Eating healthy is not about deprivation, following strict nutrition rules, or starving yourself to lose weight. It's about making smart food choices that provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. To achieve this, there are five key characteristics of a healthy eating plan: including plenty of fruits and vegetables, moderating dairy products, including a variety of proteins, setting goals for healthy eating, and controlling portion sizes. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, but they contain few calories.
Eating them regularly can help reduce the risk of developing certain chronic diseases such as cancer and provide your body with essential nutrients for good health. Plant-based foods are also filling due to their high fiber content, so they can help prevent hunger and reduce the temptation to overeat later. When it comes to dairy products, moderation is key. Cheese should only be included as part of a meal, not as a meal in itself.
This way you can keep your portions and calories under control. A healthy diet should also include low-fat or fat-free milk, lactose-free milk, and fortified soy beverages. Other plant-based beverages don't have the same nutritional properties as animal milk or soy beverages. Protein is an important part of a healthy diet. Seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), soy products, nuts and seeds are all good sources of protein. Setting goals for healthy eating is also important.
For example, you could aim to replace whole versions of foods such as milk, yogurt, and salad dressings with fat-free or low-fat options. Controlling portion sizes is also essential for maintaining a healthy diet. You can still enjoy the foods you love in moderation. Finally, it's important to eat a wide variety of foods that are high in nutrients such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, lean meats, and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil.