Nowadays, most people will open heartedly admit that a healthy and balanced diet should contain a wide range of foods that provide your body with the nutrients it needs in order to perform well during the day. These include vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates which can be found in foods such as pasta, lean meats, fish, fruits and vegetables.
Taking good care of what we eat will help us maintain a good body weight while drastically reducing the risks of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even certain types of cancer.
Most nutritionists agree on the fact that a good diet should contain a wide variety of foods, such as: fruits, vegetables, foods rich in protein, low fat milk and other dairy products. In addition, it is recommended to consume small amounts of salt and sugar daily, as these are also essential for the proper functioning of our system. You should keep an eye on how much of these you consume, though, as in very large quantities they can have negative effects.
Calcium has many benefits on the general health of our bodies. Is has been proven to be extremely important for bone health, especially for infants, women and young girls. We should consume products containing calcium on a daily basis, such as green beans, baby carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, almonds, tofu.
One basic aspect that is often forgotten is the importance of drinking enough water. Dehydration can many times lead to symptoms that mislead people in thinking they have various diseases. Doctors recommend that we should drink between 2 – 3 liters of water every day, for a healthy lifestyle. It is also a good habit to keep a glass of water next to you during the night, and to drink it in the morning, right before getting out of bed.
Saturated vs Unsaturated Fats – What You Need To Know
Generally speaking, saturated fats are often referred to as “Bad” fats. They can be found in animal foods, including meat and dairy products, a lot of processed foods such as cakes and biscuits. Consumed in large quantities, it has been proven that these types of fats can increase cholesterol levels in your blood, increasing risks of heart disease and stroke.
On the other hand, the “Good” unsaturated fats help reduce cholesterol levels. They are contained in foods such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados and fish. It is believed that unsaturated fatty acids found in fish, nuts and seeds have an anticoagulant effect, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and low blood pressure.
As a conclusion, since a lot of foods contain saturated fats, it might not be practical to completely remove them from your diet. However, it is highly recommended that you replace those with “good” unsaturated fats as often as you can, for a healthy and balanced diet.
“Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom” – Jack LaLanne
While having a balanced diet is crucial for our well-being, it is important to mix this in with daily exercise. This helps maintain muscle strength and a healthy body weight. We recommend 30 minutes of moderate physical activity and exercise daily, such as walking, jogging, or yoga. Working out increases serotonin levels in our bodies, which leads to having a good, positive mindset, and makes it easier for us to achieve our goals.
Healthy diets for infants and young children
In the first year of life, breastfeeding is essential for a child’s development. It should represent its only food source for the first 6 months. At the same time, you should be careful not to over-feed the child, which could also result in health issues.
You should make sure that your child consumes a small amount of foods containing sugar every day, and must avoid added sugar that can be found in soft drinks, fructose, honey. Studies have shown that children who consume added sugars are less likely to consume more healthy foods. It can also increase the risk for obesity and high blood pressure.
Always encourage your kid to drink enough water throughout the day. This is a good habit that will help even later on, when your child grows older. Try to make it as fun as possible for him, perhaps by letting him use his favorite cup or straw. You should always make sure that water is available whenever your kid is thirsty.