Healthy Eating 101 how to eat healthy articles Nutrients, Macros, Tips, and More
Healthy Eating 101 how to eat healthy articles Nutrients, Macros, Tips, and More
Healthline Subscribe Nutrition Evidence Based The Definitive Guide to Healthy Eating in Real Life Written by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD on June 24, 2021 — Medically reviewed by Sade Meeks, MS, RD Importance Should you diet? Basics Limiting certain foods Tips Bottom line Depending on whom you ask, “healthy eating” may take any number of forms. It seems that everyone, including healthcare professionals, wellness influencers, coworkers, and family members, has an opinion on the healthiest way to eat. For instance, some people feel healthiest when following a low carb diet , while others thrive on high carb diets.
When you conceptualize healthy eating, your first thought might be about calories. Even though calories are important, your primary concern should be nutrients. First, food is what fuels you and delivers the calories and nutrients your body needs to function. If your diet is deficient in calories or one or more nutrients, your health may suffer. The first step to following a healthier diet is to make food one of your priorities. Generally, your meals and snacks should be balanced between the three. In particular, adding protein and fat to fiber-rich carb sources makes dishes more filling and tasty . That’s because nutrients, including protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, and minerals, are what your body needs to thrive. “Nutrient density” refers to the amount of nutrients in a food in relation to the calories it provides . Following a diet that’s rich in different kinds of food supports your gut bacteria , promotes a healthy body weight, and protects against chronic disease . If you’re drawing a blank at mealtime, keep it simple and think in threes: What’s more, if your current diet is high in ultra-processed foods and beverages like fast food, soda, and sugary cereals but low in whole foods like vegetables, nuts, and fish, you’re likely not eating enough of certain nutrients, which may negatively affect your overall health . The specifics may be different for each person depending on their location, financial situation, culture and society, and taste preferences. Decades of scientific research link ultra-processed foods to negative health outcomes, including increased disease risk and early death . Plus, nutrition articles that you read online can be downright confusing with their contradictory — and often unfounded — suggestions and rules. However, you don’t have to completely avoid these foods all the time. These tips can help you move toward a healthier diet. Food is one of the many puzzle pieces of your day-to-day life. Between commuting, working, family or social commitments, errands, and many other daily factors, food may be last on your list of concerns. To develop a healthy relationship with food, you have to have the right tools. For example, egg whites are much lower in calories and fat than whole eggs. However, an egg white provides 1% or less of the Daily Value for iron, phosphorus, zinc, choline, and vitamins A and B12, while a whole egg packs 5–21% of the DV for these nutrients . Fiber is indigestible material found in foods. Studies show that fiber has various health benefits, including weight loss and improved digestive… You may have heard about cellulose and wondered why it's in your food. Learn what cellulose is, where it's commonly found, and whether it's safe to… You can also work with a registered dietitian, especially if you’re not sure how to start improving your diet. A dietitian can help you develop a sustainable, nutritious eating plan that works for your needs and schedule. Another component of healthy eating is dietary diversity, meaning eating a variety of foods. Likewise, if you eat too many calories, you may experience weight gain . People with obesity have a significantly increased risk of illnesses like type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and heart, liver, and kidney disease . That’s because of the nutritious, high fat yolk that eggs contain. Healthy eating is important for many reasons, including fueling your body, acquiring necessary nutrients, lowering your disease risk, increasing your longevity, and promoting optimal mental and physical well-being. At Dunkin’ Donuts and not sure what to order on a gluten-free diet? A registered dietitian explains what to know about ordering gluten-free choices… Tips like cooking at home, grocery shopping, eating a lot of plant foods, choosing filling meals and snacks, and honoring your dislikes can help you create and maintain a healthy eating pattern. If you’re not used to cooking or grocery shopping, focus on a single meal. Go to the grocery store and shop for the ingredients for a couple of breakfast or dinner dishes for the week. Once that becomes a habit, add more meals until most of your meals are prepared at home. Still, eating a variety of foods may be difficult if you’re a picky eater. Turpentine oil is widely used as a paint thinner, but some people claim it has health benefits. This article explores turpentine's health effects… Now that you know why healthy eating is important, let’s cover some nutrition basics. Although you may not enjoy trying new foods, research shows that the more you’re exposed to a food, the greater your chances of growing accustomed to it . One of the best ways to improve your diet is to cut back on ultra-processed foods . It’s important to note that some people may thrive on diets that are low in carbs and high in fat and protein — or low in fat and high in carbs. However, even on these diets, macronutrient counting typically isn’t necessary. On the other hand, diets low in these foods and high in whole, nutrient-dense foods have the opposite effect, protecting against disease, lengthening lifespan, and promoting overall physical and mental well-being . For example, going to the grocery store once or twice per week will help ensure that you have healthy choices in your fridge and pantry. In turn, a well-stocked kitchen makes choosing healthy meals and snacks much easier. You don’t have to avoid processed foods completely. In fact, many healthy foods like shelled nuts, canned beans, and frozen fruits and veggies have been processed in one way or another. If you’re trying to lose weight, the sheer number of available diet plans may make it difficult to get started, as you’re unsure which one is most… Many people have disordered eating tendencies or eating disorders . If you’re concerned that you have one of these conditions, it’s critical to get the right help. If your food choices are based solely on calories, you’re missing the point of healthy eating. Although fruit is highly nutritious and associated with many health benefits, some types are high in sugar and calories. Here are the most unhealthy… Diets rich in highly processed foods may also increase the risk of depressive symptoms, particularly among people who get less exercise . Last medically reviewed on June 24, 2021 Research links diets high in