What Is a Healthy Diet?
What Is a Healthy Diet?
The definition of healthy has changed a lot over the years. Originally, healthy was thought to be indivisible from clean and pure. Today, healthy is more complex than that. In our society, people strive to achieve some kind of healthy balance between the two – clean and pure, or unhealthy. But is there really such a thing as the definition of healthy? And can you know if your life is healthy?
Healthy, according to the World Health Organization, is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not simply the absence of illness and infirmity. Several definitions have been use for such purposes over the years. Still, the best definition, which is the one most associated with the WHO’s declaration on the definition of healthy and its paramount importance in terms of individual health and the prevention of diseases and premature death, is adapted from the acronym WHO Healthy Age: This is an assessment of a person’s quality of life achieved through the support of activities, including diet, physical activity, and a balanced selection of the staple food products of daily use.
This attitude has promoted development of ncds, or healthy dietary practices, with the aim of promoting better nutrition among the general population. Among the important components of healthy dietary practices is the intake of nutrient-dense foods, which are energy-efficient and free of saturated fat, salt, sugar, and other elements that deplete energy without providing any nutritional value. Also, the consumption of foods that are low in fat and sugar, especially those with a high glycemic index (GI) like refined grains, white rice and potatoes, minimizes risks of developing diabetes and heart diseases. GI also determines the nutrient-density of a food; high-GI foods have a greater volume of nutrients per calorie, which leads to an increase in energy intake and subsequent weight gain.
The concept of a healthy diet is not limited to the consumption of foods rich in vitamins and minerals. It also involves a balanced intake of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and healthy oils. The recommended diet does not comprise foods that are processed or cooked at high temperatures; instead, it is made up of whole foods from plant sources. Whole-grain breads, cereals, pastas, potatoes, tomatoes, and other fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, egg whites, poultry, and eggs are recommended. Aside from these whole-grain foods, dairy products, such as low-fat milk and yogurt, are recommended.
The concept of a healthy diet is not limited to eating only foods rich in vitamins and minerals. It also includes a restriction of foods that are high in sodium, sugars, and preservatives. The intake of salt, especially sodium chloride, should be reduced by at least two grams every day. Foods that are high in sugars include both table sugar and natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables, which are obtained directly from the stems, pits, and leaves of the plants. A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and seafood should be rich in sodium-free foods.
The idea of a healthy diet does not mean eating nothing but vegetables and fruits, and not including anything that is deep-fried, fatty, or sugary. However, it does not mean eating nothing but lean meats, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, egg whites, and low-fat fruits and vegetables. Foods that are high in calories include cookies, cakes, candies, and candy bars. Thus, it is important to choose foods that are low in calories.