Eat a wide variety of foods for a healthy diet

Stay healthy eating varieties of food

One of the most cited reasons that diets and attempts at healthy eating is not boredom. Many people simply do not know how to maintain an interesting healthy diet day after day, and it can be quite a challenge.

Given the wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats and other healthy foods at the local supermarket, however, it is definitely possible to create exciting and nutritious meals that will keep boredom at bay.

Your key to healthy eating

The key to success of any plan for a healthy diet is to eat what you like, but to exercise restraint when it comes to less healthy foods. Improving your health and fitness level does not mean giving up that piece of chocolate cake, for example. It means, however, limited to one piece. Carbohydrates, proteins, fats and other micronutrients are part of a healthy diet. The key is to choose foods that provide the best combination of flavor and nutrition. After all, if your diet consists of foods you hate, you will not stick with it.

The USDA revised food pyramid contains five major food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy, meat, and beans. While selecting foods from these groups, it is very important to eat a wide variety of foods from each and every food group. Doing it will not only give you a great variety and keep boredom from establishing, but it will also provide the best nutritional balance. In addition, widely known micronutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, etc. All foods contain a variety of macronutrients, such as fats, proteins, fiber and water. Although present in extremely small amounts, micronutrients are vital for good health. That is why a healthy eating and varied diet is so important.

Choosing the right foods for a healthy living

In addition, when choosing foods from within various food groups, some options are naturally better and healthier than others. For example, choosing skim milk or 2% instead of whole milk fat is a good way to reduce both fat and calories. And choosing poultry or lean meat is a great way to get the protein you need each day without extra fat, cholesterol and calories.

Similarly cereals and breads bearing the whole grain label are healthier than those that do not. Even in the world of fruits and vegetables some options are better than others. For example, peaches packaged in heavy syrup add unnecessary sugar to the diet, while those packaged in water or juice provide only good nutrition.

Lately there has been a tendency to add vitamin fortification to foods, and this can sometimes be a good way to maximize nutrition. It is good to buy calcium-fortified cereal, but most of your calcium intake should still come from milk, dairy products and leafy greens.

Choosing the best foods

Knowing the top five food groups and how much of each to eat every day is just part of the picture. The other part is choosing the best foods within those food groups. That means things like choosing the smallest and thin cut of meat, use egg substitutes instead of whole eggs, choosing the freshest fruits and vegetables, etc.

Even with fruits and vegetables, some options are better than others. Some fruits, such as avocados, for example, are full of fat and calories. Not every fruits and vegetables are equally healthy, so it is important to check the nutritional qualities of them instead of assuming.

Another way to maximize nutrition and minimize the cost is to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually a bit cheaper than those that should be shipped to hundreds or even thousands of miles, and in general they are much cooler as well.

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