As a health and nutrition coach and sports nutritionist, I often ask why we should eat a balanced diet? There are many factors as to why it's essential to eat a healthy balanced diet. First, a balanced diet will supply your body with all the nutrients it needs to function correctly. When considering what foods to consume, you should consider getting your daily calories from fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and lean proteins.
A healthy diet should include the following nutrients; vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates, starch, fibre, protein and healthy fats. These nutrients are found in foods in the following food groups; fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein foods such as meat, eggs, fish, beans, nuts, tofu and legumes.
Fruits and vegetables are optimal for your health as they provide vital sources of essential vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants. Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables will provide your body with a varied supply of nutrients that it needs; remember to include dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, green beans and broccoli as they contain a wide range of nutrients. Also, try selecting local fruits and vegetables that are in season; they will be fresher.
Most people reduce or remove whole grains from their diet when starting on a new health journey. This is because we are sometimes fearful of certain foods. We may perceive them as"bad" foods, and thinking are the cause of us gaining weight. However, you can still maintain a healthy body weight and lose body fat while consuming whole grains, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Start by including whole grains into your diet more. Although when selecting which whole grains to include, remember that refined white flour found in various baked foods offers inadequate nutritional value. The reasons for this are; the goodness is in the grain's hull, or outer shells goodness has been remove during the process stage. So instead, try switching from white bread, pasta and rice to whole grain products that contain the entire grain, including the hull. This provides additional vitamins, minerals and fibre to the body.
Food swaps that I love
Mayo for Mustard
Packet chips for Popcorn
Ben and Jerry's ice cream for Halo Top ice cream
Sugar for Cinnamon or Stevia
Olive oil tbsp for olive oil spray
White Bread for Wholemeal bread
Butter for Avocado
White Rice for Brown Rice
Jatz biscuits for Rice crackers
“Healthy does NOT mean starving yourself EVER. Healthy means eating the right food in the right amount”.