There are so many diet plans and weight loss programs out there, each claiming to be more effective than the other, that it can be confusing in the extreme. So what is a healthy diet plan; and what should be eaten and not eaten to be in the best health we possibly can? We look at some of the important elements that constitute a healthy diet plan.
1. Balanced diet
Have balance in your diet. This is the key to getting all the possible nutrients from your food which the body needs to function optimally. Any diet that says to cut out entire food groups has to be flawed.
2. Less of processed food
Minimize refined and processed food in your diet. While they may be convenient and many claim to be ‘healthy’ refining and processing food to make it last longer usually robs it of nutritional value and adds harmful additives.
3. Lots of veggies
Include lots of fruits and veggies. You probably know the value of eating fruits and veggies but it bears repeating. The proportion of fruits and vegetables should be high. Ideally you should source seasonal produce locally and eat it fresh.
4. Drink healthy
Many of us don’t realize how much refined sugar, i.e. empty calories we consume by way of tea, coffee, sodas, packaged juices and so on. See how much of this you can replace with plain water.
5. Eat colorful food
There is a lot of evidence to show that some of the brighter colored food is also some of the most nutrient laden. Eat plenty of dark green veggies such as spinach and broccoli, and vivid colored fruit such as grapes, berries and so on; these foods are packed with goodness. Consider for instance the fact that the brightly colored tomato is a terrific source of lycopene.
6. Cut down on red meat
Yes you have probably heard this as well, but let’s clarify that all meat is not bad. Eat more of chicken, turkey and fish and make sure you take off the skin. Restrict red meat to a couple of times a week only and have only lean cuts.
7. Control portions
Large meals means that the body probably stores more away as fat. Occasionally, you can indulge in the so called unhealthy foods; just make sure that they are in small quantities.
8. Smaller meals
Have smaller and more frequent meals. This way you make sure that you’re never feeling too hungry to binge, and your body is getting a sustained release of energy through the day.
9. Eat healthy fats
Cut out on trans fats completely and switch to cooking mediums such as olive oil, canola and so on.
10. Limit salt intake
Apart from all the other reasons to do so, too much salt can actually leach the calcium from your bones.