Are you following a healthy diet plan? A healthy diet can help you prevent many chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and cancer. A healthful diet consists of eating nutritional foods in the right amount from all the major food groups. This diet plan keeps you physically and mentally healthy. Learn how to introduce a healthy diet plan in your life.
What does a healthful diet look like?
A healthy diet can be different for adults and young children.
For teenagers & adults, a healthy diet includes:
- Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains are must-haves in every meal.
- At least 400g (about 14.11 oz) of fruit and vegetables per day. However, you need to avoid potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, and other starchy roots.
- Free sugar provides less than 10% of energy, which is equivalent to 50g for a person with an average body weight who consumes about 2000 calories per day, but these sugars are not healthy and can lead to weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Free sugars are all sugars that are added to foods and drinks by manufacturers, cooks, or consumers as natural sugar that is present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices.
- In terms of fats, saturated fats (such as butter, cream, cheese, ghee, and fatty meat) and trans fats (such as fried goods, pre-packaged snacks, and foods, such as frozen pizza, pies, cookies, and wafers) are considered unhealthy over unsaturated fats (such as fish, sunflower, avocado, nuts, canola, and olive oils) which is healthier. It is found that fats provide 30% of total energy, but if you have saturated and trans fats over unsaturated fats then it reduces to less than 10% of total energy intake. So, focus on eating unsaturated fats in your diet.
- You should consume 5g of salt (equivalent to one teaspoon) per day and salt should be iodized.
For infants & young children, a healthy diet includes:
It is essential for babies that in their first 2 years they have optimal nutrition, and a healthy diet to foster their growth and improve cognitive development. It prevents them from developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) later on in life and reduces the risk of becoming overweight and obese. Besides certain factors, a healthy diet for infants and children is the same as the adults. Certain factors include:
- Infants should be breastfed for the first 6 months of life. No food should be given to them.
- Infants should be breastfed until 2 years of age and beyond that should be fed some foods to eat in puree form.
- After 6 months of age, along with breast milk add some safe and nutrient-dense foods. Salt and sugars should be avoided in these complementary foods.
If you need help finding the best diet, we can help you. Need any help regulating your diet to keep your nutrients in check? Want to learn more about macronutrients, micronutrients, and vitamins, and their role in nutrition? Consult a professional dietician; call us on +1-347-384-5690 to get a consultation, or walk-in for an appointment at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11212. Doral Health & Wellness is easily accessible by bus, taxi, or subway.