A healthy diet is what the name says. It either maintains or improves the overall health of the body by providing your body with all the vital nutrients, vitamins and most importantly all the required calories.
Having a healthy diet on a regular basis is highly beneficial to everyone as it is key for both strength and cardiovascular activities. In addition, a healthy diet plays a crucial role in having a well-built body and a stellar abdomen.
However, the definition of a healthy diet is highly personal, and the intake amount varies from individual to individual depending on their lifestyle choices along with the amount of activity involved in their daily routine.
The reference intake amounts for men is around 2,500 calories and around 2,000 calories for women. One should strive to meet these goals every day. These limits are recommended for maintaining a healthy diet while not gaining or losing weight.
Nevertheless, do not fill up calories with just carbs and fats, ensure that there is enough variety in your daily diet that includes other vital components.
Let us look closer at the following diet tips that you could follow to ensure a healthier lifestyle.
#1 Have around 300g of carbohydrates per day
Carbohydrates have to constitute around 45% to 65% of your daily calorie intake. Carbs are available in almost every food that you can pick up from the supermarket.
However, try to minimize the carbohydrate intake from packed food that contains added sugars and other items that are high in sugars. These are very calorie dense and are one of the primary driving factors for weight gain.
A healthier alternative would be to consume loads of fruits and vegetables. These are a great source of starch and fibre along with being less dense in calorie content.
Fill your diet with whole grains and whole wheat over alternatives as these are also very rich in the all-important fibre and carbohydrates.
An oatmeal breakfast (one cup) along with two slices of brown bread should give you around 90g of carbohydrates. Two cups of brown rice along with two roti for lunch and dinner will provide you with the remaining amount of carbs required for a balanced diet.
#2 Choose your fats wisely
Do not completely shun fat. Fat is an integral part of a healthy diet and is quintessential for maintaining good health and wellbeing.
Fat provides tonnes of energy per gram, and one should limit the intake of fat to an ideal value. However, completely ignoring fat is counterproductive and could result in weight loss.
The recommended fat intake is around 60 grams per day. Get these 60 grams by focussing on unsaturated fats over saturated and trans fats. These are very effective in reducing the chance of heart diseases and also aid in lowering the cholesterol levels.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in fish and in some seeds and nuts such as flax seeds, peanuts, walnuts and almonds. Olive oil, safflower oil, and soybean oil are also good sources of unsaturated fats. Moreover, these foods are rich in other vital vitamins and minerals.
Limit the intake of saturated fats and trans fats by cutting down on packaged and processed foods.
Consume around 40 grams of peanuts and 40 grams of almonds. Along with them, use olive oil or soybean oil for cooking to get the required amount of fat.
#3 Hit the protein target of 60g
Proteins are vital for the body and are indispensable for maintaining good immunity and metabolism. The 60g target is ideal for people having moderate daily activity. However, athletes should aim for a higher protein count and could supplement it with protein powder.
One gram of protein has around four calories of energy and consuming protein is a very effective way of hitting the calorie count without over-relying on carbohydrates and fats. Moreover, adding protein and high-fibre foods to your breakfasts is ideal for a long day.
Seafood and poultry is an excellent source of protein. Vegetarians should consume beans and pulses to meet the protein requirement.
Additionally, legumes are another great source of protein. Dairy-based products and its vegan alternatives such as soy milk and tofu are also rich sources of protein.
Hit the protein target by consuming around 100 grams of meat (preferable seafood such as salmon or mussels) with three whole eggs and one cup (300g) of yogurt.
Vegetarians could easily add 60 grams of protein by having a cup (300g) of chickpeas or red kidney beans with 150g of tofu/cheese and one cup (300g) of yogurt.
#4 Do not forget calcium intake
Having around 1000 mg of calcium intake on a daily basis aids in improving the overall bone strength. In addition, calcium intake plays a crucial role in maintaining cardiovascular health and muscle strength.
Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are great sources of calcium. These are rich in vitamins D and B12 as well.
Moreover, milk provides all the 22 essential minerals required by the body. So, never skip milk from now on.
Almonds, beans, tofu, nuts and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli are excellent alternatives to dairy products.
One cup (300g) of yogurt gives you 300mg of calcium. Top it up with two cups (500ml) of milk for another 500mg. Finally, add one cup (200g) of boiled navy beans and 100g of spinach for the final quota of 200mg of calcium.
#5 Add colour to your diet
Adding colour could never be a bad thing. This is certainly the case with your diet as well. Add loads of fruits and vegetables to add much-required variety and improved nutritional count. Moreover, it is also pointed out that having a bright and a vibrant meals aid in weight loss.
Add red tomatoes, chilli, and paprika to your meal along with green spinach, broccoli, and sprouts. Blend it with portions of carrots, onions, and leeks for a meal that is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and minerals.
Follow the same mantra when it comes to consuming fruits as well. Consume mangoes and papayas along with strawberries to enrich your diet with rich quantities of vitamins A, B6, C, and E.
In addition, have a banana every day as it is a wonderful source of much-required potassium, magnesium, and dietary fibre.
Do you have any tips to provide for a healthy diet plan? Sound off in the comments section below!