough to introduce the amount of milk you need into your diet. Adding a banana to your daily cereals will provide the nutrient content of this food group.
The amount of food ingested is also important. The daily required amount of cereal is 28 grams, respectively half to three quarters of a bowl, so a normal bowl of cereal is more than the daily requirement.
Thus, instead of a bowl full of milk with cereal for breakfast, you can consume a sliced banana added to the 28 grams of cereal needed daily, plus half a glass of fruit juice. To reduce the amount of fat consumed, you can replace the milk with soy milk.
If the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables has been neglected, then their inclusion in the daily snacks is necessary. Only half a cup of cooked vegetables or a bowl of green salad counts for a meal. Consuming a cup of tomato juice, adding spinach or beans to the daily sandwich, eating pasta with tomato sauce are just some of the ways vegetables can be served.
The new recommendations of dietitians support the consumption of 2 bowls of fruit and 2 bowls and half vegetables per day. Dietary changes should be recorded in the daily journal. For example, in a week you can set as a goal the replacement of fried potatoes with salad, pizza with vegetables and daily consumption of a yogurt.
It must be remembered that food is one of the greatest pleasures of life. All foods, if consumed in moderation, can be part of a healthy diet. If a person’s favorite foods are high in fat, salt, sugar and calories, then their consumption should be limited or they should be replaced with healthier substitutes.
The key to a healthy and balanced diet is moderation. A variety of foods, especially those rich in nutrients, such as cereals, fruits, vegetables, dairy products with a low fat content, fish, lean meat and chicken, should be consumed.
Can a healthy diet protect against the onset of disease?
A healthy diet can reduce the risk of developing diseases. American nutritionists recommend for avoiding diseases, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, cereals and skimmed dairy products.
Also, it is recommended to pay attention to the number of calories consumed, in order to reduce the risk of obesity, limit the consumption of alcohol and eliminate foods with high content of salt, saturated fat, cholesterol and sugar. Physical activity is an important part of this regime. An exercise program lasting 30 to 90 minutes daily is sufficient.
A healthy diet can help:
– a diet low in fat (cereals, fruits, vegetables, skimmed dairy products) can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, degenerative diseases, strokes and diabetes; it can also prevent certain forms of cancer;- limiting the consumption of saturated fats, which can be found in fatty meat, cheese, cream and butter, can reduce the level of cholesterol and the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure;- Replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats, such as olive or rapeseed oils, helps lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL);- Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids found in polyunsaturated fats (in foods such as fish, nuts, soy beans and flax) have a protective effect against heart disease;- elimination or reduction of “trans-fatty” acids found in hydrogenated oils (eg partially hydrogenated oils) may help lower cholesterol levels;- a diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides the necessary antioxidants (such as beta-carotene or vitamins C and E) and protects the body from damage caused by oxygen free radicals, thus reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure. Is a diet low in salt, carbohydrates or fats required?Anyone can benefit from a healthy diet, but not all have the same nutritional needs. Pregnant women, growing children and the elderly have special needs in terms of nutrition. Patients with high blood pressure should reduce their salt intake; those with high cholesterol levels should resort to diets that limit their intake of saturated fat and cholesterol; and those with diabetes must divide in portions the amount of carbohydrates to be consumed in a day. And in the case of healthy people, the amount of salt, fat and sugar consumed should be monitored to prevent the occurrence of conditions such as high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia. Limiting the amount of salt can be done by consuming as many fresh foods.
Prepared foods, such as soups, fast-food snacks or canned foods, have a high salt content (sodium). Also, the amount of fat consumed must be tracked. Replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats can be done by using olive or rapeseed oil.
The introduction of Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids that can be found in fish, nuts, flaxseed, rapeseed oil and soybeans is also beneficial. Low-carb diets initially help with weight loss, but are not beneficial in the long run. These diets are rich in total fat and saturated and low in fiber. They restrict the consumption of cereals, fruits, vegetables, foods that protect against the onset of disease and provide important nutritional principles. If carbohydrates are a problem, it is advisable to consume carbohydrate complexes, such as whole grains, vegetables and pasta, because they provide a wide variety of nutrients and fiber. Simple carbohydrates, such as sweets and carbonated drinks have many calories, are low in nutrients and contain no fiber.
Does a healthy diet mean a diet?
Adopting a healthy diet does not mean dieting; it is a way to improve health. Regular consumption of a balanced diet, low in saturated fat and high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and good fats (such as olive oil) will reduce the risk of developing disorders.
By combining an active lifestyle with a healthy diet, you further improve your health. Regular physical exercises significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, anxiety, depression and breast cancer, colon and female reproductive system.