You know that eating healthier foods is necessary for longevity, but knowing what to eat can sometimes be difficult, particularly if you’ve formed bad eating habits over a lifetime.
These few easy tips help you remember which foods to eat in order to have a healthier eating lifestyle.
1. There are six basic food groups that you should select your daily menu items from. The food groups are: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and other dairy products, protein, and lastly the group containing oils. A well-balanced diet will provide your body with all of the nutrients it needs to maintain health.
2. The food items in the whole grains group include whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain barley and millet. You should do your best to avoid eating refined grains which many breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals are made of.
3. The food items contained in the group known as vegetables include a variety of colorful vegetables. Remember that the deeper the color of the vegetable, the greater the concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are contained in the food item. Dark greens, orange vegetables, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, butternut squash and sweet potatoes are good examples of these darker colored vegetables.
4. The fruit group contains foods that are more enjoyable to eat and we do so in many different ways such as eating them fresh from the garden, canned, frozen, dried, whole, cut-up or pureed. We can even make fruit juices from fresh fruits. Fruits can dress up a salad or become a tasty after school or mid-afternoon work break snack.
5. To stay healthy choose low-fat dairy products. Nowadays you need to be sure that your dairy products do not contain rBST (bovine growth hormone) by choosing organic dairy products. Individuals, who are lactose-intolerant, can choose lactose-free and lower-lactose dairy products, such as the harder cheeses, and yogurt so that they can get the calcium they need in their diet.
6. Protein is a very important ingredient in any healthy diet and to get enough protein from a variety of sources choose from fish, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, nuts and seeds. Try to minimize your selection of red meats that contain higher levels of saturated fats.
7. The oil group provides an excellent and necessary source of healthy fatty acids in your diet and should not be avoided. High quality fats from olive oil, avocado, raw nuts and seeds, coconut and fish are all important parts of a healthy diet.
8. A healthy diet needs to contain vitamins, which are organic compounds that our bodies need for normal growth, and to maintain good health. Certain vitamins are not good to take in too large of quantity, for instance, fat-soluble vitamins like A and D tends to accumulate in our bodies and become toxic when we ingest large amounts of them. Water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C are flushed through the body on a daily basis, so there is no concern for these vitamins. Mineral is inorganic substances and is also necessary to include in our daily diets in order for our bodies to function properly.
Children, pregnant women and boomers especially benefit from a well-balanced diet that provides for all of the needed vitamins, minerals and oils that the body needs.
9. Water is another very important ingredient to healthy eating. Water is essential to the proper function of our bodies. The typical individual should drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water each day. Individuals who are overweight, pregnant, breastfeeding, or very active should drink more than eight 8-oz glasses of water each day.