By Lisa Henard
A healthy diet is a diet that helps maintain or improve your overall health. It provides the body with the necessary nutrients it needs, including amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, calories and fluids. In order to receive the necessary nutrients, you must eat a well-balanced diet consisting of the five main food groups, which include proteins, dairy products, fats, sugars, whole grains and fruits and vegetables.
What is the Food Pyramid?
According the Everyday health, the USDA developed a food pyramid to help remember how many servings your body needs from each food group. Today’s Food Pyramid has changed since its original inception in 1974 in Sweden. The USDA developed their own version in 1992. Since then it has been updated twice- once in 2005 and then in 2011 the food pyramid was replaced by MyPlate in 2011.
Whether you use the Food Pyramid or the updated MyPlate, you should eat at least six servings of grains daily with at least 3 of those grains being whole grains; five servings of vegetables, for a total of 2 1/2 cups of veggies, four 1/2 cup servings of fruits, 3 cups of dairy daily (choose either low-fat or fat-free dairy products), 2 or 3 servings of lean protein equaling 5.5 ounces, 6 teaspoons of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats and between 100 and 300 calories of food with fats or sugars, such as a dessert.
How You Eat Is as Important as What You Eat
Medical News Today reports that when you eat is as important as what you eat. A study at Tel Aviv University in Israel, determined that eating a large breakfast consisting of about 600 calories can help you lose weight and lower your risk of developing several preventable diseases, including high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes. Eating early in the day helps to boost metabolism. The next most important meal of the day is lunch. This meal should consist of approximately 300 calories. Dinner should consist of approximately 500 calories. This will allow one snack of 100 calories daily.
Water the Fluid of Life
Don’t drink your calories! Instead of choosing drinks high in calories, choose water. In general, you should aim to consume between a 1/2 ounce and 1 ounce of water for every pound you weigh. This means if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink 80 to 160 ounces of water each day. The way to determine a more accurate amount of water is to consider your lifestyle. If you have an active lifestyle, you will need to drink the larger amount of water. If you are less active, you will need to drink the smaller amount of water.
Activity Levels Matter
The last thing to consider when trying to become healthy is your activity level. You should aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. If you have trouble taking out 30 minutes for exercise, try breaking it down into 3, 10-minute bursts of exercise. This will help ensure you get up and get moving to help protect your health.
A healthy diet must contain items from the Food Pyramid, including fats, sugars, proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. This will ensure that you are receiving adequate vitamins, minerals, amino acids, calories and fatty acids. In addition to eating a sensible diet, you must receive adequate fluids and maintain an active lifestyle to stay healthy.
You also want to make sure you are getting a full ration of nutrients, vitamins and supplements maintaining a balanced diet, exercise, nutrition, and taking necessary vitamins will ensure you remain healthy, in shape, and active.
– Lisa is a freelance writer that loves to live life to its fullest. After years of caring for the elderly and working in a local hospital, Lisa put her knowledge to work as a freelance health writer specializing in vitamins and supplements. Even in the most difficult times, Lisa is filled with joy and peace. Those who know her often say that Lisa’s joyful and bubbly personality is addictive.