Contrary to popular belief, eating right does not have to be a complex task. When it comes to eating right, a healthy, balanced diet will be the key to your success. This means consuming a range of foods in sufficient proportions to achieve and maintain a sensible body weight for your height.
The Five Food Groups
The food that we consume can be divided up into five main food groups. They are: fruit and vegetables; starchy foods; meat, fish, eggs and beans; dairy products; and fats and sugars. To eat healthily, you must try to consume a range of different foods from the first four main food groups.
Consuming fat, sugar and salt can have an adverse effect on health. This means that, whilst it is important to have some fat, salt and sugar in the diet, they are certainly not required in large quantities.
Starchy food includes bread, cereals, pasta and potatoes. These foods should be an important part of your diet as they will provide you with energy. Starchy foods should comprise one-third of your meals. Wholegrain and wholemeal varieties of starchy foods should be favored in your diet.
Meat, Eggs, Fish and Beans
These foods are excellent sources of protein, which is important for the growth and repair of the body, as well as vitamins and minerals. You should try to consume only lean cuts of meat where possible to cut down on your fat intake. Fish, which contains omega-3 fatty acids, should be consumed at least twice per week.
Dairy foods, such as yoghurt and cheese, are sources of protein and calcium. Some dairy products contain high levels of fat, rendering low-fat and skimmed products preferable.
Fat and Sugar
Fat and sugar are energy sources. However, if you eat too much of these foods, you can put on weight. There are many different types of fat. Saturated fat is bad for you as it can increase your cholesterol levels. This type of fat is found in foods such as butter, cakes, biscuits and cheese. Unsaturated fat is better for you as it can help to lower your cholesterol levels and provide you with the fatty acids you need to remain healthy.