Healthy eating is an important and essential activity in our lives. After all, a balanced diet provides us with the energy that we need and gives us the nutrients and the calories that we require for survival. Although we sometimes forget about it, the food that we eat impacts directly on our mental, physical and emotional health. Due to this, it’s very important that eating healthy diet becomes an important part of our lifestyle.
While most of us are familiar with this word, a few of us actually knows what it means. Although, there are several definitions to this term, it generally refers to eating a diet that combines all the nutrients that your body needs. It involves eating a diet that has all the types of food, maximizes your intake of essential nutrients and minimizes your intake of foods such as salt, caffeine, and fats.
Why eating a healthy diet is important
You may be wondering what all this is all about but eating healthy diet has a direct impact on our health. It can actually help us regulate our body weight, maintain an active lifestyle, improve our moods, improve our bodily functions and immune system and increase our energy. It can also reduce the risk of contracting certain ailments such as cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. However, eating food to feel your system and make you live healthily is not as simple as choosing one type of food over the other. Here is how to eat healthily and stay fit
How to eat healthily and stay fit
· Have a good start
According to an article in the Harvard Health Letter, your first meal is very important meal hence eating a good breakfast has been linked to lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Beginning your day with a healthy meal can help boost your sugar that your system needs to power your brain and muscles. Not eating breakfast can leave you feeling weak and lightheaded. While too many people depend on light carbohydrates to start their day, a plain doughnut or white bagel cannot keep you feeling satisfied for long. Conversely, a protein and fiber rich meal may keep you full for long and provide you with the energy that you need throughout the day. Some of the best meals to try out include oat bran, oatmeal, and other whole grain meals that contain a lot of fibers. You can also add in some yogurt, milk and chopped groundnuts.
· Eat the right carbohydrate
While carbohydrates have a bad name they provide your body with the best source of energy. About 45 percent of your daily calories should originate from carbohydrate. This is according to Mayo Clinic. It’s, therefore, very important to choose the right kind of carbohydrates especially if you exercise. Instead of eating simple carbs, you need to focus on complex carbs found in beans, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. As compared to refined grains, whole grains stay longer in your system because you digest them slowly. They not only fuel your body but also help you stay satisfied for longer. They also contain the minerals and the vitamins that your body needs to function smoothly.
· Eat proteins and snacks
Protein is very important to maintain, repair and keep your body growing. For instance, according to a report by the University of Rochester Medical Center, red blood cells normally die after 3 months hence proteins is an essential element that help replace them and also help you enjoy your workout activities. As an adult you need to eat 0.8 grams of proteins daily. Some of the best sources of proteins include poultry, beef, lamb, milk, legumes and eggs.
· Increase your vegetable and fruit intake
Vegetables and fruits are not only rich sources of minerals, vitamins and fiber but also other nutrients that your body needs. At every meal, you need to aim at filling your plate with veggies and fruits. Every time you visit the grocery store, choose a completely new vegetable or fruit to try out. You also need to choose healthy fats such as unsaturated fats. This will provide you with calories that you need and also help you reduce inflammation. Some healthy options of fats include seeds, olives, nuts, avocadoes, and olive oil. These are very important when it comes to eating healthy.
· Exercise but fuel up before exercise
While exercising is good to help you stay fit, it’s very important to eat the right balance of proteins and carbs before and after a workout. Pre workout carbohydrates and proteins will ensure that you feel energized throughout the exercise. Consider stocking your exercise refrigerator with berries, oranges, bananas, nut butter and nuts. Also, whether you are trying to tone down or lose weight, avoid cutting down a lot of calories from your meals. According to National Heart and Lung and Blood Institute, men should eat at least 1500 calories while womens’ diet should contain at least 1200 calories.
Overall, eating healthy diet refers to achieving the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that will help you stay fit