What is a healthy diet?
A healthy diet is a type of diet that provides you with the nutrients that you need to feel at your best, healthy, full of energy and positive. It is an optimal diet for you! Healthy food choices, such as eating fruits and vegetables, have both physical and mental health benefits.
In this blog post, I will introduce my general healthy nutrition recommendations.
Eating a fast and ‘ready to eat’ prepacked meal may seem like an easy choice over a healthy whole-food based meal that usually needs more preparation. It might even feel tastier at first. But in the long run, this has a significant effect on your life. Your diet and lifestyle will help you feel more healthy and prevent health risks associated with certain foods. Eating a healthy diet is an easy and yet meaningful lifestyle change.
Healthy diet guidelines
- Choose real food, not processed food. If you buy prepackaged meals, have a look at the ingredient list on the label and decide if it is the right choice for you accordingly.
- Fresh produce – fruits, vegetables are essential, and they need to be part of every meal. For example, if we divide the plate – I recommend that half of it will be veggies. High-quality foods also include healthy fatty acids and healthy sources of protein.
- You should not feel hungry; the number of meals to eat a day depends on the type of your diet. My general recommendation is to eat between 3 main meals a day, up to 6 meals a day (includes healthy snacks).
- Some foods combinations are more beneficial to our diet. If you eat plant-based proteins (for example, legumes) with carbohydrates, this combination creates a full range of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), like animal-based proteins.
I suggest having more meals with a plant-based protein source. For example, a combination of rice with beans or bread with hummus will increase the biological value of the proteins. This effect can happen even if the beans and rice not eaten in the same meal, but it is more filling and satisfying to eat them together.
- Cooking methods – choose the healthier way to cook different dishes, such as steam, boil, to sauté, to eat raw. Also, consider the cookware you are using. Choose a non-toxic one.
- Glycemic Index– indicates the rise of your blood sugar level after eating different types of carbohydrate foods. The longer it takes to digest the food, it will cause less spike in the blood sugar level. Consider the types of carbohydrates that you eat according to the glycemic index chart.
The glycemic index is another example of the reason to eat foods in combinations. The glycemic index can be changed not only by the type of foods we eat but also by combining the food. Adding tomato sauce to ‘al dente’ cooked Pasta will result in a lower glycemic index for the whole meal.
- When choosing free-range, sustainable and organic, we provide the food with more nutrients and important to the well-being of the animals, the planet and us.
- Cooking your food, choosing the ingredients and the right combinations will support your healthy lifestyle goals.
- When you choose a type of diet, remember not compromising any macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats) or micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
Do not ban fast food, but start by introducing healthier options in your diet slowly. Then with time and with the changes that occur, you will feel the influence of a healthier diet starting to take place.
In my next post, I will introduce you to different types of diets. I eat according to the whole foods Mediterranean diet.
Pazit Azoulay Naturopath ND MNNA, CNHC, GNC
Paz By Nature Clinic