How to Eat Healthy Diet

It seems like diets will never go out of style and there is a new diet popping up every time you blink your eyes. However, being on a diet and eating a healthy diet are not really the same thing, given that most diets are not necessarily healthy. Eating a healthy diet involves having a bit of knowledge on the foods going into your body, what they do and why you need them. Every person has different needs based on their life style and to eat healthy, one should know their needs.

In school, most were taught the five basic food groups; protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables and grains. Each group meets a different need for your body. Protein is your body’s way of repairing itself and is used in producing hormones, enzymes and other body chemicals. It also is good for hair and nails. Protein also functions as a building block. Fruits and vegetables provide carbohydrates and also are how we get a lot of vitamins and nutrients, like vitamin C, potassium and folic acid. They also are a great source of fiber which helps your digestive system and stabilizes your blood sugar. Fruits tend to have more calories given they are sweeter than vegetables. Dairy is used in the diet to build strong bones by supplying calcium, but it also works to regulate your metabolism and boost your immune system. Grains, especially whole grains, provide fiber, carbohydrates, B vitamins and minerals. These are just the basics of each group’s job.

To have a healthy diet, it is important to have a balance with the food groups. Variety is also important, introducing and maintaining a variety of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. How much should you eat of what is dependent on your lifestyle. If you live a mostly sedentary lifestyle, your portions do not need to be as large as someone who is more active. Someone who does a lot of strenuous work will need more protein to heal the body as well as more carbohydrates to replace the energy they have used.

Now, outside of the basic food groups, there are a lot of foods on the market that are extremely processed, lack nutritional value and provide empty calories. Sodas, sauces, candy and snack foods are meant as a treat every once in awhile. They satisfy the taste buds and little else. Minimizing the amount of empty calories you eat is one of the most effective ways to eat a healthy diet.

The food you eat, while it is pleasing to the taste, also serves a purpose. The things in your food, should be things your body needs. Eating controlled portions based on your body’s needs is the key to eating healthy. Having the basic knowledge of how what you are eating is affecting your body will help make better choices and your eating habits will become healthier.

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