The foods we eat have great effects on health and quality of life. Although eating healthy foods can be quite simple, the increase in popular “diets” and diet trends has caused confusion. In fact, these trends often distract from the basic principles of nutrition that are most important. This is a detailed beginner’s guide to healthy eating, based on the latest studies in nutrition science.
Why Should You Eat Healthy?
Research continues to attribute serious diseases to a poor and unbalanced diet. For example, eating healthy can dramatically reduce your chances of developing heart disease and cancer, the main killer diseases in the world. A good diet can improve all aspects of life, from brain function to physical performance. In fact, food affects all its cells and organs. If you do physical activity or sports, there is no doubt that a healthy diet will help you to perform better in physical activities.
Summary: From the risk of suffering a disease to brain function and physical performance, a healthy diet is vital for all aspects of life.
Explanatory Balance Between Calories and Energy.
Healthy Food & # 8211; A Detailed Guide for BeginnersIn recent years, the importance of calories has been isolated. While calorie counting is not always necessary, total calorie intake continues to play a key role in weight management and health. If you eat more calories than you burn, then the calories will be stored as new muscle or body fat. On the other hand, if you consume fewer calories than you burn every day, then you will lose weight. If you want to lose weight, you must create some form of calorie deficit, in which the amount of calories burned must be greater than the amount of calories consumed. In contrast, if you are trying to gain weight and increase muscle mass, then you need to eat more calories than the body burns.
Summary: Calories and energy balance are important, regardless of the composition of the diet.
Healthy Food & # 8211; A Detailed Guide for Beginners The three macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. These nutrients are necessary in relatively large quantities. They provide calories and have several functions in your body. These are some common foods within each group of macronutrients:
- Carbohydrates :4 calories per gram. All starchy foods such as bread, pasta and potatoes. Also includes fruits, legumes, juice, sugar and some dairy products.
- Protein: 4 calories per gram. The main sources include meat and fish, dairy products, eggs, legumes and vegetarian alternatives such as tofu.
- Fat: 9 calories per gram. The main sources include nuts, seeds, oils, butter, cheese, fatty fish and fatty meat.
The necessary amount of each macronutrient that each person should consume depends on the lifestyle and goals, as well as their personal preferences.
Summary: Macronutrients are the three main nutrients needed in relatively large quantities, such as: carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
“Micronutrients are important vitamins and minerals that you need in smaller doses”.
Some of the most common micronutrients you should eat include:
- Magnesium: plays an important role in more than 600 cellular processes, including energy production, nervous system function and muscle contraction.
- Potassium: This mineral is important for the control of blood pressure, fluid balance and the function of muscles and nerves.
- Iron: Mainly known for transporting oxygen in the blood, iron also has many other benefits, including improving immune and brain function.
- Calcium: An important structural component of bones and teeth, and also a key mineral for the heart, muscles and nervous system.
- All vitamins: Vitamins, from vitamin A to K, play important roles in every organ and cell in the body.
All vitamins and minerals are “essential” nutrients, which means that you must get from the balanced diet to have a healthy life. The daily requirement of each micronutrient varies among people. If you eat a true food-based diet that includes plants and animals, then you should get all the micronutrients your body needs without taking any supplements.
Summary: Micronutrients are important vitamins and minerals that play a fundamental role in cells and organs.
Eating Whole Foods is Important.
Healthy Food & # 8211; A Detailed Guide for BeginnersTry to consume whole foods at least 80-90% of the time. The term “whole foods” generally describes unprocessed natural foods that contain a single ingredient. If the product is believed to have been made in a factory, then it is probably not a complete food. Whole foods tend to be nutrient dense and have a lower energy density. This means that they have fewer calories and more nutrients per serving compared to processed foods. In contrast, many processed foods have little nutritional value and are often referred to as “empty” calories. Eating them in large quantities is linked to obesity and other diseases.
Summary: Establishing a diet in unprocessed foods is a very effective and simple strategy to improve health and lose weight.
What Foods to Eat?
These healthy food groups:
- Vegetables: These play a fundamental role in most meals. They are low in calories but full of important micronutrients and fiber.
- Fruits: A natural sweet, the fruit provides micronutrients and antioxidants that can help improve health.
- Meat and fish: Meat and fish have been the main sources of protein throughout evolution. They are a staple in the human diet, although vegetarian and vegan diets have become popular as well.
- Nuts and seeds: These are one of the best sources of fat available and also contain important micronutrients.
- Eggs: Considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet, whole eggs contain a potent combination of proteins, beneficial fats and micronutrients.
- Dairy products: Dairy products such as natural yogurt and milk are convenient and economical sources of protein and calcium.
- Healthy starches: For those who are not on a low carb diet, starchy foods from whole foods like potatoes, quinoa and Ezekiel bread are healthy and nutritious.
- Beans and legumes: They are fantastic sources of fiber, protein and micronutrients.
- Drinks: Water should constitute the majority of your fluid intake, and it can also be accompanied with drinks such as coffee and tea.
- Herbs and species: They are often very rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds.
Summary: Having a diet based on healthy whole foods and ingredients will provide all the nutrients your body needs.
