The plethora of diet products and weight loss ads of make it seem like eating a healthy diet seems to be much more complicated than it is. Following some basic guidelines on nutrition and eating foods rich in nutrients from a variety of sources, you can ensure that your body gets the nutrients it needs to function, while maintaining a healthy weight.
Importance of nutrition
According to the Center Medical University of Maryland, your body needs more than 45 different nutrients to function. Eating a balanced diet full of nutrient rich foods, can give your body what it needs without overdoing calories. On the other hand, malnutrition can increase the risk of developing a variety of diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, certain cancers, diabetes and obesity.
Caloric needs for weight control
Your specific caloric needs vary according to your age, weight, gender, genetics and activity level. Even if you’re eating nutrient-rich foods, you can gain weight if you eat too much. Find your personal caloric needs, and then adjust your diet and exercise plan to lose, gain or maintain weight. For example, if you are currently overweight and you need 2400 calories a day to maintain weight, you can lose one pound (0.45 kg) per week burning 200 calories through exercise and reduce your food intake by 300 calories a day .
To get the range of nutrients your body needs, eating a variety of healthy choices from each major food group. Eat plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors, lean protein like chicken and fish , vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Avoid foods that contain high levels of sugar, saturated fat or processed flours. According to the Department of Agriculture of the United States, most adults should eat two to three servings of milk, two to three servings of lean protein, three to five servings of vegetables, two to four servings of fruits and six to eleven servings of whole grains each day.
Follow appropriate guidance portion size can help you control your calorie intake. A serving of protein should be about 3 ounces (85 g), or the size of a deck of cards. A portion of grain should be 1/2 cup or the size of a hockey puck. 1/2 serving of fruit or vegetables is about the size of a tennis ball and a portion of 1 teaspoon of fat is the size of a dice. When eating at home, place a single serving of each food on your plate and leave the rest in the kitchen. In a restaurant, ask for a box to take with your food and pack away all but a suitable portion.
Tips for healthy eating
Bake, boil or broil meat instead of frying. Slightly Boil fresh or frozen vegetables to preserve their nutrients. Replace butter with healthy fats such as olive oil in your recipes. When baking, substitute some or all of the required white flour with whole wheat flour and used applesauce or mashed banana instead of butter to add moisture. Instead of three big meals a day, do five to six small meals to control hunger and boost your metabolism.