Healthy Diet Reviews
The concept that eating the right foods and paying attention to your diet will help make you healthier and live a better quality of life is not a new concept. Whether you consider yourself healthy already or have some issues that you wish to resolve, physicians agree that one of the best places to start is with a healthy diet.
However, in Western society, the concept of how to eat a healthy diet seems to have been lost. With skyrocketing obesity rates and obesity growing among younger persons and children, getting the word out about how to eat a healthy diet is one of the most important tasks that we face.
What is a Healthy Diet?
A healthy diet means eating the right foods that include all of the macronutrients, micronutrients, calories, and fluid intake that one needs to sustain health, according to the World Health Organization (pdf). There are various ways to achieve this and many different diet plans that provide the nutrition needed for optimum health. A variety of plant-based and animal-based foods can be used to maintain a healthy diet.
There are two different components to eating a healthy diet. The first is consuming the right foods to provide your body with the nutrients that it needs to sustain optimal health. The second is avoiding unhealthy foods. Many processed foods have been linked to the development of serious health conditions, says research in Nutrients. Having a healthy diet means eating the right foods and avoiding those that are bad for you.
A healthy diet has many benefits. Among them are more energy, improved health, and it can help stabilize your mood. If you eat a healthy diet for heart strength and improvement, it can help you to live longer, especially if you’re overweight or obese, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. A healthy diet can help you achieve weight loss goals as well. The key to weight loss starts with your diet.
Having a healthy diet helps you to feel better, look better, and have more energy. It can also help you avoid or delay many of the effects of the aging process. It helps you look and feel younger for a longer time. Many ways eating right can improve your quality of life for the long-term.
Popular Healthy Diet Articles
What are Macronutrients?
A good healthy diet begins with making certain that you are getting enough macronutrients. Macronutrients refer to chemical substances that the human body needs in large amounts for survival. They are divided into three main categories: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Sometimes people will call them “macros.”
Without healthy diet foods containing macronutrients, we would not be able to survive. They are the most important in sustaining health and life. It is important to get the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in your diet.
Although there are some general recommendations about how much of each category macronutrients a person needs, certain factors can cause the need to deviate. These factors include lifestyle, gender, health status, health goals, and age. Regarding lifestyle, it depends on whether you are active, very active, or lead a sedentary lifestyle. Many people who work in modern offices have a more sedentary lifestyle, compared to the lifestyle they want to live. Now let us discuss a little more about the major macronutrient categories.
Protein is one of the most important fuel supplies for your body. It supports energy, mood, cognitive function, and many other basic bodily functions, such as keeping your heart rate going. Clinical research suggests the macronutrient works to promote weight loss and weight maintenance, according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Proteins are the basic building blocks of the body, and as we age, we often need more high-quality sources of proteins. However, this does not necessarily mean that you should eat more meat, high-quality plant-based sources are recommended.
Without quality protein, our tissues and cells cannot repair themselves. The proteins that we eat are broken down into 20 different amino acids which supply the foundation of the ability to grow and have energy. Proteins are important for your heart health, healthy hair, nails, skin, building muscle, supporting your immune function, and the ability to recover after injury or exercise.
Animal sources provide all of the amino acids your body needs. You can also get plenty of proteins from sources such as beans, vegetables, grains, and nuts. However, some plant-based sources do not have all of the amino acids needed. It is possible to get all of the amino acids that you need from an entirely plant-based diet, but you need to understand which proteins are missing and find a way to supply them using non-animal-based means.
Fat has received a bad rap in popular media sources but is important to know that your body needs a certain amount of fat to function properly, says Nutrition Journal. Not all fat is bad, and you must understand how to choose between good fats and bad fats. Good fats are important for protecting your brain, heart, and are essential for maintaining both physical and emotional health.
The bad fats that you have heard about include artificial trans-fats and saturated fats. These are fats that have been processed in such a way that they are implicated in weight gain and other health issues.
Unsaturated fats are the good guys. Fats such as omega-3s have the opposite effect on the body than bad fats. omega-3s and other good fats are the ones that your body needs to function properly. While too many bad fats will raise your LDL cholesterol level and set you up for developing chronic diseases, eating plenty of good fats helps lower your cholesterol and have a positive impact on your health, especially heart health says the American Heart Association.
One of the most difficult concepts that have appeared in the media recently is that all fats are treated as bad fats. However, treating all fat as bad fat means that you are missing out on some of the essential building blocks that your body needs. It is more important to focus on consuming more good fats and limiting bad fats as much as possible rather than limiting all fats in the diet.
