What is a healthy diet?
Many different theories define the exact meaning of a healthy diet, and many surveys support every formulation. But before we know what a healthy diet is, the most important and essential thing we need to know is the definition of diet.
According to the explanation of dictionary, there are four meanings of this word: the first one food and drink regularly provided or consumed, the second is constant nourishment, the third is the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a particular reason and the last on is a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly to reduce one’s weight.
All meanings relate to food, which is an essential element for a healthy diet.
A healthy diet means a well-balanced diet to your body, which could give the nutrition and make it function well. Food is also could be treated as fuel to our organization, every time you put it in your body, the body will use/burn it as a fuel provided for all physical activities.
According to the study of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a healthy diet concludes vegetables, whole grains, fruits and healthy protein, water, and healthy oils. Not only variety but also quantity matters.
What kinds of food compose a healthy diet?
As we all know, there are two kinds of food suitable for our health. One is vegetable, and the other is fruit. But only these two types could help us to stay healthy? Or could we live healthy only by eating plants or fruits? The answers are NO, and it’s a misunderstanding. There is no doubt that vegetables and fruits are an essential part of a healthy diet, and the variety is as important as quantity.
However, no single fruit or vegetable could provide all of the nutrients we need to keep fit, so it’s an excellent choice to eat plenty of them every day. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has projected the theory of the Healthy Eating Plate.
According to their study, a healthy diet should be rich in vegetables and fruits which could lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check. Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits like apples, pears, and green leafy vegetables may even promote weight loss. Their low glycemic loads prevent blood sugar spikes that can increase hunger.
At least nine different families of fruits and vegetables exist, each with potentially hundreds of different plant compounds that are beneficial to health. Eat a variety of types and colors of produce to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. This not only ensures greater diversity of beneficial plant chemicals but also creates eye-appealing meals.
What's the importance of a healthy diet in our daily life?
If we want to live a colorful life, what must we do first? We must have a healthy body to support our chase of a better and more admirable goal. And diet is the primary condition for humans to maintain life. To make people live healthy and happy, full of vitality and wisdom, it’s not enough only focus on a full stomach, and we still need to consider the flexible deployment of diet to ensure the intake of various nutrients required by the human body.
The human body can fully absorb a well-balanced diet, so that supports more physical activities. The World Health Organization has proposed four cornerstones of health: sensible diet, moderate exercise, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol, and psychological balance.
To live a healthy life needs to keep a healthy diet. It shows that a sensible diet is an essential part of health. But now, more and more scientific results show that most diseases that endanger human health are caused by improper diet.
How harmful is an unhealthy diet?
A new study by the Australian National University found that, compared with the 1970s, people now consume an average of about 650-kilo calories per day, which is equivalent to a set of standard fast food consisting of a hamburger, a fries and a cup of soft drinks.
The diet is not healthy enough. This unhealthy diet degrades brain function and is associated with type 2 diabetes. Nicholas Shelbian, a professor at the Australian National University’s Centre for Aging, Health, and Welfare Studies, who leads the research, said in a communique that brain health degradation might be much earlier than previously thought, mainly due to modern society Promote people to choose an unhealthy lifestyle.
Many factors affect the aging of the human body, including disease, nutrition, exercise, social pressure, mental emotions, environment, and climate, etc. However, as the so-called “old entrance,” an unreasonable diet will make the nutrition unbalanced, thus affecting the internal body. The environment destroys the biological metabolic processes in the body and accelerates the aging of the body.
How to make a healthy diet plan?
- Work with someone professional, like a dietetic technician or doctor. They can help you to make a more professional and detailed diet plan. While everybody could benefit from eating a healthier diet, different people have different dietary needs and goals. Expert people can help you develop your ideal diet plan based on factors such as your current weight and health level, and any medical conditions you have.
- Set a clear goal of your healthy diet. Things could proceed well with a beautiful beginning. Willing to eat healthily, you could turn to your doctors or dietitians for further help and plan. Meanwhile, you could explain yourself with a determined goal. After the consultation, you could make a list of your goals that doctors or dietitians recommend.
- If you’re going to achieve a great goal, then you could set goals in stages. It is known to all that long journey is difficult to finish in a short time, and we need to divide it into different parts so that we’ll feel more motivated. It’s the same as your diet goal. You could firstly set 2 or 3 goals and after the achievement, then set a new and long goal. In this way, you’ll feel more motivated and less pressure.
- Write down your current goal and keep your current progress in mind, not only could motivate yourself for further development but also could track your record of daily meals, which could help to know much more about yourself. Recording what you eat and drink could also remind yourself to obey the diet plan strictly.
