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January 13, 2019 at 12:30 | HEALTHY

What does a healthy diet mean? Make simple shifts toward a healthier diet


The expert panel that developed the 2015–20 Dietary Guidelines for Americans acknowledged a shift away from focusing on individual nutrients or foods, toward considering everything we eat and drink. The aim is to have us worry less about getting the recommended dietary intake of every vitamin and mineral and instead to develop a general sense of what constitutes a healthy meal.

Nutrition scientists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who share that view, have developed the Healthy Eating Plate to illustrate the basic components of a healthy diet. The relative sizes of the plate’s sections suggest approximate proportions of each of the food groups to include in a healthy meal.

The representation is not based on specific calorie amounts and is not meant to prescribe a certain number of calories or servings per day, since individuals’ calorie and nutrient needs vary based on age, gender, body size, and level of activity.

The following should help you shift into a healthier eating pattern.

Avoid the center grocery aisles. Cutting down on prepared foods—the principal sources of added sugars, sodium, and refined carbohydrates—is key to better eating.

Shun flavored sodas. Sugary beverages are major culprits in the obesity epidemic. Although diet soda is a possible short-term substitute, drinking it regularly may affect your body’s ability to gauge how many calories you are consuming. Sparkling and fruit-infused waters are better alternatives.

Reduce red meat. Red meat, especially processed meat, contains ingredients—heme iron, saturated fat, sodium, nitrites, and certain carcinogens that are formed during cooking—that have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Eat mindfully. Take small bites and chew them thoroughly, concentrating on the flavors and textures of the foods that you’re eating.

Source: Helath Harvard

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