For many people the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about living right is eating healthy. However, while that may sound easy and simple, there is a great deal more that goes into every aspect. Today, we are blessed with an online world where you can easily find endless information on diet plans and exercise routines that can help you out. The only issue with these is that it breaks you away from the basics, and can be considered a lot to take in for someone who is just getting started.
So, What Does a Healthy & Balanced Diet Look Like?
Most of us have a different answer to this question, as we are set in ways that work best for us. However, according to research and experts, a healthy and balanced diet is one that consists of every element on the food chart - but in a small portion. That being said, when looking to convert it's best to focus more on plant-based foods than processed foods. Here is a quick guide to help you get started:
- Vegetables & Fruits - Packed with healthy nutrients they can help you feel fuller for longer while maintaining a healthy weight. While making sure your body receives the minerals, fibers, vitamins, and antioxidants it needs to function.
- Whole Grain Foods - It's time to add whole grain bread, brown or wild rice, whole-grain crackers, hulled barley, and oatmeal to the mix! These are prepared using every aspect of the grain and are richer in protein, fiber, and vitamins such as Vitamin B. offering you a sense of being full and ensuring you stay active. It's best to fill half or a quarter of your plate with whole-grain foods.
- Protein Foods - Nuts, legumes, fortified soy beverages, tofu, shellfish, poultry, eggs, lean red meats, low-fat milk and yogurt, low fat and sodium cheeses. Good proteins taken in the right amount can help you maintain your skin, bones, and muscles. While offering your body the energy boost it needs to keep ongoing. It's best to fill a quarter of your plate with protein foods.
- Processed Foods - Highly processed or ultra-processed foods are foods that come with added ingredients. During the process, important nutrients, vitamins, fiber, and minerals are often replaced with sugar and salt. These include, but are not limited to chips, hot dogs, cookies, chips, deli meats, pizza, white rice, white bread, and other packed items. This is why it's best to choose minimally processed items in small portions such as bagged salad, fruit, milk, cheese, brown rice, dried herbs, and other similar foods.
- Choose Water - Rather than grabbing a soda or energy drink, it's time to let water take the lead. You may feel soda or energy drinks give you a boost that helps you get through the day, but in reality, it's water your body needs. Sugary drinks offer you a sense of energy and bring you down later. Whereas, water offers your body and minds the hydration it needs to get through. If you feel you are unable to drink too much water, we suggest you go for coffee, or tea with low-fat milk.
Now that you have an idea of what a healthy diet looks like, it's time to focus on the other aspects of living right!