Healthy eating: 9 critical basic rules that you should know
Eating healthy is something that everyone should be concerned about. Because the food we eat every day has a massive impact on how healthy we are and how we feel.
Fortunately, awareness of healthy eating is increasingly becoming the focus of public attention. Since there is a massive problem with obesity in our latitudes, this is of great importance.
I will use nine basic rules to give you various essential tips for a balanced diet in the following article.
The definition of healthy eating
When talking about healthy eating, opinions often differ. In the meantime, however, numerous facts are scientifically verifiable.
Therefore, anyone who tells you that this or that form of nutrition is the healthiest has misunderstood a lot because both a vegan diet and a low-carb diet can be unhealthy if you ignore certain things.
Overall, the correct definition takes several factors into account. These include the following!
A healthy diet ensures…
- All essential micro-and macronutrients are taken in insufficient quantities to prevent any deficiency.
- I am avoiding being overweight and underweight.
- That nutrition-associated diseases cannot develop.
- That general human health is maintained and improved.
1.) The basis for a healthy diet
This first tip is the basis for a healthy diet. If it is not taken into account, all subsequent tips lose their meaning.
This is nothing more than the nature of our food every day. To be more precise, the degree of processing of the food.
The more processed food, the fewer micronutrients and fiber it contains.
Since the micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, this is bad because many of these substances are essential and must therefore be supplied regularly with food so that you do not develop a deficiency.
Therefore, the number 1 basic rule for a healthy diet is to eat as much unprocessed food as possible. This means Wholemeal bread instead of white bread, homemade yogurt with fruit instead of ready-made fruit yogurt with added sugar, and fresh meat instead of processed meat (sausage, ham,…).
Of course, these are only three examples, but I think this gives you an excellent idea of what I mean. If you follow this rule, your diet will automatically become healthier. Handy, right? Of course, you don’t have to completely do without everything that is a little more processed. But 80 to 90% of the calories you eat should come from foods as natural as possible. Then you’re more than good at it.
2.) Eat a variety of foods and thus avoid deficits
In addition to eating foods as naturally as possible, you should also ensure variety for a healthy diet.
Because if you always eat the same dishes, then the likelihood is significantly higher than consuming a smaller amount of a micronutrient. On the other hand, if you eat a varied diet and also observe the first basic rule, then the probability of a deficiency occurring is significantly lower.
A varied diet also ensures that you do not run the risk of regularly ingesting possible pollutants in larger quantities.
Don’t get me wrong, especially in German-speaking countries; extremely high food quality. However, certain foods still contain substances that you do not want to invest in higher doses every day.
This includes, for example, mercury, which is contained in large quantities in tuna.
3.) Pay attention to a sufficient intake of omega-three fatty acids
Now that we’ve discussed the basics of healthy eating in the first two points, we can get a little more specific. More specifically, this section is about the so-called omega-three fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids generally have an anti-inflammatory effect. According to scientific data, consuming omega-three and omega-six fatty acids in a ratio of approximately 1 to 4 is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Impressive effects, isn’t it?
The problem is that most people’s diets these days are closer to an omega 3 to omega six ratios of 1 to 17. This, in turn, can increase the risk of various diseases. Therefore, you should ensure that you are getting enough omega-three fatty acids and check your omega six consumption. Omega 6 fatty acids are mainly found in vegetable oils such as sunflower and corn oil. On the other hand, Olive oil contains hardly any omega-six fatty acids. So if you consume a lot of the former oils, it makes sense to replace some of them with olive oil. In the case of omega-three fatty acids, only one fatty acid is essential for humans, i.e., vital. Namely the so-called alpha-linolenic acid
(ALA), which is found in linseed or chia seeds, for example.
The problem, however, is that we convert ALA relatively poorly to the forms that are really important to us. According to studies, only about 4 to 6% of ALA is converted into the necessary conditions of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
Since many people today take in far too many omega-six fatty acids, according to the authors of the study just cited, it can also be expected that this conversion rate will be another 50% lower. This would only mean 2 to 3%.
For this reason, you should make sure that you eat at least one or two servings of oily sea fish per week. Because it already contains the long-chain omega-three fatty acids called EPA and DHA. This eliminates the need for your body first to convert ALA to make these two forms. If you don’t eat fish at all or only rarely, it can make sense to take Omega 3 capsules*.
4.) Understand the energy balance
On the one hand, our diet ensures that we absorb all the necessary nutrients. On the other hand, the calories we consume through food also determine whether we lose weight or gain weight or whether our body fat percentage remains approximately the same.
