It has been said that variety is the spice of life, and that is certainly true when trying to eat a healthy diet. No one likes to eat the same thing day after day, and boredom is the enemy of a healthy diet.
Fortunately for those trying to follow a healthy diet, there is plenty of variety to be had in healthy foods. In addition to the hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables available at the average grocery store, there is a wide variety of beans, lentils, nuts, meat, dairy products, fish and poultry. There is no need for boredom to set in when pursuing a healthier lifestyle.’The key to enjoying a variety of foods while eating healthy is to plan meals carefully and be sure to use the many varieties of foods that are available. Using a combination of fresh fruit, vegetables, meats and whole grains, it is possible to create a fresh, exciting and healthful meal every day of the week.Nutritionists often stress the importance of a varied diet, both for nutritional and psychological reasons. A varied diet is essential for good health, since different types of foods contain different types of nutrients. And following a varied diet is important to your psychological well being as well, since feeling deprived of your favorite foods can lead you to give up your healthy lifestyle.
You obviously need calories for energy. It is vital to obtain the necessary amount of calories every day to maintain your optimum health. Individuals who do not take in the proper amount of calories because of ill health, physical disability, dieting or problems with absorption, usually begin to loose weight, lack concentration and as time passes they begin to loose the function of organs such as the reproductive system and eventually major functions of the heart and lungs.A diet too high in calories will also put your health at risk. More common than under nutrition in developed countries like the United States, obesity puts a strain on the organs and increases the risk for health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Knowing what a typical serving size of food is can help you determine if you (or a family member) are taking in the appropriate amount of calories. It is important for parents to teach children moderate eating habits to ensure good eating for life. I cannot stress this point enough!- How nutritious is your food?Aside from merely watching caloric intake it is important that your diet has strong nutritional value as well. You could eat an entire box of doughnuts to meet your calorie needs without having met your daily requirements for vitamins, protein, calcium and other minerals.
In addition, many grains and cereals are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals. While this vitamin fortification is important, it should be seen as a bonus, not as a substitute for a proper diet. Many foods are supplemented with important nutrients such as calcium (essential for strong bones and teeth) and folic acid (important in preventing birth defects).Substituting healthier foods for less healthy ones is a cornerstone of a healthy diet. For instance, substituting lean cuts of meat for fattier ones, and substituting skinless chicken or turkey breast for less healthy drumsticks, is a great way to maximize nutrition without sacrificing good taste.No matter what your reason for following a healthy diet, or what your ultimate fitness goals may be, you will find that a good understanding of nutrition will form the basis of your healthy diet. Understanding how the various food groups work together to form a healthy diet will go a long way toward helping you meet your ultimate fitness goals. Whether your goal is to run a marathon, lose ten pounds or just feel better, knowledge is power, and nutritional knowledge will power your diet for the rest of your life.