Although maintaining a healthy diet is important for optimal health, determining and knowing what to eat remains a challenge for many people. With so much hype around nutrition and diets, it can be a little hard to determine what you should be eating to stay healthy.
Here’s some tips on how you can make sure you are eating a balanced diet without stressing about if you’re doing it correctly:
Make the majority of your meals contain fruits and vegetables (½ of your plate)
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Choose My Plate,” any fruit, vegetable or 100% juice derived from a fruit or vegetable counts as a member of the fruit and vegetable group. Fruits and vegetables can be raw, cooked, frozen, canned, dried or dehydrated. Harvard Health also recommends aiming for variety in the color and type of vegetables you eat.
Eat your whole grains (¼ of your plate)
Any food made from wheat, rice, cornmeal, barley or other grain is a grain product. However, Harvard Health recommends that you ingest whole and intact grains, which include whole wheat, barley, wheat berries, quinoa, and brown rice.
Protein (¼ of your plate)
Some healthy protein options include fish, poultry, beans and nuts. However, both the USDA and Harvard Health recommend that you limit your intake of red and processed meat (like bacon or sausage).
Friendly oils from friendly plants
Harvard Health recommends that all oils, with the exception of hydrogenated oils, should be eaten in moderation, but if you want to use oils plant oils are the way to go.
You should drink around two liters of water a day. Sugary drinks should be saved for occasions and milk and dairy products should be limited to one or two servings per day.