Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your outlook, and stabilizing your mood. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone.
By using these simple tips from Al Arabia, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create a tasty, varied, and healthy diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.
We all know that eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of wellbeing.
Eating more fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at home, and reducing your fat and sugar intake, help to improve mood and lower your risk for mental health problems. While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important.
That means switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet and make a difference to the way you think and feel.
To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day—rather than one big drastic change. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.
Key to any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. Moderation is also about balance, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.
Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Focus on eating the recommended daily minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables and it will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods. A serving is half a cup of raw fruit or veg or a small apple or banana, for example. Most of us need to double the amount we currently eat.
|Fruits and vegetables||At least five ½ cup servings|
|Calcium||1,000mg or 1,200mg if over 50|
|Fiber||21g to 38g|
|Protein||0.8g to 1.5g of high-quality protein per kilogram (2.2lb) of body weight|
|Saturated fat||No more than 16g|
|Trans fat||No more than 16g|
|Sugar||Keep calories from added sugars under 100 (24g or 6 teaspoons) for women and under 150
(36g or 9 teaspoons) for men
|Sodium||No more than 1,500 to 2,300 mg (one teaspoon of salt)|
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