There are two types of good fats. They are called monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated that. Some good sources of monounsaturated fat include:
- Oils such as sesame, peanut, canola, and olive
- Nuts of all kinds, especially Macadamia, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, and almonds
- Peanut butter and almond butter
- Good sources of polyunsaturated fat include:
- Sunflower Seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
- Soybean and safflower oil
- Soy milk
- Fish oil
Fatty fish including tuna, salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, and herring. It might be noted that some small amounts of trans fat occur naturally in meat and dairy products, but these are not considered dangerous. It is the ones that are artificially manufactured that are offenders. Trans fats are connected with high cholesterol. There is no safe amount of trans fat, so most dietitians recommend eliminating it from your diet. Processed foods are the main source of bad trans-fat.
Fiber is not one of the big three macronutrients that are usually listed, but it is still essential to maintaining health and on-going research continues to unveil new benefits of fiber, according to Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. Foods that are high in dietary fiber include fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and grains.
There are two types of fiber. The first is insoluble fiber. As the name suggests, this is fiber that does not dissolve in water. It adds bulk and helps keep your bowels working properly. Foods that are high in fiber include:
- Whole grains
- Wheat cereals
Of course, soluble fiber is that which dissolves in water. Some important sources of soluble fiber include:
- Citrus fruits
It may be noticed that the most important sources of both insoluble and insoluble fiber foods that are not processed. The more natural and unprocessed the food source, the higher it will be in fiber. However, there is no fiber in dairy, meat, or sugar. Don’t let refined white foods such as white rice, pastries, or bread fool you into believing that they are a fiber source because most of it was removed in the processing.
Many popular diet plans give carbohydrates, or carbs, a bad name. Just as with fats, you do need some of them, and it is a matter of eating the right carbs. When we are stressed, we often crave carbs such as processed cakes, pastries, cookies, bread, and ice cream. These carbohydrates cause rapid spikes in blood sugar and can have a negative effect on her mood and energy levels. They also add to weight gain significantly. Many processed carbs are a sure way to sabotage any diet plan.
Consuming more healthy carbs such as whole grains, vegetables, and naturally sweet fruits result in more stable blood sugar levels, less fat accumulation around the middle, and give more energy. Many have the misconception that eating fruit is as bad as eating processed carbs, but this is not the case because your body digests it much slower and it does not cause a sudden blood sugar spike. It also maintains your energy for a longer period, rather than causing a crash that occurs after eating processed carbs.
Some of the most important bad carbs and foods to avoid are:
- Regular pasta
- White potatoes
- White bread
- Sugar-drenched breakfast cereal
- Instant oatmeal
- Corn chips or potato chips
- Candies, cakes, and other sweets
After the list of things, you should avoid, if you are as to the typical Western diet, you are probably wondering what you can eat. To get more healthy carbs into your diet, you should switch to some of these healthier choices:
- Brown or wild rice
- Cauliflower substitutes for rice, mashed potatoes, and bread
- Whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash
- Healthy low sugar cereal
- Steel-cut or rolled oats that you cook yourself
- Low sugar bran flakes
- Leafy greens
- Healthy snacks such as raw vegetables or nuts
This brings us to a note about sugar. Our body needs some sugar to survive. Natural sources of sugar are fructose contained in fruit or lactose contained in milk. However, raw sugar in the form of glucose or other artificial sweeteners adds absolutely nothing to the nutritional value of processed foods. It just adds a lot of calories that can sabotage your diet plans or increase your risk for serious health problems. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your calories from sugar to about 100 calories per day or less.
Calcium is also another one of those nutrients not listed in the big three, but it is something that many people experience problems with because they do not get enough of it. It is important to include calcium-rich foods in your diet and eliminate those that deplete your calcium stores.
It is not just enough to get plenty of calcium in your diet because calcium does not work alone. Your body cannot use the calcium that your intake unless you also get enough vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium. The amount of calcium that you need depends on your age, gender, and general health status.
If you do not get enough calcium and nutrients that your body needs for processing, your body will begin taking it from the reserves in your bone. The best source of calcium is from your food, rather than using calcium supplements.
The recommended daily doses of calcium range between 200 mg per day for newborns and up to 1,200 mg today for those 51 to 70 years old. Teenagers need the highest amount of calcium at roughly 1,300 mg per day.
Some excellent sources of calcium include:
- Plain, low-fat yogurt
- Part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Cream cheese
- Most other cheeses
- Calcium-fortified soy milk
- Turnip greens
- Bok choy
There are many other sources of calcium in the diet. As you can see, switching from a processed food diet to one that contains more natural foods will help you to get enough calcium and the other vitamins that it needs to work.
Portion Control and a Healthy Diet
A good healthy diet not only includes high nutrient foods and the avoidance of foods that are toxic to the body. It also means limiting the number of foods that you eat to portions that are reasonable. If you want to know how to lose weight, portion control is something that you need to learn. However, this can be more difficult than it seems. The Western society idea of how much food you should eat at a meal is much more than you need to maintain a healthy body and maintain or lose weight.
