A healthy eating program is a balanced diet that helps to maintain or enhance general health. A healthy eating regimen not only helps to reduce the risk of some diseases; it also helps people to live longer and healthier lives. A healthy eating regime is the cornerstone of any weight loss program, but even a healthy eating regimen can be compromised by certain factors. These include:
- Carbonated drinks – Carbonated beverages are high in calories and low in nutritional content, especially if they contain excessive amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners. Thus it is important to choose carbonated beverages that contain small amounts of natural sugar. A good healthy eating regime involves cutting out soda completely.
- Low Calorie Foods – Even though calories are needed for energy production in the body, they can over-trick the body into thinking it needs more calories than it actually does. When the body needs more calories than it gets, it compensates by slowing down the metabolism or storing the excess calories as fat. Thus even though calories are needed for energy production, it is advisable to avoid junk food and calorie rich foods as much as possible. Similarly, people should choose lean proteins and healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits, for their healthy eating plans. When choosing lean proteins, try to find ones that are low in fat content.
- Healthy Diet Choices – A healthy diet should comprise healthy foods from each food group. People should try to choose lean protein from animal sources such as skinless chicken breast and other poultry; low fat dairy products, such as low fat milk and cream; and healthy carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, pasta and rice. To make today’s diet even nutritionally balanced, people can choose from a variety of legumes including black beans and lentils; vegetables including broccoli and cabbage; fruits; and nuts, such as almonds, pecans and walnuts. To make healthy choices at meals, people can also include fish, poultry and eggs in their healthy diets.
- Healthy Diet Options – Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the human body. Therefore, healthy choices for carbohydrates should be low in calories and high in nutrients, especially potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, magnesium and potassium. When choosing a variety of carbohydrates, choose whole grains, preferably organic, and unrefined pasta and grain breads, brown rice, quinoa, oats, millet and barley. For snacks, always choose a handful of nuts, seeds, granola bars, dried fruits, popcorn, pretzels and granola. For brown and whole-grain breads, people should choose those made with ingredients such as wheat flour, corn flour, semolina flour or triticale flour.
- Healthy Diet Options – Saturated fats are found in fried foods, fast foods, processed foods and snacks, as well as most fast food restaurants. Saturated fats should be avoided, since they raise the bad cholesterol levels and lower the good cholesterol levels in the blood. So, people need to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are better for your health than saturated fats. For snacks, nuts, olives and other vegetables may serve as healthy replacements for the typical chocolate chip cookies and fries. When cooking, people can use olive oil instead of butter.