What are the 4 main healthy eating guidelines?
A healthy diet is important for everyone and can help prevent chronic disease. It can also contribute to your overall health and wellbeing, increase your longevity, and improve your mood.
1. EAT ENOUGH CALORIES
It’s recommended that adults should eat between 2000 and 2500 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight. It’s also important to keep calorie intake in balance as obesity is a serious risk factor for certain health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
2. CHOOSE A VARIETY OF FOODS
Eating a variety of foods provides you with many different types and amounts of nutrients that your body needs. It helps you stay well hydrated, gives your brain and muscles fuel and keeps your bones strong.
3. FILL YOUR PLATE WITH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fill half your plate with fresh, canned, frozen or dried fruit and vegetables at every meal or snack. Choose a wide range of colours and flavours.
4. CHOOSE WHOLE GRAINS
Whole grains contain fibre, protein and B vitamins which can help you feel full longer. These include brown or wild rice, quinoa and hulled barley.
5. INCLUDE DIETARY PROTEIN IN YOUR DAILY MEAL
Protein is the building block of muscle and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Foods high in protein include lean meat, fish, eggs, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), fortified soy beverages, lower fat milk, low fat cheeses and yoghurt.
6. GET IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE
Physical activity is essential for your overall health and may help reduce your risk of serious health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. It can also contribute to your overall well-being, improve your mood and reduce stress.
7. LOWER SALT IN YOUR DAILY MEAL
Limiting salt intake is important to help control blood pressure, which can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. It’s best to avoid foods with more than 1.5g of salt per 100g.
9. GET IN HEALTHY FAT
To keep your total fat intake under 30 to 35 percent of daily calories, choose fats from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and fish. It’s also a good idea to replace saturated fat with healthy monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil.
10. REMOVE ADDED SUGARS AND SATELLITES FROM YOUR DIET
It’s important to keep added sugars and salt intakes below 10 percent of your total calorie intake as these are linked to poor health. It’s best to avoid sugary drinks and sweets, as well as fried and processed foods.
12. EAT A MINIMUM OF 5 SERVINGS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AT EVERY MEAL OR SNAACK IN YOUR DAILY DIET
The number of serves of fruits and vegetables that you should eat each day depends on your age, gender and body mass index. You can find out how much you should be eating from the USDA Food Patterns or MyPlate.