Foods that Should be Avoided Most of the Time:
Following the advice in this article, you will naturally reduce your consumption of unhealthy foods. No food needs to be eliminated forever, but some foods must be limited or saved for special occasions. These foods include:
- Sugar-based products: Foods high in sugar, especially sugary drinks are related to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Trans fats: Also known as partially hydrogenated fats, trans fats are linked to serious diseases, such as heart disease.
- Refined carbohydrates: Foods rich in refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, are related to overfeeding, obesity and metabolic diseases.
- Vegetable oils: Although many people believe they are healthy, vegetable oils can alter the body’s balance, which can cause problems.
- Products made with low fat content: Often disguised as healthy alternatives, low fat products often contain a lot of sugar, it is better to exclude them.
Summary: Although no food is strictly off limits, overeating certain foods can increase the risk of disease and lead to weight gain.
Why is Portion Control Important?
Calorie intake is a key factor in weight control and health. When controlling portions, you are more likely to avoid consuming too many calories. While unprocessed foods are certainly much harder to overeat than processed foods, even healthy foods can be eaten in excess. If you are overweight or trying to lose body fat, it is particularly important to monitor your portion size. There are many simple strategies to control portion size. For example, you can use smaller plates and take a smaller first portion than the average, then wait 20 minutes before returning to get more. Another popular approach is to measure portion size by hand. An example of food limitation for most people would be: a serving equal to the size of a fist of carbohydrates, 1-2 palms of protein and 1-2 thumb-sized portions of healthy fats. The most calorie-dense foods like cheese, nuts and fatty meats are healthy but be sure to pay attention to portion sizes when you eat them.
Summary: Taking portion sizes and total food or calorie intake into account, especially if you are overweight or trying to lose fat is a good tactic for a healthy life.
How to Adapt Your Diet to Your Goals?
First, evaluate your calorie needs based on factors such as physical activity levels and weight goals. Simply, if you want to lose weight, you should eat fewer calories than you burn. If you want to gain weight, you should consume more calories than you burn. One way to regulate the calories in your diet is to keep an account of the calories consumed, however if it is difficult for you to count calories, you can simply apply the rules discussed above, such as monitoring portion sizes and concentrating on unprocessed foods. If you have a certain deficiency or are at risk of developing one, you may want to adapt your diet so as not to aggravate the symptoms. For example, vegetarians or people who eliminate certain food groups are at greater risk of losing some nutrients. In general, you should consume healthy foods of various types and colors to ensure you get a good amount of all macro and micronutrients. While many discuss whether low-carb or low-fat diets are the best, it really depends on the individual. On a research basis, athletes and those looking to lose weight should consider increasing their protein intake. Also, a low carb diet can work wonders for some people trying to lose weight or treat type 2 diabetes.
Summary: Considering total calorie intake and adjusting the diet based on your own needs and goals is a great way to achieve a healthy life.
How to Make a Sustainable Healthy Diet?
This is a great rule to live: If you cannot adapt a particular diet one, two or three years, then it is not right for you. Very often, people follow extreme diets that they cannot maintain, which means they never develop a long-term diet that is, healthy eating habits. There are some alarming statistics on weight gain that show that most people recover all the weight they lost shortly after trying a weight loss diet. As always, balance is key. Unless you have a specific disease or a dietary requirement, no food needs to be off limits forever. By totally eliminating certain foods, you can actually increase cravings and decrease long-term success. Having as a basis 90% of food you eat in your diet in unprocessed foods and eating smaller portions will allow you to enjoy cravings from time to time while still achieving excellent health. This is a much healthier approach than doing the opposite and eating 90% of processed foods and only 10% of foods like all people, resulting in unhealthy health.
Summary: Creating a healthy diet that you can enjoy and follow in the long term will have better eating habits, and if you want unhealthy foods, it is better to save them for an occasional moment.
Consider These Supplements:
As the name implies, supplements are intended to be used in addition to a healthy diet. Including a lot of nutrient dense healthy foods in your diet should help you reverse deficiencies and meet all your daily needs. However, some well-researched supplements have proven useful in some cases. An example is vitamin D, which is obtained naturally from sunlight and foods such as fatty fish. Most people have low levels or are deficient in vitamin D. Supplements such as magnesium, zinc and omega-3 can provide additional benefits if you do not get enough on a regular diet. Other supplements can be used to improve athletic performance. Creatine, whey protein and beta-alanine, there is a great deal of research that supports its use. In a perfect world, your diet would be full of nutrient dense foods, without the need for supplements. However, this is not always possible in the real world. If you are already making a constant effort to improve your diet, taking additional supplements can help take your health one step further.
Summary: It is better to get most of your nutrients from unprocessed foods. However, some supplements may be useful as well.
Combine Good Nutrition with Other Healthy Habits:
Healthy Food & # 8211; A Detailed Guide for BeginnersNutrition is not the only thing that matters for a healthy life. After a healthy diet, exercise can give you an even greater health boost. It is also crucial to get a good sleep. Research shows that sleep is as important as nutrition to prevent the risk of disease and weight control. Hydration and water intake are also important. Drink water when you are thirsty and stay well hydrated all day. Finally, try to minimize stress. Long-term stress is related to many health problems.
Summary: Healthy living goes far beyond nutrition. Exercise, sleep well and minimize stress are necessary measures to promote health.
The strategies described above will dramatically improve your diet. They will also increase your health, reduce your risk of illness and help you lose weight.