A healthy diet is essential for the overall well-being of the human body. It helps reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases and fight some conditions. Going to a doctor and a nutritionist is an important step to know the needs of each individual and have a diet that responds to them, especially with the great diversity of extreme diets that are becoming popular.“Fad diets may promise quick results, but these diets limit the amount of nutrients you take in, can be unhealthy, and tend to fail in the long run.”, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Diversity, colors and variety in a diet is important. The World Health Organization explains the characteristics of a healthy diet:
- It should include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains.
- Minimum five servings of fruit and vegetables per day; except potatoes and other starchy tubers.
- The total caloric intake of free sugars (those added to beverages such as honey, syrups, etc.) should be less than 10%, in the case of an individual with a healthy body weight and who consumes around 2,000 calories per day .
- Daily caloric intake from fat should be less than 30%. Unsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats. According to the WHO, industrially produced trans fats should be avoided.
- Consume less than 5 grams of salt per day, which is equivalent to a small tablespoon.
Additionally, the CDC recommends moderating your intake of free sugars. “To obtain greater benefits, it is recommended to reduce its consumption to less than 5% of the total caloric intake”, recommends the CDC.
Saturated and unsaturated fats
There are two types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Most of the foods that are consumed on a daily basis have a combination of both. The difference is that the first is in a solid state at room temperature and the second is in a liquid state.
Saturated fat has negative effects on people’s health. This can be found in foods such as butter, milk and whole cheese. This type of fat puts the well-being of the body at risk, because it significantly increases the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the bloodstream. Cholesterol can cause clogging of the arteries, which triggers heart attacks or strokes.
The experts at Medline Plus, the website of the United States National Library of Medicine, point out that in order to have a balanced diet, saturated fats should be less than 6% of total daily calories. These are found naturally in butter, cream, baked goods, fried goods, palm oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and ice cream. The newspaper The vanguard Mention the foods that contain it the most:
1. Red meat.
2. Extra virgin coconut oil.
3. Dairy products and their derivatives (cheese, yogurt).
4. Cookies, donuts.
Ideally, moderate your daily consumption and contribute to optimal health. To find out what eating habits should be modified, it is recommended to consult a nutritionist. This professional can give the appropriate advice.
Tips to start a healthy diet
Mayo Clinic, A non-profit entity dedicated to clinical practice, education and research, provides some tips to start a healthy diet. Explain that it is important to have a diet that: