Although some people have decided to stay away from certain food items or follow specific diets for reasons of health, the vast majority of people don’t need any particular diet to be at their best.
It’s not saying that certain food habits can’t help you.
Some people are healthier when they follow a low-carb diet. However, others thrive with high-carbohydrate diets.
However, eating healthily generally does not have anything to do with following particular diets or rules of diet. “Healthy eating” means focusing on your health and wellness by feeding the body healthy food.
The details may differ for every person based on their place of residence, their financial situation, their social and cultural background, as well as the preferences of their taste.
Healthy eating doesn’t require a specific diet. It’s about prioritizing your health by feeding your body with nutritious foods.
The fundamentals of eating healthy
Now that you understand why eating healthy is essential, we can discuss some of the basics of nutrition.
When you think of healthy eating, your initial idea may be centered around calories. Although calories are essential, your primary focus should be on nutrients.
This is because nutrients, such as carbs, protein and fats, vitamins and minerals are what your body requires to be healthy. “Nutrient density” refers to the number of nutrients present in food items in relation to how many calories it supplies ( 11Trusted Source).
All food items contain calories. However, not all foods are nutritionally dense.
For example, a chocolate bar or box of cheese and mac could be extremely rich in calories but lack minerals, vitamins protein, and fiber. Similar to foods advertised as “diet-friendly” or “low calorie,” they could be extremely low in calories but lack nutrients.
Additionally, while some nutrient-rich foods, like a variety of vegetables and fruits, aren’t high in calories, most of them -like nuts, full-fat yogurt, eggs, avocados, egg yolks, and fish with fatty fats are packed with calories. This is fine!
Simply because a food item is calorie-rich does not mean it’s unhealthy. In the same way that an item isn’t high in calories doesn’t mean it’s an ideal choice for health.
If your choices for food are solely based on calories, then you’re not getting the purpose of eating healthy.
In general, you should consume foods rich in nutrients such as protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. These include vegetables, fruit and nuts, seeds, legumes, fatty fish, and eggs.
Another critical aspect of eating healthy is variety in the diet, which is consuming a range of food.
A diet of different foods helps the gut microbiome, helps maintain a healthy weight loss, and guards against chronic illness (14Trusted Source 15Trusted Source 17Trusted Source).
However, consuming a wide range of foods can be difficult if you’re a a selective eater.
If so, you should introduce new food items one at a. If you don’t consume a lot of vegetables, you can start by adding your favorite vegetable to a couple of meals each day, then increase the amount from there.
While you might not like eating new foods, studies show that the more exposure you get to a particular food, the higher your chance of getting used to the food ( 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).
The primary nutrients you get from food, include fats, carbs, and protein. (Fiber is considered to be a kind that is a carb.)
The general rule is that your snacks and meals should be balanced across three. Notably, adding fat and protein to carbs that are high in fiber makes meals more satisfying and delicious ( 20Trusted Source).
If, for instance, you’re munching on an apple or a piece of fruit and want to add an ounce of nut butter or a little cheese will keep you fuller than if you take the fruit by itself.
It’s okay even if your diet doesn’t seem balanced every day.