The 4 main healthy eating guidelines are to consume a variety of nutritious foods, control calories and avoid excessive amounts of saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars, salt and alcohol. This should be achieved by following a healthful eating pattern that is appropriate for your age and gender.
Consume a variety of foods across the major food groups, especially whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and lean meats. Choose beverages that are low in added sugars. Aim to consume less than 6g of salt (about a teaspoonful) a day for adults and children aged 11 and over.
Eat a variety of protein foods, such as seafood, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds. Choose foods that are lower in solid fats, and limit oils that are high in saturated and trans fats.
Aim to get plenty of fibre from a range of foods, including fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, wholegrain breads and cereals, and fortified breakfast drinks and yoghurt. Avoid highly processed foods that contain a lot of added sugar, fat, salt and saturated and trans fats.
Maintain a reasonable weight, and do plenty of physical activity. If you are overweight, lose weight by reducing total calorie intake and increasing physical activity. If you are underweight, increase the amount of energy you eat to help you reach and maintain an optimal weight.
Follow food safety recommendations to reduce the risk of illness from food-borne microorganisms. This includes avoiding raw or undercooked eggs and meat, unpasteurized milk and juices, certain deli meats, and raw sprouts. This is particularly important for infants and young children, older adults and those who are immunocompromised.
Consume alcoholic beverages in moderation and only for those of legal drinking age. Ensure adequate intakes of iron and folate from foods and beverages.
A healthy diet is one that contains adequate amounts of nutrients and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, added salt, added sugars, and sodium. It is also high in fiber, potassium, calcium and magnesium. In addition, a healthy diet aims to balance meals and snacks, and include enough starch and fiber, vitamins and minerals. It is also recommended to eat plenty of foods that are rich in iron and vitamin C, such as fortified cereals, dark green vegetables, leafy vegetables, fruits and berries. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should make sure they consume foods and beverages that provide adequate dietary iron.