Beginners guide to healthy eating

Beginners guide to healthy eating

You are what you eat – we’ve all heard this but don’t know what it means or why at all we should believe it to be true. Here, we’re going to tell you the real reason why food defines the quality of life.

Eating is fairly simple but when people add words like diet, it brings in lots of confusion. These trends tend to distract us from basic principles of nutrition and we don’t know what to follow or why. Let us start with simple answers to solve all your queries.

Why should you eat healthily?

You might have heard or seen people have diseases due to a bad diet. Do you know why this happens? Healthy eating can reduce your chances of having heart problems or deadly diseases like cancer. Similarly, a bad diet can trigger them and affect our physical performance. What we consume affects each and every organ. Read ahead to understand these better!

How can you define calories and energy?

The total calorie intake of our body leaves an impact on our health and weight. If you add more calories compared to what you burn, you will add fat instead of better muscle mass. If you consume fewer calories or equally compare it to what you burn, then you can lose weight. When you want to lose weight, you need to clear a calorie deficit. When you’re trying to gain, you need to increase muscle mass you have to eat more than what your burn.

What are Macronutrients?

Our body produces three macronutrients – fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. We need all three but need to keep a check on the calories they include. Carbs are like potatoes, bread, and you need 4 calories of it per gram. Protein types are fish, eggs, legumes, and you need 4 calories per gram too. For fat, you need 9 calories per gram from sources like oils, nuts, cheese, and fatty meat. How much of these you are to consume will depend on your fitness goals and then prescribed by your dietician.

What are Micronutrients?

Micronutrients are essential vitamins and minerals that you need but in small doses. The most essential ones include magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, all vitamins, and more. Magnesium works for over 600 cellular processes and give us energy and maintain good nerve health. While potassium controls blood pressure, maintain fluid balance, and makes our muscles function better.

Iron is known to carry blood but triggers brain function. Calcium is essential for strong teeth, bone, and keeps our heart health well. Vitamins like A and K are essential for every organ and cells in our body.

Vitamins are plenty and they act in many ways to promote good health. The daily requirement of every vitamin varies between individuals and the kind of your food you consume. This means if you’re a vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or if you take supplements or not are all taken into account.

Why is whole food essential?

You need to consume whole food for at least 80% of the time because whole means natural and unprocessed. If most food you eat seems like they were made in a factory, they’re processed and unnatural food. The whole food tends to have lots of nutrients and low energy density. They also have few calories and more of nutrients per serving than the processed ones. Processed food has low nutritional value and is known as empty calories. Consuming them in large quantities can make you obese and unhealthy.

What should you eat?

It is smart to base your diet on the following food groups:

     1. Vegetables

These must be the fundamental additions to your diet. They are low on calories and great in fiber and micronutrients.

     2. Fruits

The natural sweet treat is way better than the sugary things you have. Fruits have lots of antioxidants and micronutrients that improve health.

     3. Meat and fish

These are great sources of protein and are staples when you’re a non-vegetarian. Chicken, fish, and eggs are the best kind of protein that you can add to your body.

     4. Nuts and seeds

Nuts are great source good fat and as essential micronutrients to add to your diet.

     5. Dairy

Food like milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, are low-cost options of protein and has lots of calcium in it. Vegetarians can have these while vegans can turn to soy milk and tofu.

     6. Healthy starch

If you’re looking to lose weight, you can add starchy food to your diet. These include potatoes, quinoa, rice, and are healthy too.

     7. Legumes and beans

These are amazing sources of fiber, micronutrients, and protein. Add beans and legumes to your diet at least thrice a week.

     8. Beverage

Green tea is the perfect beverage for you if you’re looking for good alternatives to coffee or regular tea.

Food to avoid as much as possible

If you can avoid what not to eat, you’re already on the right track. This doesn’t make your diet as hard as it might seem. Check out some food options that you should chuck out!

     1. Sugary things

Sugar and spice is not everything nice! They are triggers of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

     2. Trans fat

These are partially hydrogenated fats that you must avoid to prevent serious health issues.

     3. Refined Carbs

Food like white bread and fried kinds must be avoided to prevent weight gain and metabolic disease.

     4. Vegetable oil

Many people think that vegetable oil is healthy but they actually disrupt the level of balance of omega in your body.

     5. Processed products

Even if these claim to be low-fat they are harming your body. These contain sugar even if they say they don’t gradually cause immense damage.

Final thoughts

When you want to turn towards healthier food options you must consult a dietician. Only they are able to detect the condition on your health status and give you the right kind of food you need. They will tell you what to eat, what not to eat, and how much to eat. How much to eat is also an essential aspect that controls your portion and makes sure you consume what you need.

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