ultra-processed foods to a greater risk of depression, heart disease, obesity, and many other complications . Plus, although some nutrient-dense foods, such as numerous fruits and veggies, are low in calories, how to eat healthy articles many — like nuts, full fat yogurt, egg yolks, avocado, and fatty fish — are high in calories. That’s perfectly OK! As a general rule, try to mostly eat foods that are high in nutrients like protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. These foods include veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, fatty fish , and eggs. If that’s the case, try to introduce new foods one at a time. If you don’t eat many vegetables, start by adding a favorite veggie to one or two meals per day and build from there. About Careers Advertise with us OUR BRANDS If you're looking to make some healthy swaps while baking sweets, these 5 healthier substitutes for corn syrup should be on your shopping list. Food restrictions, fad dieting, and self-prescribed notions like “getting back on track” won’t help and may be harmful. Working on your relationship with food may take time, but it’s necessary for your physical and mental health. For example, breakfast could be a spinach and egg scramble with avocado and berries, lunch a sweet potato stuffed with veggies, beans, and shredded chicken, and dinner a salmon filet or baked tofu with sautéed broccoli and brown rice. Counting macros and following a set macronutrient plan isn’t necessary for most people — except athletes, people seeking a specific body composition, and those who need to gain muscle or fat for medical reasons. Healthy eating doesn’t involve any particular diet. Rather, it means prioritizing your health by fueling your body with nutrient-rich foods. In a healthy diet, it’s best to restrict certain foods. All foods contain calories, but not all foods are nutrient-dense. You should limit your intake of ultra-processed foods and drinks like candy, soda, and sugary cereals, but that doesn’t mean that you have to eliminate these items from your diet. This article cuts through the noise to explain what healthy eating means and how to make it work for you. You may wonder if your body's hormones can affect your weight maintenance, gain, or loss. This article explains the relationship between hormones and… Making some improvements to your diet doesn't have to be hard. Use these 25 simple tips to make your regular diet a little bit healthier. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours meal prepping or cooking elaborate meals, but it does require some thought and effort, especially if you have a particularly busy lifestyle. Healthy Eating 101 how to eat healthy articles Nutrients, Macros, Tips, and More
Healthy Eating 101 how to eat healthy articles Nutrients, Macros, Tips, and More
Thus, it’s best to prioritize nutrient-dense foods, especially vegetables and fruits. For example, if you feel your best on a low carb diet, simply choosing low carb foods like nonstarchy veggies, proteins, and fats more often than high carb foods will usually suffice. This doesn’t make it easy if you simply want to eat in a healthy way that works for you. If you don’t have a good relationship with food, you’re not alone. This guide may help those who are starting on a healthy eating journey — and act as a refresher for those who know nutrition basics but want to go deeper. If you’re interested in healthy eating, making a few small changes can get you moving in the right direction. Share on Pinterest Photography by Aya Brackett Why does eating healthy matter? Before we dive into what healthy eating means, it’s important to explain why it matters. In contrast, highly processed products like soda, mass-produced baked goods, candy, sugary cereals, and certain boxed snack food contain little if any whole food ingredients. After all, food is meant to be enjoyed — not feared, counted, weighed, and tracked. Additionally, the quality of your diet affects your disease risk, longevity , and mental health. That’s not to say that certain eating patterns can’t benefit you. Here are some realistic tips for you to get started with healthy eating: Plus, counting macros and obsessing about staying within a certain macro range may lead to an unhealthy fixation with food and calories or cause disordered eating tendencies . Cutting back on soda, processed meats, candy, ice cream, fried foods , fast food, and highly processed, packaged snacks is a smart way to improve your health and lower your risk of certain diseases. Food journals can help you build healthy habits, identify food sensitivities, and manage your weight. Here's how to get started with food journaling… Include a variety of nutrient-dense, whole foods in your diet, taking care to limit highly processed items. Macronutrients — the main nutrients you get from food — are carbs, fat, and protein. However, it’s fine if your diet isn’t balanced all the time. If you want detailed, individualized dietary advice, consult an experienced dietitian. Foods like ice cream and candy can be a part of a healthy, well-rounded diet, but they shouldn’t be a significant part of your calorie intake. For example, if you’re snacking on a piece of fruit , adding a spoonful of nut butter or a bit of cheese helps keep you fuller than if you were to eat the fruit alone. Working with a healthcare team, such as a registered dietitian and psychologist who specializes in eating disorders, is the best way to start mending your relationship with food. These items tend to pack ingredients like high fructose corn syrup , hydrogenated oils, and artificial sweeteners . For example, a candy bar or a box of mac and cheese may be incredibly high in calories but lack vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Similarly, foods marketed as “diet-friendly” or “low calorie” may be very low in calories but lack nutrients. While diets rich in ultra-processed foods are linked to increased mortality and a greater risk of conditions like cancer and heart disease, diets comprising mostly whole, nutrient-dense foods are associated with increased longevity and disease protection . Instead, try to prioritize whole, nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and fish, saving highly processed foods and beverages for special treats. The truth is, healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s entirely possible to nourish your body while enjoying the foods you love. Although healthy eating may look a bit different for everyone, balanced diets are generally rich in nutrient-dense foods, low in highly processed foods, and comprised of filling meals and snacks . Although certain people need — or choose — to avoid particular foods or adopt diets for health reasons, most people don’t have to follow any specific diet to feel their best. Just because a food is high in calories doesn’t mean that it’s bad for you. On the same token, just because a food is low in calories doesn’t make it a healthy choice. In general, though, eating healthy has nothing to do with adhering to diets or certain dietary rules. “Healthy eating” magazine article on healthy eating habits