Healthy Eating, Uncategorized

What does a healthy diet look like?

Diet is defined as the kinds of foods that an individual/community habitually eat. You must have heard the saying; “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!” and “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine thy food.” Simply put, food plays a key role in either keeping illnesses away, or exposing an individual to the risk of developing chronic illnesses. How is your diet contributing to your health?

A healthy diet is one that provides all the energy and nutrients that your body needs to support your physical, mental and emotional health. A healthy diet helps to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight thus lowering your risk of developing chronic diseases. All that said, what does a healthy diet look like?  According to the WHO, a healthy diet:

  1. Incorporates a wide variety of foods. This makes eating fun and provides a wide range of nutrients.
  2. It ensures that energy intake (calories) is in balance with energy expenditure. Know your calorie requirements per day and eat what you need since excess calories contributes to obesity while less calories may result in undernourishment.
  3. Has lots of fruit, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils and beans), nuts and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat and brown rice etc.).
  4. Limits intake of free sugars (sugars added to foods or drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates) to less than 50 g/day.
  5. Limits salt intake to less than 5 g/day. This helps to prevent hypertension, and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke in adults. It is advisable to take your salt in cooked form. So avoid the habit of sprinkling salt over food while dining.

Your goal towards healthy diet should be commitment to follow these simple guidelines in every meal or snack that you eat. Mortimer J. Adler said, “Habits are formed by the repetition of particular acts.”