What time shall we eat?
In general, people around the world are used to having three meals a day, which are breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many people like to have brunch or tea time in tea afternoon, too. To have a healthy diet, how to arrange the time for meals a day?
Breakfast is known as the most important meal for a day, and it’s better to have at about 7 am. Breakfast can not only continuously provide energy to the body, but also supplement the necessary nutrients. Without the help of breakfast, the power and nutrients required by the body are challenging to get supplemented.
What’s worse, it takes more risks of gaining weight or a harmful effect on the stomach if you don’t have breakfast for a long time. Whether if you could have a beautiful day sometimes depends on the quality of your breakfast. To start a new day with an excellent breakfast.
At about 10:30, it’s an excellent choice to have the first extra meal. Between 7 am and 10 am, our metabolism is 40% faster than that at another time. Therefore, we need to eat some low-fat carbohydrates to get energy for a concentrated and positive state.
At 12 pm, it’s a time that our body needs energy most, so it’s a perfect choice to have lunch right now. Remember to chew as slowly as you can and, if possible, don’t have lunch while you’re still staring at the computer. It’s terrible for the stomach and system of the digest.
It’s tea time at about 3 pm. After a long time of working, your energy has lost a lot, so you need to replenish energy immediately. Having an extra meal at this time could not only make you feel energetic once again but also will relax your brain so that you can continue to work lively.
Dinner is recommended to be finished 4 hours before bedtime. Four hours is the time required for food to be completely digested and absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Otherwise, sleeping with undigested food will not only accumulate fat, but your sleep quality will also be significantly affected.
Importance of healthy diet to bodybuilders
Generally, professional fitness people need to pay more attention to the balance of dietary health and nutrition. Diet affects a lot on the fitness condition. Fitness people often exercise for a long time or intense exercise. This process always consumes a lot of body energy.
Therefore, bodybuilders need to care much about not only three meals a day, but also the additional feed of energy or nutrition during exercises. Just like what we often can see on TV, professional athletes take sports drinks and have some bananas during the intermission for more energy.
Bodybuilders could turn to sports drinks( or some pure salty water) and bananas, too. Sports drinks or salty water could offer electrolyte, and the sugar in banana could help to create more energy to burn for physical activities.
Therefore, bodybuilders need a lot of nutrition; the most common are protein, various vitamins, iron, and so on. For a better fitness effect and a balanced diet, bodybuilders had better not to skip any food even though you don’t like or want to eat them.
Recipes recommended for sports lovers
As we talked about above, bodybuilders should pay more attention to the balanced diet. There are many options for sports lovers, such as egg, broccoli, beef, milk, nuts, and so on. Even though bodybuilders need to obey rules of fitness, they still can have meals not only rich in nutrition but also delicious. The followings are two simple recipes for sports lovers.
Peanut Butter Jam Sandwich: This sandwich bread and jam contain a lot of carbohydrates, which provides sufficient energy for muscles in the next workout; peanut butter contains a certain amount of protein, which can give you a continuous feeling of satiety and prevent after exercise Starvation caused an extreme desire for food and led to overeating. Research shows that eating a small number of peanuts can help you maintain a healthy weight. Ready to start brisk walking or yoga class? Try to consume half such a sandwich first.
Oatmeal low-fat milk and fruit: you want to exercise in the morning? Start a new day’s diet with a bowl of high-fiber oatmeal and fruit. Your body’s digestion and absorption of carbohydrates in this combination will be slower, so blood sugar will be more stable. You will feel energetic longer.
Tips for a healthy diet
Many people always forget to drink more water or eat more vegetables or fruits even though they’re willing to do so in the beginning. Then to develop a good habit of having a healthy diet, we could follow some tips that are recommended by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
If you’re going to keep sincerely in mind of having vegetables and fruits, then you could put the vegetables or fruits where you can easily see them. There should be several washed whole fruits so that you could be ready to eat very soon.
Surveys show that the variety and color of the foods you take in are key to a healthy diet. People are recommended to get a least one fruit or vegetable serving from each of the following categories: dark green leafy vegetables, yellow or orange fruits, and vegetables, red fruits and vegetables, legumes (beans) and peas, and citrus fruits.
A healthy diet also needs to skip the potatoes. Choose other vegetables that are packed with different nutrients and more slowly digested carbohydrates.
Why not take some time to make it a meal and get excellent health? It’s easy and convenient to have meals outside with takeaway food, but it’s healthier to cook at home. You could try cooking some new recipes that include more fruits or vegetables. Salads, soups, and stir-fries are not only good to look but also for increasing the number of tasty vegetables in your meals.