A healthy eating habit that helps control your weight, which includes a variety of healthy foods. Make an array of colors on your plate and think of it as eating the rainbow. Dark, leafy greens, oranges, and tomatoes—even fresh herbs—are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
A piece of frozen peppers, broccoli, or onions to stews and omelets give them a quick and convenient boost of color and nutrients. A healthy eating plan can help you identify what and how much to eat. From the different food groups while staying within your recommended calorie allowance.
Major Food Groups:
- Meats (red, white and processed meat) and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes or beans
- grain (cereal) foods, mostly whole grain or high cereal fiber varieties
- milk, yoghurt, cheese or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.
Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients.
Eating a varied, well-balanced diet means eating a variety of foods from each of these food groups daily, in the recommended amounts. Because different foods provide different types and amounts of key nutrients, it is important to choose a variety of foods from within each food group. As a bonus, choosing a variety of foods will help to make your meals interesting, so that you don’t get bored with your diet.
Fruits: One healthy food
Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and diabetes. Citrus fruits and berries may be especially powerful for preventing disease.
Fresh, frozen, or canned fruits are great choices. Try fruits beyond apples and bananas such as mango, pineapple, or kiwi fruit. When fresh fruit is not in season, try a frozen, canned, or dried variety. Be aware that dried and canned fruit may contain added sugars or syrups. Choose canned varieties of fruit packed in water or in its own juice.
Vegetables: Another healthy food
Eating vegetables provides health benefits — people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Vegetables provide nutrients vital for the health and maintenance of your body.
Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Your heart, muscles, and nerves also need calcium to function properly.
Your body doesn’t produce calcium, so you must get it through other sources. Calcium can be found in a variety of foods, including:
- Dairy products, such as cheese, milk and yogurt
- Dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and kale
- Fish with edible soft bones, such as sardines and canned salmon
- Calcium-fortified foods and beverages, such as soy products, cereal and fruit juices, and milk substitutes
Meat comes from a variety of animals and is classified as either red or white depending on the source.
Types of meat are categorized by their animal source and how they are prepared.
This comes from mammals and contains more of the iron-rich protein myoglobin in its tissue than white meat. Examples include:
- beef (cattle)
- pork (pigs and hogs)
- veal (calves)
- game, such as bison, elk, and venison (deer)
This is generally lighter in color than red meat and comes from birds and small game. Examples include:
- wild birds, such as quail and pheasant
Processed meat has been modified through salting, curing, smoking, drying, or other processes to preserve it or enhance flavor. Examples include:
- hot dogs
- luncheon meats, such as bologna, salami, and pastrami
Lean meat is considered an excellent protein source.
Animal protein is a complete protein, meaning it provides all nine essential amino acids.
Healthy eating is all about balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods, even if they are high in calories, fat or added sugars. The key is eating them only once in a while and balancing them with healthier foods and more physical activity.
Some general tips for comfort foods:
- Eat them less often. If you normally eat these foods every day, cut back to once a week or once a month.
- Eat smaller amounts. If your favorite higher-calorie food is a chocolate bar, have a smaller size or only half a bar.
- Try a lower-calorie version. Use lower-calorie ingredients or prepare food differently. For example, if your macaroni and cheese recipe includes whole milk, butter, and full-fat cheese, try remaking it with non-fat milk, less butter, low-fat cheese, fresh spinach and tomatoes. Just remember to not increase your portion size.