Written by: Anne Marie Forgarty, RGN
Healthy Eating & Nutrition
When it comes to healthy eating and nutrition, it’s difficult to tell what’s correct and what’s bad these days, and where to begin when there’s so much knowledge available on the internet.
Healthy eating and nutrition is frequently the least prioritized thing on our minds in today’s fast-paced lifestyle. People are using diet pills or following diet plans to obtain a perfect body or weight without realizing that the methods they are employing are dangerous to their health. We must understand that diet is a complete plan that includes healthy nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and healthy activities – a holistic approach.
A healthy lifestyle begins with good nutrition and healthy eating habits. Healthy eating and nutrition are important factors that influence community health.
Healthy eating consists of the following:
Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are high in nutrients (antioxidants, vitamin supplements, minerals, and fibre) keeping you fuller for longer. At every meal and snack, half your plate should be filled with vegetables and fruit. Consume more plant-based foods. A decent rule of thumb is to consume what comes from the earth rather than what has been prepared in a lab.
Choosing meals that are high in whole grains
Whole wheat bread and snacks, rice, and corn are all examples of whole-grain meals. Whole grain meals provide fibre, protein, and vitamin B and C, which keep you fuller for longer and maintain your health by lowering the risk of many diseases including diabetes and CVS problems, etc. Instead of highly processed grains opt for whole-grain options.
Consuming protein-rich meals
Protein is considered the “King of Nutrients,” Including legumes, nuts, fortified soy beverages, fish, eggs, poultry, lean red meats, lower-fat milk, and lower fat yoghurts -all good sources of protein. Protein aids in the development and maintenance of skeletons, muscles, and skin.
Protein also helps to maintain muscle mass and may help you burn a few more calories every day. If you’re attempting to reduce weight, make sure each meal includes a source of protein.
Try to take fish in the diet as it contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which help in the prevention of heart disease and maintenance of brain function.
Limiting the use of highly-processed foods/ultra-processed food
It is defined as foods that have been altered from their natural state and contain a large number of additional components. Important elements including vitamins, minerals, and fibre are typically lost during processing, while sugar and salt are added. Fast food, chips, cookies, frozen pizzas, rice, and white bread are examples of processed foods.
Making water your preferred beverage
Water keeps you hydrated without additional calories. Sugary beverages such as energy drinks can juice, and flavoured coffees contain lots of sugar and have scarce nutritious value. To avoid being dehydrated, you should drink six to eight glasses of water every day. According to research drinking water also aid in weight reduction. Drinking plenty of water regularly has been related to better diet quality and may help you consume fewer calories from drinks.
Breakfast should not be neglected
Eat eggs for breakfast if possible. Eggs are extremely nutritious, especially when eaten first thing in the morning. Some individuals assume that missing breakfast can help them reduce weight. People have been observed to consume fewer calories during later meals as a result of this. If you’re trying to lose weight, it can be beneficial.
Limit your salt intake
Limit your salt intake below 6 grams per day. High blood pressure can be caused by eating too much salt. You’re more likely to get cardiovascular problems and haemorrhages if you have high blood pressure.
Sugar consumption should be kept to a minimum
Regularly consuming high-sugar meals and beverages increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay.
Exercise and healthy eating are interlinked. Exercise can assist to alleviate the symptoms of sadness, anxiety, and stress which are likely to cause binge eating. Exercise not only strengthens your muscles and bones but also helps you reduce weight, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Take a multivitamin
Taking a multivitamin on regular basis is hugely beneficial. Even if you consume the right meals, some vitamins may be wasted during the cooking process, so taking a multivitamin is an excellent method to ensure you get the necessary amount.
Brug, J., Kremers, S. P., Van Lenthe, F., Ball, K., & Crawford, D. (2008). Environmental determinants of healthy eating: in need of theory and evidence: symposium on ‘Behavioural nutrition and energy balance in the young’. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 67(3), 307-316.
Falk, L. W., Sobal, J., Bisogni, C. A., Connors, M., & Devine, C. M. (2001). Managing healthy eating: definitions, classifications, and strategies. Health education & behavior, 28(4), 425-439.
Brug, J. (2008). Determinants of healthy eating: motivation, abilities and environmental opportunities. Family practice, 25(suppl_1), i50-i55.