We can all agree that health is the single most important thing in our lives. Without it, all the other goods we acquired are meaningless, and we can never be truly happy. Preserving health should be everyone’s highest priority. It goes without saying that choosing the right food is a great way to kick-start your healthy way of living and create a good foundation for all the other efforts, such as exercising. Unfortunately, all the information on what’s healthy and what’s not are neither concise, nor that comprehensible to begin with. That’s why we will give you a few essential elements of every healthy meal.
The Healthy Plate
Basically, all you need to know about healthy meals can be explained through the concept of Healthy Plate which divides your ideal meal to four parts with healthy oils and water as necessary addition. So, let’s look at all the individual pieces and see why they are so important.
- Whole Grains
If you ever researched healthy food you have probably come across the word carbohydrates every now and then. No wonder, since they are a major source of energy and help your body function properly. As a matter of fact, you should get 45-65% of daily calories from them, but choosing the right source of carbs is the tricky part. Best one you can find are whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal. Your body can’t digest them as quickly as highly processed carbohydrates (namely white flour) which prevents drastic fluctuations of blood sugar and keeps the hunger at bay. If you are following the 2.000 calories diet, you should consume 225-325 grams of such carbohydrates every day.
- Fruit and Vegetables
Diet filled with fruit and vegetables has numerous benefits and decreases chances of a heart attack, lowers blood pressure and protects against some types of cancer. One of the main reasons for such usefulness is the fact that fruit and vegetables are mostly low in carbohydrates and fats, but high in fibers, vitamins, and minerals. You really can’t go wrong with any of them so it’s recommended to eat five or more portions of fruit/vegetables a day outside your regular meals, preferably in raw form. Just skip the potatoes; they can lead to some serious weight gains.
- Healthy Proteins
Proteins are the building blocks of body tissue and a major fuel source, so we can easily say they are one of the essential nutrients for our bodies. Unfortunately, they never come isolated so it’s very important to choose the food that will provide you all the benefits of proteins and reduce the drawbacks of all the other elements. Foods like fish (very recommended because it’s rich with heart-healthy omega-3 fats), chicken, and turkey will keep your Scanpan busy and give you something to play with. Just be sure to keep the daily amount of protein somewhere around 46 grams if you are a lady, and 56 grams if you are a man.
- Oils and Fats
Like carbohydrates, fats gained a very bad reputation over the years, but again, like carbs, there are some fats that are actually very beneficial to your health. Do your best, though, to limit your total fat intake to no more than 20-35% of your daily calories. Aim to meet those requirements by using unsaturated fats like nut butters, seeds, avocado, nuts, olive oil, canola, soy, corn, sunflower, and peanuts.
Believe us when we say that water is so much more than a simple thirst-quencher. In the end, it constitutes 60% of your body, it has to be important, right? Yes, because, water is one of the major nutrient elements that lubricates your joints, protects your organs, and helps in regulation of body temperature. It also helps the transport of numerous important substances, like oxygen, throughout your body. Be sure then to drink at least 3 liters (or 13 cups) daily if you are a man, or 2.2 liters (9 cups) if you are a woman. Juice and milk are great sources of liquid, but they should not substitute more than one cup of water daily.
We hope that we made your life if just a little bit easier now. Granted, you can’t follow these rules always and sometimes pork, pizza, cookies, and artificial sweeteners will find a way into your body, but as long as the majority of your meals follow the Healthy Plate rules, you have nothing to worry about. Enjoy your happy life and have a nice meal!