The question everybody wants to know is how much food much food for a meal is too. It can be difficult to visualize how much you should be eating. The principal should be easy, simply cut down on the amount that you eat, but it is not as easy as it seems. The first place to start is your place. The average 8 to 10-inch plate holds entirely too much food for one sitting. We tend to have a concept that the plate should always be full. Switching to a smaller plate and filling it up can help you to achieve better portion control.
Another suggestion is to read labels and the information that they include about serving sizes. One container does not equal one serving of food in many cases. For instance, that bag of potato chips may only be 160 calories per serving, but there are 12 servings in a bag. Therefore, binge eating potato chips while watching Netflix can add inches to your waistline very quickly. You need to research and understand the serving sizes of the food you are consuming.
Another trick is to fill up at least 75% of your plate with healthy diet vegetables. Doing this is easy. You visualize your plate is divided into half and then half again. Place vegetables on three of the sections and meat on the other. One place where dieters often get bogged down is in the area of portion control.
There is no need to buy scales or measure every single item that goes on your plate if you follow a few simple rules. There are also portion control plates available for those who feel they need for a little bit of extra help.
Top 5 Healthiest Vegetables
The key to eating a healthy diet is to include plenty of healthy diet foods that add the most nutritional punch for the number of calories in them. For those on a healthy diet, vegetables should be a major component of their daily calorie intake. Vegetables also make great healthy diet snacks without adding a lot of calories.
In addition to consuming high-fiber vegetables, you also need to make certain that you are getting plenty of high water foods and soups that fill you up with lots of phytonutrients and antioxidants. Soups are a great way to get in plenty of different vegetables. Here are the top five vegetables that offer the best nutritional value for the calories.
Kale may be one of the most nutritious leafy greens on the planet. It is full of vitamin C and antioxidants that may help lower cholesterol levels. Kale has approximately 33 calories per cup.
Spinach is packed with carotenoids, which are antioxidants that promote healthy eyes. Spinach has approximately 23 calories per cup. Spinach also contains omega-3 vitamins, as much as 20 mg, which makes it rank with fatty fish regarding nutritional value.
Garlic is an excellent source of manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, selenium, phosphorous, vitamin B1, and calcium. Garlic is considered good for preventing inflammation and supporting a healthy heart. It has also been reported to strengthen the immune system. There are approximately four calories in the average clove of garlic.
Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse. One cup provides 73 percent of the needed vitamin C per day. It also packs a heavy punch of vitamin K, folate, vitamin B12, choline and dietary fiber. One cup of chopped cauliflower has approximately 27 calories.
Top 5 Healthiest Fruits
Fruits are another important factor in the nutritional equation. They offer a range of different nutrients that are different from those founded vegetables. One of the best things about fruits is that they can be used to add sweetness without using additional sugar. If you try choosing the freshest ones, they offer enough sweetness on their own without adding extra sugar.
Fruits should be a major portion of a healthy diet menu. They also provide many opportunities for creating delicious, healthy diet snacks. Fruits are always best consumed whole rather than processed. Here are some of the most nutrient-dense fruits that are good for you.
Blueberries are high in flavonoids that have been linked to better memory and better brain health as you age. Blueberries are rich in manganese, which also helps your metabolism. Blueberries are packed with nutrition that can help keep you energized and help you maintain a healthy weight. Blueberries have 85 calories per cup.
Cherries have a secret weapon called anthocyanin. This can help reduce inflammation and lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. They have also been known to reduce markers of blood vessel inflammation by as much as 50%. Cherries also help you gain less weight. Cherries have about 77 calories per cup.
Citrus Fruits include limes, lemons, tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit among others. Their best weapon is that they contain lots of vitamin C. Consuming plenty of citrus fruits can counteract the effects of sun damage, regulate glands, and prevent age spots among other benefits. They are great for the immune system and maintaining energy. The average orange only has about 47 calories.
Blackberries are some of the top 10 foods for their antioxidant power. They are rich in polyphenols which are the same type of antioxidants that are found in green tea. They’re also one of the top sources of fiber. Blackberries only have 62 calories per cup.
Cantaloupes are the secret to smooth, younger-looking skin. It contains plenty of vitamin A and vitamin A derivatives. This helps cells reproduce and acts as a natural exfoliator. Cantaloupe is an important key to cell health. One cup of diced cantaloupe has about 53 calories.
Top 5 Healthiest Meats
Eating healthy does not necessarily mean that you have to give up eating meat altogether. While it is generally considered important to limit consumption of red meat and pork products, this does not necessarily mean that you have to give them up altogether.
