Eating healthy is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. It is important to include a variety of foods from the five main food groups in your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products, and lean proteins. Eating a balanced diet can help you reach your health goals and provide your body with the nutrients it needs. When it comes to protein, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts are all excellent sources that can be easily incorporated into salads or paired with vegetables.
Red meat should be limited and processed meats such as bacon and sausage should be avoided. Additionally, it is important to limit “junk food” or “discretionary options” as they can replace more nutritious foods in the diet and increase the risk of obesity and chronic diseases. The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide an outline of the types and quantities of foods that should be included in a healthy diet. This includes a small amount of healthy fats per day (about one to two tablespoons for adults and less for children).
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating also provides information on how many servings you need each day and the standard serving sizes of food and beverages.
The Healthy Eating PlateThe Healthy Eating Plate is a helpful tool for visualizing what a balanced meal should look like. It suggests approximate relative proportions of each of the food groups to include in a healthy dish. The plate also does not define a certain amount of calories or servings per day for each food group. By following these guidelines, you can create a healthy eating plan that gives your body the nutrients it needs while staying within your daily calorie goal for weight loss.
Eating healthy can also reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions. Set goals for healthy eating such as replacing whole versions of foods with fat-free or low-fat options.