Published: 12/06/2012 - Updated: 11/05/2017
You can eat whatever you want, but a balanced diet is more than just calories. Nutrition is essential to overall health, vitality, energy levels and the ability of your body to fight infection.
We cannot lead a very active life with the wrong food. That's why now I present the guidelines established by international experts, on how to plan a healthy and balanced diet.
1 Reduce fat
Excess fat is the main nutritional problem in most Western diets. It is linked to many serious diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, gallbladder problems, and certain cancers.
It also leads to iweight gaining, as fats are full of calorie. Too much fat can make you fat! Although, avoiding every kind of fat, it is neither wise nor desirable.The body requires a small amount to produce the essential fatty acids and vitamins A, D, E and K.
Fats should represent a third or less of daily calories. Saturated fats found in meats, butter, cream, solid fats for cooking, most cheeses, and many of the commercial food (cakes, cookies and chocolates), tend to increase cholesterol in the blood and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Polyunsaturated fats have the power to reduce cholesterol levels, and are found in seed oils (safflower, sunflower, corn and cottonseed), and most nuts. Salt water fish, as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and sea trout, have high levels of omega-3, special polyunsaturated that researchers are studying their properties to prevent cardiovascular diseases and diseases with the immune system.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance of waxy appearance, found in all animal foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and milk). It is essential for the production of hormones and cell wall formation. Although most of the cholesterol is produced by our liver, a high intake of cholesterol in food can increase the blood level.
2 Eat more fiber
A healthy diet should include a variety of foods rich in fiber like vegetables, dried beans, fruits, nuts, seeds, cereal grains and whole grain breads. Adding oats and wheat to a diet that is otherwise ordinary, does not provide all the benefits of the fiber.
The fiber is "appetite repressor" and a filler agent of the nature. It generates satiety and can stop the craving sensation, it is important for dieters.
It also helps the intestinal transit, therefore, prevents constipation, hemorrhoids, and possibly bowel cancer. Soluble fiber, found in oats, dried peas, beans, rice, barley and certain fruits, has the ability to remove cholesterol from the body. Wheat bran and other wheat products lack this ability.
3 Eat more complex carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy for the body either in glucose or glycogen form, stored in muscle or liver. The bread, potatoes, pasta and rice, which are excellent presentations of complex carbohydrates, have often been maligned as "fatty" products.
In fact, a slice of bread or a small potato has the same amount of calories as an apple! Often, it's the fat you eat with these carbohydrates, which provides those extra calories.
4 Eat less salt
A high intake of salt increases risk of hypertension, a silent disease that not only contributes to heart attacks, but, if you don't do anything, can cause death.
Over 50% of our salt intake comes from commercial food, so when you choose your food, look for products with less processes and salt.
5 Eat less sugar
The sugar provides no nutritive agent besides carbohydrates, and can be eliminated from the diet without any problem. Moreover, small amounts of sugar give taste and improve the texture of certain dishes and can remain as part of a balanced diet.
Three quarters of our sugar intake is inside processed foods such as soft drinks, fruit juice concentrates, liquors, cereals, cookies, and more. If you're trying to eat healthy, monitor the consumption of these products. Brown sugar, not processed or dark, is also sugar, even though it contains small amounts of minerals and vitamins that are not important nutrients.