Making healthy food choices is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It’s essential for maintaining a balanced diet that helps to keep you in good shape. Developing awareness of the types of food you consume ensures your body gets proper nutrition and keeps you on top of your health.
As simple as it sounds, healthy eating is frequently overlooked. If you’re not conscious enough about the food you eat, you are missing out on a lot of benefits eating well can give you.
Here’s how to make healthy food choices and important tips on getting started with healthy eating.
What is a Balanced Diet?
A healthy diet includes eating a wide variety of nutritious foods in properly regulated amounts. It doesn’t restrict you from eating a certain type of food but focuses on how frequently you eat that food and how much you are eating. So, you don’t have to feel guilty if you occasionally eat a piece of cake.
Why Maintain a Balanced Diet?
A well-balanced diet is important to:
● Energize you throughout your day
● Strengthen your immune system
● Make your body cope up with stress better
● Prevent certain diseases like diabetes and cancer
How To Make Healthy Food Choices
Selecting food for optimal nutrition can be hard due to a lot of different options available. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a detailed guide that simplifies the process.
As stated in the guide, you should make food and beverage choices that meet the key recommendations for food groups, subgroups, nutrients, and other components in combination to contribute to overall healthy eating patterns. 
In addition, following the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern can be very helpful in your goal of choosing nutritious diets.
The main types of foods in this eating pattern include a variety of vegetables; fruits; whole grains; fat-free or low-fat dairy; seafood, poultry, meat, and eggs; and nuts, seeds, and soy products.
This healthy eating pattern helps achieve and maintain healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Helpful Tips For Better Food Choices
Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables protect your body from certain types of cancer and reduce your risk for heart disease including heart attack and stroke.
Include whole grains in your diet often.
Rice, pasta, and bread are fiber-rich foods that help in better digestion, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and can keep your weight in check.
Limit consumption of high sugar foods.
Soft drinks, liquor, cakes, candies, and sweets are high in added sugars that can cause weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes due to being overweight.
Eat less high salt foods.
High salt intake comes primarily from packaged and processed food. Too much salt in a diet can increase the risk of high blood pressure that is known to be a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Eat your comfort foods less often or in smaller amounts.
You may enjoy your favorite foods but be mindful of your eating. You should cut back if you’re eating them daily or simply eat in smaller portions. This way, you don’t have to worry if they are high in calories or added sugars because you are controlling their impact on your body.
Healthy food choices have a great impact on your proper nutrition. By carefully choosing what you should eat, you are making better decisions for your health and well-being.
Dr. Rita Oganwu highlights proper nutrition in her practice. Learn more about how she can guide you with your health and nutritional goals by getting on a free 15-minute discovery call with her.
1 USDA. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.2015.PDF file
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