Healthy nutrition means more than just the adequate provision of essential major and minor nutrients; there is more to eating than mere nourishment.
It is an important source of pleasure as well as social interaction and so has cultural significance.
Nutrition is a critical part of health and development.
Healthy nutrition requires an appropriate dietary intake of energy in the form of macronutrients as well as the adequate intake of essential nutrients, comprising vitamins, trace elements, minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids.
Thus, healthy nutrition is related to the improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and longevity.
People with adequate nutrition are more productive and can create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger.
Malnutrition has traditionally been regarded as the outcome of a lack of sufficient energy or specific nutrients (undernutrition).
Malnutrition, in every form, presents significant threats to human health.
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Today the world faces a double burden of malnutrition that includes both undernutrition and obesity, especially in developing countries.
Obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century.
In addition to causing various physical disabilities and psychological problems, excess weight drastically increases a person’s risk of developing a number of noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
World Health Organization (WHO) is providing scientific advice and decision-making tools that can help countries take action to improve nutritional health.
Consider this Healthy Nutrition Grocery List:
A healthy diet should include:
- Meals based on starchy foods, such as bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes – including high fiber varies where possible.
- Plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least 5 portions of a variety a day.
- Moderate amounts of milk and dairy products – choose low-fat options where possible.
- Moderate amounts of foods that are good sources of protein such as meat, fish, eggs, beans, and lentils.
- Low amounts of foods that contain large amounts of fats or sugar.
Twelve steps to healthy eating
- Eat a nutritious diet based on a variety of foods originating mainly from plants, rather than animals.
- Eat bread, grains, pasta, rice or potatoes several times a day.
- Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, preferably fresh and local, several times per day (at least 400g per day)
- Maintain a body weight between the recommended limits (BMI=20-25 kg/m2) by taking moderate levels of physical activity, preferably daily.
- Control fat intake (not more than 30% of daily energy) and replace most saturated fats with unsaturated vegetable oils or soft margarine.
- Replace fatty meat and meat products with beans, legumes, lentils, fish, poultry or lean meat.
- Use milk and dairy products (kefir, sour milk, yogurt, and cheese) that are low in both fat and salt.
- Select foods that are low in sugar, and eat refined sugar sparingly, limiting the frequency of sugary drinks and sweets.
- Choose a low-salt diet. Total salt intake should not be more than one teaspoon (6g) per day, including the salt in bread and processed cured and preserved foods. (Salt iodization should be universal where iodine deficiency is endemic.)
- If alcohol is consumed, limit intake to no more than 2 drinks (each containing10g of alcohol) per day.
- Prepare food in a safe and hygienic way. Steam, bake, boil or microwave to help reduce the amount of added fat.
- Promote exclusive breastfeeding and the introduction of safe and adequate complementary foods from the age of 6 months while breastfeeding continues during the first years of life.
Healthy balanced nutrition means getting the right types and amounts of foods and drinks to supply nutrition and energy for maintaining body cells, tissues, and organs, and for supporting normal growth and development.
Well-Balanced nutrition provides enough energy and nutrition for optimal growth and development.
To ensure healthy nutrition, firstly, need to know how many calories we should consume every day; secondly, what size portions we should eat and which are the healthy choices from each food group.
Also, read nutrition labels on all foods.
This will help us know what kind of fats, and how much, the food contains.