Eating a healthy balanced diet implies that you are eating different types of foods containing the five food groups in the right proportion every day. While this sounds like eating a lot and a lot of hard work too, in reality, it isn’t.
Eating a healthy balanced diet is a necessity for good health; it is therefore something you should aim for. This might be a bit of a challenge because there are a lot of foods (processed and refined) available around you – ready-made, sometimes cheap, and of good taste too – which are not good for your health.
But eating healthy is what you have to do, no matter how hard or boring you think it is; your wellbeing depends largely on it. Therefore, to have a healthy, balanced diet every day, you should:
- Make carbohydrates about 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories. Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy and it is very important your body gets them in the right amounts. Healthy carbohydrates include yam, brown rice (ofada), potatoes, whole wheat bread, whole wheat meal and plantain. Foods like white rice, white bread, pasta and cereals are also a source of carbohydrates but they are not as healthy
- Make protein at least 10 percent but not more than 35 percent of your daily calories. Protein is vital in the maintenance of body tissue, including development and repair. It is also a major source of energy. Healthy protein sources include fish, lean meat, poultry, milk and eggs
- Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Fruit juices are not the best way to obtain these nutrients, you should therefore take them minimally
- Eat fats but in small amounts. Some fats in your diet is essential; they are a important part of a healthy diet but you must eat the right ones and in the right amounts. Examples of healthy fats are olive oil, nuts, almonds and avocados. The unhealthy ones include margarine, ice cream, cakes, burger and doughnuts
- Drink plenty of water