One suggestion is to order whole or grilled fish over steak when you choose to eat out. Fish is high in omega-3s, which is something that other meats cannot provide. Meats can be a part of a healthy diet menu but are important to consider their preparation. Of course, fried foods of any kind pack less nutritional value and higher bad fat content than grilling, broiling, baking, or boiling. Here are some of the healthiest meat choices that pack the highest nutrition for the lowest number of calories.
Salmon tops the list as one of the healthiest meats on the planet. However, it might be noted that wild-caught packs the better nutritional punch. Salmon contains important vitamins and nutrients including plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, as much as 56% of your daily value. It also contains vitamins including B12, D, B3, plenty of protein, B6, iodine, choline, vitamin B5, biotin, and potassium. A 3-ounce salmon steak has about 143 calories.
Sardines are even higher in omega-3s per 3 ounces serving than salmon or tuna. They are also naturally high in vitamin D. Two average sardines have approximately 50 calories.
Tuna is high in omega-3 fatty acid and considered a high-quality protein. It is also a good source of selenium and vitamin D. They are low in fat, low in cholesterol, and sodium. Tuna support good heart health and brain function. Albacore and Bluefin have the highest level of omega-3 fatty acids. It is important to purchase either tuna steaks to be grilled or baked or to purchase canned tuna that is packed in water instead of oil. Three ounces of tuna has approximately 110 calories.
Crab is an excellent source of protein, B12, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and selenium. It has only 82 calories per 3 ounces serving.
The skinless chicken breast will give you your entire needed niacin for the day. Niacin is important for helping you to convert energy from the foods that you eat and is good for digestive tract and nervous system health. Chicken breast is low in saturated fats and carbs. It is also a good source of omega-3. Organic sources are more nutritious than those that are from intensive farming operations. One cup of cubed chicken breast has approximately 231 calories.
Top 5 Healthiest Starches
Generally, starches are divided into whole grains, starchy vegetables, and beans and legumes. Starches are important for gut health. Nearly 70% of your immune system is found in the gut. Starches help keep the microbiome full of healthy bacteria and can make certain that you have plenty of the good bacteria and not many of the bad ones. Starches can help you have more energy, improve your digestion, improve your mood, improve skin health, and boost your immune system.
Here are some of the best starches to include in your healthy diet menu.
Whole Grains such as wheat, barley, and oats provide plenty of nutrients and are packed with fiber. Whole grains are those that include both the bran and the germ. Things such as processed flour and instant oats have only parts of the seed remaining. You are missing part of the nutrients. Legumes can help you feel fuller for a longer period. One slice of regular whole-grain bread is approximately 100 calories.
Legumes include beans, lentils, split peas, lima beans, and garbanzo beans. They are rich in fiber, protein, iron, B vitamins, and many other important nutrients. Many people use them as healthy alternatives to fat-filled meats and dairy products. They can also be used in soups instead of rice or noodles. One cup of pinto beans uncooked is approximately 670 calories.
Potatoes themselves are not evil. In fact, sweet potatoes are one of the highest nutrient foods and starches you can eat. It is what people do to potatoes that makes them a bad food choice. Potatoes how are high in vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes which means that they help control blood sugar levels. They also have the antioxidant beta-carotene. Potatoes with the skin on have more nutrients than those that are peeled. The average potato, white variety, has about 163 calories for a medium potato.
Winter squash is a high nutrient squash; containing beta-carotene, which can help your body tissues to regrow and repair themselves. Butternut, acorn, and any variety of winter squash provide beta-cryptoxanthin, which can help inflammation. They are also high in fiber. One cup of winter squash has approximately 40 calories.
Parsnips are a starchy root vegetable that is often overlooked in modern cuisine. However, they are extremely versatile and can be used as a potato replacement in many circumstances. Parsnips have an impressive list of minerals and vitamins. They are high in calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, magnesium, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. They are also a good source of protein. They also contain several major antioxidants. One cup of parsnips has approximately 100 calories.
Top 5 Healthiest Fats
Fats should make up the smallest portion of your food consumption. It is important that you eat unsaturated fats as much as possible. Saturated fats should be consumed in only very tiny portions and infrequently or eliminated. It is recommended that you get most of your fats by incorporating fatty foods such as plenty of nuts, fatty fish, avocados, and healthy vegetable oils in small quantities. When it comes to cooking, here are some of the healthiest fats you can choose.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is considered a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Because it has a low smoke point, you will be encouraged to cook your foods at lower temperatures and avoid the formation of carbon. Olive oil contains omega-6, omega-3, vitamin E, and vitamin K. It is also high in antioxidants. One tablespoon of olive oil has 119 calories.
Flaxseed Oil is a high dietary source of alpha-linolenic acid, one of the most important omega-3 fatty acids. Because your body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids on your own, you need to get them from your diet. It is not recommended that you heat flaxseed oil, so it is best to use it in dishes that will be served cold. There are approximately 120 calories per tablespoon.
