There are lots of differing opinions concerning what is a healthy diet. In reality it can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. The typical western diet has evolved into one that is not particularly healthy anymore. There is a heavy emphasis on convenience and taste rather than nutrition and taste. Unfortunately most of the convenience foods that are promoted have had all the good nutrients in them replaced with sugar, salt and other additives.
The first step to a healthy diet is to eat more whole foods. Whole foods have very few ingredients. Start with raw ingredients and prepare a meal instead of microwaving or opening a package of pre-prepared food. Your body needs to get nutrients from a variety of foods from different food groups. Some of these food groups are whole grains, proteins and carbohydrates from natural sources. Good choices from these food groups would include fruits, vegetables, oils, dairy products, natural sugars, lean meats, fish and poultry. You also will need to eat the correct proportions of these foods to get all of the nutrients your body needs. Water is also essential to a healthy diet. Your body needs 1.5 – 2 quarts of water per day. This means pure water not soda or coffee.
Processed, pre-packaged foods are not considered a good choice for a healthy diet. They are generally stripped of about 80% of their nutrients and flavor, which are replaced with salt, sugars and other additives. Food products that have more than five ingredients, or have ingredients that you can’t pronounce probably fall into the processed food category. So, in order to achieve a healthy diet you are going to have to cook more, or if you don’t know how to cook, you should really learn how. By preparing and cooking your own meals with whole food ingredients you are more in control of your nutrition. Between the internet and videos it really shouldn’t be too hard to learn the basics of cooking.
Exercise is also an integral part of a healthy diet. Eating healthy foods will give you more energy to go out and get some exercise. You should increase your physical activity level for at least 30 minutes per day.
So, what is a healthy diet? Simply put it is a way of life that involves eating more whole foods from healthy food groups, in moderation, and increasing your physical activity.