Diet Basics

Diet Basics
Most of us eat what we have been taught by our families but is this the ideal diet for a healthy life? A nutritious diet should provide you with the necessary calories and nutrients to meet your goals. For the average person this includes a variety of foods from the major food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, and protein foods. This article will review some basic information you need in order to plan the ideal diet.

Your diet should reflect your health and fitness goals and will constantly change over time. A 50-year-old sedentary man should not eat the same as an adolescent athlete. Your choice of foods and the amount will be based on your current situation. If you are trying to lose weight you will eat less calories while those who need to gain weight will eat more calories. If you have an office job and do very little physical activity then you need fewer calories to fuel your body than someone who has a physically demanding job and is a marathon runner. Children are developing and need more fuel than a mature adult.

Your health status should also drive your food choices. Individuals with hypertension should avoid foods high in sodium while those with diabetes should have a diet that restricts carbohydrates and avoids added sugars. Someone who has heart disease needs to be more conscience of the types of fats in his diet compared to the individual whose cholesterol is 125.
Not everyone can afford to buy expensive cuts of meats or even the tastiest vegetables however it is worth your while to plan your meals with your budget in mind. Shopping at a farmer’s market is cheaper than trying to buy vegetables from the corner store. Purchasing food items in bulk and storing (or freezing) the excess is a wiser investment. There are plenty of ways to make healthy eating affordable.

Not everything we want is available and there is plenty that we can’t afford. Planning a diet that is tasty and healthy can be a challenge and of course if we enjoy eating the food then we are more likely to do this in the long run. However, taste isn’t a necessity. There are some foods that we just need to eat because it’s good for us, even if it isn’t good to us. Just try to strike a balance and always veer on the side of nutritious. Remember the goal of good nutrition is to maintain a healthy body so you can function at the highest level possible.

I hope this article has provided you with information that will help you make wise choices, so you may:

Live healthy, live well and live long!

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Essential Nutrients
Understanding Calories

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