Avocado Oil avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, and so is the oil produced from them. Avocado oil is rich in Oleic acid, also known as the monounsaturated fat omega-9. Avocado is also high in omega-6 and omega-3. It is also high in lutein, which has benefits for the eyes. Avocado oil has 124 calories per tablespoon.
Walnut Oil provides many of the same benefits as walnuts themselves minus the fiber. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to improve learning and memory. They are also a good source of antioxidants. They are a good source of selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin E, niacin, and vitamins B1, B2, and B3. Walnut oil can help protect from damage from free radicals. Walnut oil contains approximately 120 calories per tablespoon.
Grapeseed Oil is low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fat. It is also a good source of antioxidants including polyestrous and vitamin E. Grapeseed oil has approximately 119 calories per tablespoon.
Eat the Rainbow for a Healthy Diet
One way to eat a healthy diet is to make certain that you include foods from all of the different colors in the Rainbow every day. If you can’t get them all in one day, at least try to get them all in in the same week. This makes grocery shopping easy because you can choose foods of every color you see. This will be a good way to make sure that you get as many nutrients as possible. The colors on the boxes don’t count; this has to be whole foods. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can also help to avoid toxic substances, such as pesticides and artificial sweeteners. It is important to try to use as many organic sources as possible.
Red foods include many fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, radishes, cherries, strawberries, and red apples.
Orange foods include oranges, orange bell peppers, squash, and potatoes that have an orange inside.
Yellow includes lemons, bananas, yellow bell peppers, yellow tomatoes, and pears.
Green foods include leafy greens, green grapes, green apples, and green onions.
Blue includes blueberries and blackberries.
Purple includes purple grapes, plums, red cabbage, and beets.
Whites, Brown, Tans
Whites, Brown, Tans when it comes to whites, it is generally best to avoid those that have been heavily processed. However, whites such as mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, and potatoes can be part of a healthy diet.
Can the Processed Foods
One of the best tips on how to lose weight is to avoid processed foods and try to eat healthy snacks. The more steps of processing the food have gone through, the worse it is for your waistline and your overall health.
Processed fruit juices are one of the tricky foods because many people think they are healthy because they are juice. However, most of them have added sugars and lack the fiber that you need to maintain proper health.
Alcohol is another drink that you should avoid. Alcohol is high in calories and provides no nutritional value, or if it does, it is very little. You should also avoid refined grains and added sugars that add calories without adding nutritional value. The best way to find out what is in food is by reading labels. You should avoid foods that include words such as enriched, white, or refined.
One of the biggest traps that people fall into is that they think foods labeled as diet foods are healthy. However, these are some of the most highly processed foods on the market, and they contain preservatives. Some of the ingredients in them can work against your body and upset your hormonal imbalance. This can slow your metabolism and cause you to burn fewer calories than you normally would.
The best foods for you are those that come with minimal packaging because they do not need it. Shopping the outside of the grocery store and avoiding the center aisles is the best way to choose healthy foods and make certain that you are getting the nutrition that you need. Shopping at farmers markets and enjoying the extra flavor and benefits of locally grown food is another tip for avoiding processed foods and eating a healthy diet.
Healthy Foods Vs. Healthy Supplements
Many people make the mistake of thinking they can replace healthy whole foods and eating lots of fruits and vegetables with the many products on the market including weight loss supplements, weight loss tea, weight loss foods, and weight loss shakes.
However, whole foods have a combination of chemicals creating a synergistic blend that helps your body use the foods that you consume more efficiently. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will give you many more nutrients than any weight loss supplements or weight loss shakes can provide.
Weight loss tea and other weight loss products only work if you combine them with a healthy diet and exercise. Few of them work on their own. One should also be careful of products that claim to be healthy diet pills. The so-called healthy diet pills often only contain high amounts of stimulants and caffeine, which can cause health problems on its own.
One tip is to try dark chocolate, which is rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids may help reduce cravings. Of course, it is always best to get chocolate with the highest level of cacao possible.
Healthy Diet Options
There are many diets available that include healthy meal plans. Some of the most popular include the following.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables primarily. Fish, herbs, and spices, as well as a little bit of olive oil and wine in moderation, are also included.
Low Carb Diet
A low carb diet emphasizes the avoidance of carbohydrates such as found in grains, starchy vegetables, and fruit. It emphasizes the inclusion of high protein and fat. There are many versions of low-carb diets available.
The vegetarian diet has many different definitions. Some vegetarians will include dairy products such as cheese, milk, or eggs. Some semi-vegetarians will include chicken or fish in their diet but avoid red meat. The diet is mostly plant-based.
Vegan Diet plans include complete avoidance of any animal-based products. They obtain their protein sources from plant-based sources only.
