A healthy diet is not as restrictive or as difficult as several people thought. In fact, the concept behind it is really plain and straightforward. You simply have to choose the right foods and develop that kind of discipline in yourself to regularly perform physical exercises.
Here are some basic tips you can follow to develop a healthy, yet enjoyable diet:
Eat a variety of foods
Consuming a big assortment of healthy foods ensure yourself of being highly-protected against diseases. In fact, you’re not just limited to eating fruits and vegetables. You can also eat your favorite desserts. Just be mindful of your total caloric intake and you should be fine.
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
As a rule of thumb, always aim for 2 cups of fresh fruits and 3 cups of vegetables everyday to get that 2,000 calorie diet. If you consume more than 2,000 calories, that means you would also have to eat more produce — orange, red, green, yellow, etc. Important note: Legumes, which are high in fiber, are also considered as vegetables. However, they’re quite high in calories.
Limit refined grains and foods with added sugar
Regular pasta and white bread have very little or no dietary fibers. This is because they have already been removed of tons of nutrients. Foods such as candy and soda also have added sugar which is a huge source of empty calories. This is not good because it can cause weight gain.
Eat more nuts and fishes
Foods such as fishes, avocados, and nuts are high in calories, but they provide healthy unsaturated fats. Fatty fishes are also known to lessen your chances of getting heart diseases – big thanks to their omega-3 and polyunsaturated fats.
Eat less animal fat
Red meat and processed meat are highly known to produce saturated fats which can increase bad cholesterol. This doesn’t mean that you should deprive yourself of your favorite dishes. Just choose lean meats and low-fat dairy products.
Level up potassium and reduce sodium
Excessive sodium intake is known to increase blood pressure in most people, especially those with diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney diseases. High-risk patients should not consume more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium everyday, while the rest should limit their intake to 2,300 milligrams per day.
Don’t miss out on calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium from low-fat dairy products and fortified products such as soy drinks and orange juices are essential for better bone health. If possible, you can also get your dose of Vitamin D from sunlight early in the morning or eat foods such as mackerel, salmon, and egg yolks. Note: Vitamin D is oil soluble, thus you would have to consume fat to absorb it.