Healthy Eating Guide

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Your Guide to Healthy Eating : Variety

Variety - The Spice of Life

This saying is certainly true when it comes to eating a healthy diet. 

Many people get stuck in ruts where they eat too much of one type of food. 

This leaves their body with excessive nutrients in one area, and none in another. 

No one likes to eat the same thing everyday, but sometimes we do for the pure convenience of it. 

There are a variety of foods that you can add to your diet to keep it from becoming stagnant and boring. 

There are hundreds of fruits and vegetables available at the average grocery store. 

There are also several other types of food that you can add to your diet including:

  1. Fresh fruit
  2. Vegetables
  3. Meats
  4. Whole grains

 

Variety is one of the things that nutritionists stress the most. 

They say that variety is important for both nutrition and psychological reasons. 

A varied diet is essential for a person to maintain good health and to maintain a good psychological well-being. 

Feeling deprived of your favorite foods can cause you to give up a healthy lifestyle. 

Variety allows you to incorporate your favorites with healthy foods and offers the chance for you to develop new favorites as well.

It is important that you continue to eat foods that you like, but in moderation. 

Instead of giving up bacon, have it as occasional treat. 

The same is true for desserts and sweets.

It is important that people eat from the five major food groups each day. 

The USDA identifies these food groups as:

  1. Fresh fruit
  2. Vegetables
  3. Meats
  4. Whole grains

 

By combining these food groups, you are ensuring that your body is receiving the necessary nutrients that these items contain. 

This helps to ensure proper levels of nutrition.

Simply eating from these groups is not enough. 

There are a variety of foods in these groups that would not necessarily be considered healthy such as ice cream or candied yams. 

The five food groups may be represented, but they don’t do you much good if they are coated in sugar. 

Choosing the best foods from these groups is important as well. 

Choosing healthy means that you want to look for foods that are not supped up with excess fat or sugar. 

It also means choosing meats from the lean section and removing the fat and skin from chicken. 

By doing this, you are eliminating unnecessary calories and excess fat.

When you choose breads and cereals, it is important not to choose those that are loaded with sugar or overly refined. 

Choose whole grains hat have not been enhanced. 

Many of these whole grains are also fortified with additional vitamins and minerals.

This insures that you are receiving these extra nutrients, but you should not rely on fortified foods alone. 

It is important that you get these nutrients in their natural form as well. 

Many foods are also supplemented with calcium and folic acid. 

These help to ensure that bones and teeth stay strong. 

Folic acid is essential in preventing birth defects.

If you can substitute healthy foods for those that are less healthy, you will be on your way. 

For example, you can substitute skinless white meat chicken for dark meat drumsticks

.  This is a good way to maximize nutrition without losing good food options.