Healthy Diet Food Pyramid
The healthy diet food pyramid is meant to be a guide on how to eat healthy food and healthy snacks to maintain optimal health and potentially lose weight. The reason why it was designed was to help people get a better grasp on how to eat a healthy diet. Its main purpose is as an educational tool.
The food pyramid was first developed in 1992 after almost a century of various forms designed to help people understand what they should eat. Older versions of the food pyramid emphasized bread and cereal as the largest portion of the diet. This was followed by vegetables and fruits, then milk yogurt and cheese, with meat dry beans eggs and nuts at the top representing the smallest portion of the diet.
The later version of the food pillar pyramid emphasized more vegetables and fruits, less meat, and even more restricted amounts of sugary foods, bad fats, processed foods, and salt. The new food pyramid was introduced in 2004; 12 years after the release of the first food pyramid.
Healthy Diet Nutrition Labels
Reading labels is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you consume healthy food. Of course, the best healthy diet foods are those that do not need labels, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Healthy diet food begins by paying attention to labels.
The first food labels began to appear in 1924. Their sole purpose was to assure that there was nothing on the label meant to mislead or deceive the consumer about what was inside. Throughout the years, standardization of the food industry became more strictly regulated. They began to establish limits on toxic substances and poisons, as well as to set standards for certain products such as canned tomatoes, and tomato paste.
The first real change in food labeling occurred in 1950 when it was required that margarine be clearly labeled to distinguish it from butter. This was a result of unscrupulous manufacturers substituting cheap margarine for butter. In 1965, the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act required products in interstate commerce to be honestly labeled.
The 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act was the first modern predecessor to current labeling standards and practices. This act required all packaged foods to have nutrition labeling and consistent health claims. It also sets definitions for claims such as low fat or light. In 1991 serving information was added. It also insisted that nutrients and ingredients be listed in order of decreasing content in the food.
More recent additions to food labels include food allergy labeling, trans- fat content, and symbols such as Presidents Choice, Sensible Solutions by Kraft, and star ratings on packages. All food packaging must meet at least minimal federal guidelines, but some companies have chosen to add information to that which is required. Some food manufacturers have proprietary rating systems. The latest change to food labeling is that the FDA has now set regulations in place regarding the font and lettering that is to be used to make it easy to read. If you want to know how to diet healthy to lose weight reading the label is the first place that you should begin.
Healthy Diet for Weight Loss
A healthy diet for weight loss begins with a healthy diet plan. Some think that a healthy diet for weight loss means buying pre-packaged meals and consuming them exclusively. However, not all varieties of these diet plans are healthy, and some of them can be worse for you than junk food. They may help you lose weight in the beginning, but it is unlikely that you will keep it off. Also, some of these prepackaged diets are packed with sodium, sugar, and preservatives, which can help you put on weight instead of losing it.
If you want to know how to diet healthy to lose weight, it begins with understanding your calorie intake. For the average person, about 2000 calories per day are required to maintain their weight. However, depending on your lifestyle, this can be more or less. For instance, if you have an office job where you sit all day and then go home and sit on the couch, you should reduce your caloric intake by about 500 calories per day to maintain weight. However, if you are a bodybuilder, you will need more calories to give your body the nutrition that it needs to fuel building muscle mass. Some bodybuilders add between 2,730 and 3,600 extra calories per week.
Your caloric intake will depend on your gender, age, how much you weigh currently, your activity level, hormone levels, and other factors. However, losing weight is not all about the calories. It is about what you eat and what types of foods.
A healthy diet to lose weight begins with eating something from all of the six basic types of foods that you need. A healthy diet plan to lose weight includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. The should be the bulk of your diet. However, a healthy diet for weight loss should also include high-grade proteins such as meats, and a few starches or bread with limited fats.
It is more important to eat a balanced diet than to count calories. One of the most important principles to follow if you want to stick to a healthy diet to lose weight for a long time is to make certain that you do not feel hungry. Adding nutrition to your meals will help you feel full longer and make you have more energy. This makes it less likely that you will want to binge or eat foods that are unhealthy. Tips such as adding flaxseed to yogurt or drinking smoothies is a great way to increase your nutrition level so that you can maintain a healthy diet to lose weight longer.
1-Day Sample Menu
There are many healthy diet examples available. Here is only one example of what a healthy diet plan looks like for one day.
- Egg white omelet with spinach, diced tomatoes, feta cheese
- Two slices of cantaloupe
- One glass of 1 percent milk
- One slice of whole wheat bread toast
- Salad made with black beans or garbanzo beans, wheat germ, a variety of salad greens and vegetables.
- Frozen yogurt with fresh berries
- Grilled chicken breast topped with cheese.
- Steamed vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, or spinach
- Brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta
- Piece of fruit
Snacks should be healthy such as nuts or extra fruit. Getting them prepared and portioned ahead of time will help you avoid overeating.
