What is Healthy Food?
According to me, healthy food isn’t just fruits and vegetables, which is typically what we all think. Healthy food is anything you eat so long as its in moderation and as long as it supports a balanced diet. A healthy balanced diet is about variety in moderation, low fat, a lot of fruit and vegetables, along with starchy foods such as whole meal bread and wholegrain cereals. Foods rich in protein, for example, lean meat, fish, eggs and lentils and various dairy foods should also be part of your food choice. It is important to choose a variety of nutrient-rich foods as the foundation of what we eat.
Nutrients such as vitamins, A, C and E, zinc, calcium, complex carbohydrates, potassium, iron, fiber, B-vitamins and protein are needed at all ages to promote healthy growth, fuel activity and prevent chronic diseases. In today’s society, people particularly watch their calories to reduce their wastelines and therefore it is critical to select foods with more of the essential nutrients, but with fewer calories. Ideal choices of low calorie, nutrient rich foods include: low fat and fat free dairy foods, whole grains, colourful fruits and vegetables, milk with lunches or dinners as opposed to sugar-sweetened drinks, lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans and nuts. You don’t have to entirely give up your favourite foods to eat a healthy diet, the secret is that if your main choices are nutrient-rich, you can fill in the rest of your diet with less nutrient-rich foods as calorie and exercise levels permit.
If your diet lacks any nutrients or provides too much of a certain foods, your body will not function at an optimum level. At the same time you will most likely be creating future full of problems. For example strong evidence suggests that eating too much animal fat can lead to cardiovascular disease. To maintain a healthy weight, the energy you take in from foods needs to be balanced during the course of your day. Because our lifestyles today are hectic and busy because of the type of work which we do, the majority of us do not get as much exercise as we need. Excess food intake is therefore stored in the body as fat, leading to weight gain and possibly even obesity. This can lead to medical conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and joint problems.
The foods we eat contain two main categories of nutrients, macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are needed in large quantities every day and form the foundation of a diet (proteins, carbohydrates and fat). Vitamins and minerals are found in small amounts in foods and make up the micronutrients and these play a crucial role in maintaining the body functions and processes. Most foods contain both macro and micro nutrients, the key to achieving a healthy, well balanced diet is to eat a wide variety of different foods.