The need for a smarter plate and choice of eating well need not be complicated at all. It’s important to first understand, what is a “healthy diet”? Many clinicians find them at loss of words to answer this, is completely understandable. There is plenty information available on internet, media and diet books.
In this article, let’s discuss diet under 5 simple heads.
1. VEGETABLES, FRUITS and BEVERAGES
“Eat more fruits and vegetables” is a timeless advice. They provide fiber, slowly digested carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and numerous phytonutrients that have been associated with protection against cardiovascular disease, aging-related vision loss due to cataract. They may work against specific cancers and should be consumed in abundance, which means a minimum of five servings a day.
Ideal and safe to consume beverages are water, tea and coffee. Two Problematic beverages are sugar-sweetened drinks and alcoholic drinks.
Eating more protein from beans, nuts, seeds, and the like, while cutting back on easily digested carbohydrates reduces the risk of heart disease. Eating more animal protein while cutting back on carbohydrates does not reduce heart disease risk, possibly because of the fats and other nutrients that come along (or don’t come along) with protein from animals.
Extra carbohydrates are largely in the form of highly processed grains. Processing removes fiber, healthful fats, and an array of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, making processed grains such as white flour or white rice nutritionally impoverished compared with whole-grain versions leading to increase in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes around the world.
4. DIETARY FAT
Dietary fat is a terribly misunderstood and mistakenly maligned nutrient. Fat is not always bad.
Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are undeniably bad for the cardiovascular system and the rest of the body.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and fish—especially the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids—are important components of a healthy diet and are also essential for cardiac health.
Saturated fats from red meat and dairy products’ moderate intake(under 8% of daily calories) is compatible with a healthy diet, whereas consumption of greater amounts has been associated with cardiovascular disease.
5. VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Dietary supplements have now become an integral part of any diet to create a barrier against nutritional deficiencies. Take your vitamins regularly (most important ones are calcium, vitamin D and frolic acid in case of women).
6. WEIGHT CONTROL, EXERCISE AND DIETARY PATTERNS
Maintaining a healthy body weight, or losing weight, is a direct function of calories consumed and expended. Portion control is essential for weight maintenance.
Regular exercise and the avoidance of extreme inactivity, such as excessive television watching, are also integral strategies for weight control.
One dietary pattern that may harm long-term health is the typical Western diet—rich in red meat, highly processed grains, and sugar, and lacking in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber.
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