A Healthy Diet and Calorie Counting
Calorie counting is a traditional way to develop diet plans. However, research indicates that calorie counting may not be the best healthy diet plan for weight loss. The problem with using reduced-calorie diets, whether it is by following a weight loss meal plan or portion control, is that the body has mechanisms that are designed to help us keep weight on.
What healthy diet professionals know is that when you reduce calories significantly, your body will also reduce its metabolic rate. It was found that even a year after dieting hormone levels that stimulate appetite was raised. Your body has mechanisms to help you balance energy intake so reducing calories will only have a short-term effect.
When considering a healthy diet plan for weight loss, diet plans should focus on nutrition content and foods that keep you feeling full longer. What healthy diet professionals also recommend is trying to avoid sugar spikes and crashes. A weight loss meal plan that does not consider these factors will not be a long-term solution to weight loss.
Top 10 Healthiest Diets According to the Experts
According to U.S. News and World Reports, the best diets include:
- Mediterranean Diet
- Dash Diet
- The Flexitarian Diet
- Weight Watchers (WW)
- Mayo Clinic Diet
- MIND Diet
- TLC Diet
- Volumetrics Diet
- Nordic Diet
- Ornish Diet
The Atkins Diet is one of the oldest diets that are still popular today. The no-carb diet and high protein diet take opposite approaches to the macronutrient groups. The liquid diet has been criticized for the lack of whole fiber needed to maintain gut health. In addition to these diets, healthy diet tips can be found to help you make healthy eating a lifelong habit.
Healthy Diet for Athletes
Healthy diet tips for athletes depend on the type of sport that is being played and how often or long the athlete practices. In general, athletes typically burn more calories than the average sedentary person. It is suggested that the athlete tries to have a mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fat with each meal.
Carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly than fat or protein. Therefore, eating a high carbohydrate meal or starches before an athletic event may help have more energy. Those that participate in endurance sports, which require peak performance for more than 10 minutes, should try to include more carbohydrates and fats as opposed to those whose athletic events are for a shorter duration.
To maintain optimal levels of nutrition and performance athletes should try to get as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Meat and fish are also important; the more cardio is involved with the sport, the more starches and bread should be consumed. It is important to understand the energy and nutrition demands of the particular sport that you are playing.
1-Day Sample Menu
There are many healthy food recipes and healthy meal plans available that will help put you to achieve the nutritional needs for your sport. Healthy diet examples are also abundant. For athletes, the most important meal is to eat a healthy diet breakfast and a healthy dinner. Here is a sample meal plan for an athlete.
- One banana
- 1 cup cooked oatmeal
- 2 Tbsp Raisins
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- Turkey Sandwich
- 4 Slices (4 oz) turkey breast
- 2 Slices whole grain bread
- One slice low-fat American cheese
- 1 Tbsp mustard
- 1 Apple
- ½ cup baby carrots
- 1 oz pretzels or crackers
- 4 oz Chicken Breast
- 1 Baked Sweet Potato
- 1 Tsp butter
- 1 Cup Sautéed Zucchini
- 1 Cup Low Fat Milk
- 1 Peach
- ¼ Cup Raisins
- One banana
Post Workout Snack
- Whey Protein
- Two graham crackers
- 1 TBSP peanut butter
Healthy Diet for Bodybuilding and Fitness
Healthy eating for bodybuilding is different from healthy eating for sports that require stamina and speed. While carbohydrates and fast energy are emphasized in other sports, proteins and slow-burning carbs are emphasized in bodybuilding. The goal of bodybuilding is not only to pack on pounds but to pack them on regarding muscle bulk. Most bodybuilders do require extra calories to fuel the growth of muscle, but it is more important to consider what you eat than how much how many calories you eat.
The bodybuilding diet emphasizes lean proteins such as egg whites, chicken, turkey, fish, beans, legumes, and good cuts of lean red meat. Muscle is not built on protein alone, and you also need to provide carbohydrates to sustain your muscles with sources such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and other low glycemic index foods. It is still important to get plenty of fruits and vegetables, even though the emphasis is on getting plenty of proteins. It is still important to eat a variety of foods and include as many nutrients as possible.
1-Day Sample Menu
As with any healthy diet, a healthy diet breakfast and a healthy dinner are the foundations of success. Here is what a sample meal plan for a bodybuilder looks like.
- 4-6 egg whites with two whole eggs
- One serving Cream of Wheat cereal
- One banana
- 6-9 oz. extra-lean ground beef
- 2 cups pasta
- 3⁄4 cup broccoli
- One chicken breast (7-9 oz.)
