Food provides the energy and nutrients you need to be healthy. Nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water.
Learning to eat nutritiously is not hard. The key is to
- Eat a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products
- Eat lean meats, poultry, fish, beans and low-fat dairy products
- Drink lots of water
- Go easy on the salt, sugar, alcohol, saturated fat and trans fat
Saturated fats are usually fats that come from animals. Look for trans fat on the labels of processed foods, margarines and shortenings.
For good nutrition a person should eat a well-balanced diet, that is, one that provides an adequate amount of each of the classes of nutrients each day, furnishing at the same time an adequate but not excessive number of calories for the body's energy needs. Children require relatively larger amounts of nutrients and calories because of their rapid growth. The foods required for proper nutrition fall roughly into three major groups: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; vitamins, minerals, and water are also important.
It is upsetting to think about, but the foods you eat to stay healthy can make you sick. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect yourself and your family from foodborne illness. There are things you can do in the grocery store, like avoiding cans that are bulging or jars that have cracks or loose lids. At home, you should
- Be sure that your refrigerator and freezer are the right temperature for storing food
- Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods right away
- Throw away anything that looks or smells suspicious. If you think a food might be bad, don't taste it!
- Wash your hands well before preparing food
- Keep your work area, wash rags and utensils clean
- Cook meats thoroughly
If you are overweight, you are not alone. Sixty-six percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Achieving a healthy weight can help you control your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. It might also help you prevent weight-related diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and some cancers.
Eating too much or not being physically active enough will make you overweight. To maintain your weight, the calories you eat must equal the energy you burn. To lose weight, you must use more calories than you eat. A weight-control strategy might include :
- Choosing low-fat, low-calorie foods
- Eating smaller portions
- Drinking water instead of sugary drinks
- Being physically active
Staying healthy includes a balanced diet, staying clean, getting plenty of exercise as well as keeping your heart strong and free of drugs. People who practice good nutrition, hygiene and exercise patterns develop a lifetime of habits that will keep them healthy for many years. Especially when they are older.
3 basic rules for a healthy diet:
Variety means that you must include many different foods from each level of the Food Pyramid because no single food can supply all of the nutrients that your growing body needs on a daily basis. This can help to expand your food choices. It is best to eat foods of all colours. The more colours and textures in your daily meals, the better range of nutrients you'll get.
Balance means that you must eat the right amounts of foods from all levels of the Food Pyramid each day. This way you will get all the calories and nutrients you need for proper growth and development.
Moderation means that you are careful not to eat too much of any one type of food.