What is Diet?
People often think of a diet as a specific weight-loss plan, but diet is simply the types and amounts of food we eat. A good diet must include a balance of several food groups, as no single group can provide everything we need for good health.
With more than 2 out of every 3 American adults now considered overweight or obese, healthful eating habits are more important than ever. There is so much information available that finding a suitable option can be overwhelming, but a few simple changes can make a diet more healthful and reduce the risk of numerous medical problems.
What You Can and Can’t Eat
For protein, you can eat fish, poultry, red meat, low-fat cheese (cottage cheese, feta, mozzarella, Muenster), eggs, and tofu.
Also allowed: leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, green beans, asparagus, celery, cucumber, and mushrooms.
The plan calls for you to get 25 grams of fiber every day. (For comparison, one cup of whole wheat spaghetti has 6 grams of fiber.) You can also have some fats: olive and nut oils, avocado, and butter.
You can have diet sodas and artificial sweeteners in moderation.
What is healthful eating?
Having a balanced diet means choosing from all five main food groups, in the right quantities.
Examples of whole grains are wholemeal bread, pasta, and cereals, in which each grain includes the germ and bran.
To make sure the grains are whole grains, look for the word “whole” or “whole grain” on the nutritional information on the packaging.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Choosing a variety of colors can help maximize the intake of nutrients.
The American Heart Association recommend consuming 8 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. This equates to about 4.5 cups per day for the average person who consumes around 2,000 calories.
Juices labeled “100 percent” are considered part of this food group, but eating whole fruits or vegetables is better, as it will provide more fiber.