Healthy meal plans consist of a variety of foods that provide essential nutrients to the body. As no type of food can offer you all the required nutrition, you must include a wide range of food groups in your diet to stay healthy. Your daily healthy food list needs a balance of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, minerals and vitamins to get the right amount of energy.
By consuming the right number of calories based on how active you are, you can maintain an energy balance. This is the key to having a healthy diet so that you can carry out daily tasks without any trouble. Usually, it is recommended that women should consume around 2,000 calories per day whereas men should have 2,500 calories per day. To learn how many calories you must consume every day depending on your activity level, head over to our calorie calculator now!
Maintaining a healthy diet not only helps you get the right nutrition but also keeps various health risks at bay. As per various studies, some common health issues that you can steer clear of with a healthy diet plan are obesity, risk of cancer and heart disease, bad dental health, diabetes, poor gut health, etc. A healthy diet can boost your immunity and strengthen your muscles and bones.
One very important thing to keep in mind is that healthy eating does not mean restricting yourself from consuming certain things, extreme weight loss or following strict diets. The key to eating healthily is managing your dietary pattern and ensuring that you are consuming the right mix of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, minerals and vitamins. Here are some tips you can follow to maintain a healthy diet and develop healthy eating habits:
Remember the food pyramid we all learnt in school as children? Well, some nutritionists believe it may not be the most accurate way to guide healthy food habits. Instead, experts at Harvard School of Public Health suggest using the Healthy Eating Plate rather than the food pyramid, which looks quite different to what we learned as kids. Here is what a healthy diet plan looks like:
Healthy eating varies with people. If you are at a desk for most of the day working on a computer, your meal should not be the same as someone who does physical work all day. Therefore, try and take into account your energy requirements before prepping your meals. If you are performing more physical activity, you will need more carbs. However, it is advised to try avoiding overeating during your meals.
We know you love your sugary treats and ice-creams, but it may be time to cut down on foods with high sugar content. Right from breakfast cereals and biscuits to fizzy drinks and snack bars, these items have added sugar.
A high sugar diet has lots of disadvantages such as weight gain, obesity and tooth decay. Instead, you can eat fruits and avoid packaged drinks and foods with increasingly high amounts of sugar. A pro tip to help you keep track of the sugar you are consuming is to read food labels and learn how a large number of packaged items have added sugar.
It is recommended to serve yourself a smaller portion and take your time while eating meals. If you still feel hungry, you can help yourself to a second serving. It takes about 20 minutes for us to actually feel full once we have eaten, so smaller portions and slow eating are the key ways to maintain a healthy diet. Furthermore, track your portion size occasionally to help manage your diet and know the number of calories you are consuming.
As more and more processed food arrives on our supermarket shelves, it’s difficult to control the sodium, sugar, and calorie content when you consume such processed foods. Therefore, make some easy switches in your pantry and fridge and opt for healthier options. This way you are more in control of your diet.
We get it. After a long day, who really wants to cook something to eat a hot meal when it’s just so much simpler to order food. However, ordering in on the regular will only lead to a negative impact on your health. Besides, it’s also hard on the wallet and the environment because of the plastic packaging. Instead, try to meal prep over the weekend so it’s easier to have home-cooked meals throughout the week.
Listening to your body is a skill that we weren’t really taught as children. Does eating cheese make you feel a little sick afterwards? Or does too much ghee nauseate you a little bit? Identify these responses your body naturally has to the food you eat and monitor them. Over time, eat what makes you feel good throughout the day rather than eating out of obligation.
Cooking the right amount of food for all the members of your family is no easy job. So, if you find yourself eating more than usual to avoid throwing out the food or letting it sit inside the fridge for a couple of days, stop right there. Place the leftovers in a (preferably recyclable) single-use container and donate it to someone who needs it. They’ll be thankful for a hot meal, and you would have saved yourself from eating refrigerated food that lost some nutrients.
READ MORE: Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator
Though eating healthy food and following a balanced diet are important for your body, inculcating some healthy habits can go a long way.
For a healthier lifestyle, you can include some exercise in your daily routine. It can be an early morning walk or some workout routines for a fit body and mind. Exercise helps with strengthening your muscles, joints and bones along with the reduced risk of other health issues. So, begin planning your routine now!
Early morning breakfast before work or school shall make you feel energised and lower the chances of overeating later in the day. A protein and fibre rich meal can help you feel fresh. Your breakfast doesn’t have to be heavy if you like to keep it light!
Healthy eating does not end with your breakfast and needs to continue throughout the day. So, keep track of your meals and the portion size. Most importantly, steer clear from sweetened drinks and foods to keep those refined carbs on the low.
One cannot stress enough about the importance of water for our bodies. It is an essential part of a healthy diet. Water also helps flush out those toxins that come in the form of junk food or alcohol consumption. With enough water in your system, you will feel refreshed. It is also recommended that you drink enough water when you wake up, as your body is usually dehydrated when you are sleeping. Having enough water is a slow and steady way to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Now, we don’t need to emphasise how a good shut-eye can benefit you. Thus, it’s crucial to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. It can help you freshen up and improve focus and mood.
READ MORE: Indian Diet Plan for Weight Loss
With the perils of modern society, you must ensure that you have a solid contingency plan in place to mitigate any health risks. Apart from following healthy food habits, you should take as many preventive measures as possible, in case any unforeseen risk comes your way. One such preventive measure is securing yourself with a robust health insurance plan. You can opt for a comprehensive health insurance plan available on Bajaj MARKETS to be financially ready for any medical need. With hassle-free claims, add-on covers, enhanced coverage and more, you are secured from any healthcare emergencies.
It is recommended to include healthy food items like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and milk in your daily diet. Foods rich in protein such as seafood, eggs, legumes, nuts, soy products, etc. should also be a part of your daily meal.
Our bodies require fat for a healthy diet; however, high amounts of saturated fat can lead to an increase in cholesterol levels. Higher intake of saturated fats can increase the risk of heart diseases and thus, it is advised to opt for unsaturated fats.
Some types of foods that you should cut down on or avoid consuming are:
Artificial trans fat
Sugary drinks or food items
Carbohydrates form an important part of your diet and are a healthy source of nutrients and vitamins. However, processed or refined carbs such as white flour, added sugars, breakfast cereals, etc. can impact your health and may lead to weight gain, or type 2 diabetes.
Fibres are a crucial part of a healthy diet plan as it makes us feel fuller and helps with digestion. Apart from this, fibres also assist with controlling blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol levels to an extent, making them a crucial part of our diet.