If the amount of calories we take in on a given day is more significant than our energy expenditure, we gain weight. This is also known as a calorie surplus.
If the amount of calories we take in on a given day is less than our energy expenditure, we lose weight. This is also known as a calorie deficit.
If the amount of calories we take in on a given day is about the same as our energy expenditure, we neither gain nor lose weight. This is also known as a balanced energy balance.
You know the most critical factor determining whether you lose or gain weight if you understand that. You should now take advantage of this knowledge and bring your weight into the normal range. Both being overweight and being underweight have adverse effects on our health.
If you want to lose weight, you should also consider other factors than the calorie deficit. This includes, for example, a sufficient intake of protein to avoid muscle breakdown.
To check your daily calorie consumption, and accurate fitness tracker is the best choice.
5.) Fiber and healthy eating
A point that also needs to be addressed here is adequate fiber intake.
Dietary fibers have four main health-related effects:
1.) Certain dietary fibers, such as the beta-glucan from oatmeal, can positively affect our cholesterol levels.
2.) Fiber can reduce the rise in blood sugar after eating. As a result, it does not drop so much, and you do not get cravings so quickly. 3.) Soluble fiber may be effective against constipation. 4.) Some dietary fibers that have a prebiotic effect
Lose Weight Successfully – The Complete Guide
Promote the growth of good bacteria in our intestines and thus contribute to intestinal health. Since this has an enormous impact on our general health, this point is sometimes one of the most important.
Overall, it is relatively easy to see why fiber should always be consumed in sufficient quantities as part of a healthy diet.
A good basic rule for intake is about 30 grams per day. If you’re not getting enough fiber, you can also find a list of high-fiber foods on my blog.
6.) Don’t fall for myths
Many trends are also being developed in nutrition to make money with them. Be very careful that you only use science-based methods.
At the same time, you also have to remember that what counts is what you do over a more extended period. A week of healthy eating over a year will bring you next to nothing. Change your diet in small steps and always pay attention to high suitability for everyday use.
7.) Water, tea, and coffee instead of sugary drinks
Drinking more significant amounts of sugary drinks every day has nothing to do with healthy eating. This also applies to fruit juices, by the way.
Sure, a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice is something incredible. But instead of drinking a liter of orange juice made from orange juice concentrate every day, you should eat a few real oranges. These provide more fiber and more micronutrients.
So make sure you don’t drink too many sugary drinks—especially not the drinks which only consist of sugar, flavorings, and various E numbers. I think you know what I mean by that.
8.) Avoid trans fats and large amounts of processed meat
Trans fats occur naturally in dairy products and beef and lamb fat. In addition to this, however, they are also produced when fats are hardened, for example, in margarine manufacture. In contrast, studies have not linked naturally occurring trans fats to adverse health effects, those produced through food processing do not. Observational studies show that these increase the risk of coronary heart disease. This type of trans fatty acid has also been linked to an increased tendency to inflammation.
Overall, it would be best if you were careful not to take in excessive amounts of trans fatty acids produced during food production.
Another food not to consume too much of is processed meat. It is a group of foods that includes sausage, ham, and other products. These products are highly processed and unhealthy.
Overall, processed meat should not be a regular part of a healthy diet. A small portion now and then is okay.
9.) Eat enough fruits and vegetables
You probably already know this basic rule, but this post wouldn’t be complete if it weren’t here.
Fruits and vegetables are healthy because they provide fiber, micronutrients, and phytochemicals.
For this reason, you should always include enough of them in your diet.
I can advise you to use micronutrient-rich varieties in particular.
In the case of fruit, this includes berries in particular, such as raspberries or blueberries. When it comes to vegetables, spinach, broccoli, kale, peppers, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are particularly recommended.
Just make sure to eat some of the varieties mentioned regularly and combine them with other fruits and vegetables that are seasonal and available locally.
By the way, fruit and vegetables can also be used very effectively against hunger when losing weight.
An excellent basic rule is to consume around 500 grams of fruit and vegetables (in total) per day. Depending on your tolerance, you can add more.
Recipes suitable for a healthy diet should consider as many of the above points as possible.
You will find low-carb recipes and fitness recipes in the corresponding categories on my blog.
In addition to a healthy diet, you should also make sure you get enough sleep and do some exercise. It doesn’t have to be a sport; long walks are also an excellent activity that promotes your health.
If you have any questions about nutrition or would like to add anything, feel free to leave a comment, and I will answer you.
See you soon and best regards, Healthidem.