- One yam
- 1 cup peas, corn, and carrots
- 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
- Four slices rye toast with 2 tbsp grape jam
Post Workout Snack
- Whey-protein shake (two scoops mixed with water)
- 1 cup rice with 4 tbsp raisins
Celebrity Picks for a Healthy Diet
Celebrity personal trainers and health professionals have their version of what a healthy diet looks like. Many of them include healthy food recipes and specialized weight loss programs. Here are some of the favorite waste loss programs of celebrities.
Shaun T is the fitness trainer famous for the Insanity workout. When it comes to motivation, he says, “Look people. I’m just a tool to get you where you need to go. If you don’t want to go there, that’s on you.”
Tony Horton is famous for the P90X workout weight loss programs which are known for their high-energy and inspiring messages. Sometimes those in weight loss programs need the motivation to keep going. One of Tony Horton’s quotes is, “Don’t say ‘I can’t,’ say ‘I presently struggle with.’”
These celebrities emphasize healthy food recipes in their weight loss programs along with helping to inspire people to keep going and lose the weight they want to in the healthiest way possible.
10 Healthy Diet Tips from the Experts
Let’s see what some health experts have to say about fat-burning foods and a weight-loss diet.
Michael Pollan – “Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandfather wouldn’t recognize as food. There are a great many food-like items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food. Breakfast-cereal bars? Non-dairy creamer? Stay away from these.”
Michael Tierra – “Diet is the essential key to all successful healing. Without a proper balanced diet, the effectiveness of herbal treatment is very limited.”
Subodh Gupta – “Eating healthy nutritious food is the simple and the right solution to get rid of excess body weight effortlessly and become slim and healthy forever.”
G.K Chesterson – “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”
Edward Stanley – “Those who think they have no time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
Karen Sessions – “Processed foods not only extend the shelf life, but they extend the waistline as well.”
Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure – “It’s easy to unknowingly swallow hundreds of excess calories that contribute to weight gain as you mindlessly munch while you are distracted on your electronic device.”
John Tobe – “Any food that requires enhancing by the use of chemical substances should in no way be considered food.”
Larry McCleary – “About eighty percent of the food on shelves of supermarkets today didn’t exist 100 years ago.”
Samuel Aun Weor – “The healthy man is the thin man. But you don’t need to go hungry for it: Remove the flours, starches, and sugars; that’s all.”
Eating Plant-Based Eating
For those who want to follow a healthy diet, vegetarian or plant-based diets are a choice that many people are making. For those who want an even more healthy diet, vegan choices may help them fulfill their needs. When you want to follow a plant-based diet a vegan or vegetarian diet is one way to make certain that you get the nutrients that you need from fruits and vegetables. Healthy diet vegetarian options are also a low cholesterol diet and weight loss diet for many.
For a healthy diet, the vegetarian choice includes foods that maintain microbiome health. Many use the principle of intuitive eating, which means listening to your own body’s signals carefully regarding what you should eat. It also means learning to eat without planning your meals or following strict food rules. For a healthy diet, the vegan choice includes turmeric, lots of vegetables and grains, as well as sprouted foods.
For a healthy diet, a vegan choice can be sourced at local farmers’ markets and groceries that feature local foods. It is a personalized approach to nutrition that focuses on your individual needs and your body’s unique structure and metabolism. Local, sustainably sourced foods are often the highest quality because they have not shipped been shipped and there has been little need to preserve them through the use of chemicals.
One of the best tips for adopting a plant-based diet to try replacing grains with shredded vegetables, such as zucchini. There are many choices available including cauliflower rice, potato toast, and zucchini noodles that can help you enjoy some of the foods and have a similar experience while continuing to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle. This is a great way to cut down calories and add antioxidants.
Healthy Dieting Tips
Eating healthier does not have to be difficult. It may first appear that balancing macronutrients and micronutrients is a complex topic. However, here are a few simple tips that can help you to have success.
- Healthy meals begin with healthy recipes.
- Prepare more meals at home. Investing in a meal planner can help to simplify things.
- Make the right changes, for instance, switching to fruits and vegetables instead of pre-prepared diet meals.
- Simplify the foods you eat focusing on simple, whole foods.
- Read food labels.
- Focus on how the foods you ate take you to feel.
- Drink plenty of water.
Final Thoughts on Healthy Diet
If you want to lose healthy weight meals are the place to start. Eating a healthy diet come s down to several basic concepts. The first is that fruits and vegetables must be a major part of your diet. You also need to limit things such as red meats and processed foods. If you want to lose weight limiting sugar is also necessary.
Losing weight is more than about counting calories. It is about establishing optimal health and nutrition first. Even if you are not there are many reasons to engage in a healthy diet besides losing weight. Perhaps your physician has suggested a low cholesterol diet or another weight loss diet. The most important is that it can help you remain healthy or for longer and potentially live a longer and happier life. This is perhaps the most important reason to follow a healthy diet plan to lose weight starting with fruits and vegetables.