The question of what is a proper, healthy diet is not an easy one to answer. If you were to ask ten different people this question, you would probably receive ten different answers. On the one hand, this is because it is a very complex issue. On the other hand, a good deal of research is being conducted on nutrition. This frequently leads to new insights. The prevailing knowledge on nutrition is quickly outdated. As a result, there is uncertainty as to what actually applies now and what doesn’t. But those who stick to some basic rules are usually on the safe side.
Pay attention to diversity
By eating a varied diet, one ensures that the body is adequately supplied with all the necessary nutrients.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are absolute food champions. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Added to this is the fact that they contain numerous phytochemicals, which in turn offer a variety of health benefits.
Favour wholegrain products
Cereals are an important supplier of nutrients. They contain carbohydrates – an important source of energy for the muscles and nerves. In wholegrain products, the grains are not peeled. Instead, they are processed with the shell. And it is these outer layers that are especially high in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Preferably, enjoy lean meat and low-fat milk products
Meat and especially fish are rich in animal proteins. Fish also contains a good deal of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The important factor here is that the meat does not contain too much fat, which has a particularly high number of calories. Sausage and ham are high in calories and also contain large amounts of curing salt, which is considered carcinogenic. Milk and dairy products are rich in protein and other nutrients such as calcium. They are thus suitable for a whole-food diet. Here too, the following applies: low-fat products are better, as they do not drive up calories unnecessarily.
Forego sugar and salt as much as possible
Sweet products – especially soft drinks – should be consumed as little as possible. Although the sugar contained in soft drinks provides the body with calories and thus with energy, it is otherwise low in nutrients. Wholegrain products or potatoes are much better sources of carbohydrates. But not only sweets or sodas contain sugar. Many other foods contain more of it than you would think – e.g. convenience products, ketchup and many breakfast cereals.