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How to Be a Healthy Eater

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How to be a healthy eater

Medically Reviewed by:

Name: Ezire Lilian Chinwe

Description: A highly motivated and licensed biomedical scientist with over 7 years of experience, dedicated to advancing healthcare through innovative research and analysis. Expertise includes genetics, microbiology, and immunology with a commitment to staying at the forefront of scientific advancements.

Link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilian-ezire-3ba4b2215/

How to be a Healthy Eater

Basic nutrition facts can be confusing at first, but they are not that hard to understand for a healthy eater. Eating healthy and nutritious foods is always a good idea.

It is necessary to become both informed and intelligent about what constitutes healthy eating in order to be a healthful eater. Being food savvy does not imply learning to calculate grams of fat or grams of protein, nor does it imply studying labels or counting calories.

Knowing basic nutrition facts is important because it can help you make the right decisions about what to eat and drink for your health. These days, we’re surrounded by so many different health claims and marketing messages that it’s difficult to know what’s really true.

The USDA Food Plate illustrates the basics of a healthy diet:

1. Fruits for healthy eater

Fruits can be whole, sliced up, pureed, or cooked and can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated. At least 50 percent of the recommended amount of fruit should be whole fruit, not 100% fruit juice is good for your health.

Your daily fruit intake is determined by your age, gender, height, weight, and level of physical activity. The quantity varies for women depending on whether they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Recommended Daily Fruit Table by age

To be a healthy eater, These are broad suggestions broken down by age group.

Daily Recommendations*
Toddlers 12 to 23 months ½ to 1 cup
Children 2-4 yrs 1 to 1½ cups
5-8 yrs 1 to 2 cups
Girls 9-13 yrs 1½ to 2 cups
14-18 yrs 1½ to 2 cups
Boys 9-13 yrs 1½ to 2 cups
14-18 yrs 2 to 2½ cups
Women 19-30 yrs 1½ to 2 cups
31-59 yrs 1½ to 2 cups
60+ yrs 1½ to 2 cups
Men 19-30 yrs 2 to 2½ cups
31-59 yrs 2 to 2½ cups
60+ yrs 2 cups

         

Fruits                                                Amount that counts as 1 cup of fruit

Apple 1 small or ½ large apple

1 cup, sliced or chopped, fresh

⅔ cup, baked

½ cup, dried

Applesauce 1 cup applesauce
Banana 1 large banana

1 cup, sliced

⅔ cup, mashed

Blueberries 1 cup, fresh or frozen

⅓ cup, dried

Cantaloupe 1 cup, diced or melon balls
Casaba melon 1 cup, diced or melon balls
Dates 10 dates

½ cup, whole or cut-up

Figs 5 figs, fresh

10 figs, dried

Grapes 22 seedless grapes

1 cup, whole or cut-up

Grapefruit 1 medium grapefruit

1 cup, sections

Guava 3 guavas

1 cup, sliced or chopped

Kiwi 2 to 3 kiwis

1 cup, sliced or chopped

Kumquats 10 kumquats

1 cup

Mango 7 slices or chunks, fresh or frozen

1 cup, fresh or frozen

⅓ cup, dried

Mixed fruit (fruit cocktail) 1 cup, diced or sliced, fresh or canned, drained
Orange 1 large orange

1 cup, sections

Orange, mandarin 1 cup, canned, drained
Papaya 1 small papaya

1 cup, sliced or chopped

Peach 1 large peach

1 cup, sliced or diced, fresh, cooked, frozen or canned, drained

2 halves, canned

Pear 1 medium pear

1 cup, sliced or diced, fresh cooked, or canned, drained

Pineapple 1 cup, chunks, sliced or crushed, fresh, cooked or canned, drained
Plum 3 medium or 2 large plums

1 cup, sliced, fresh or cooked

½ cup, dried (prunes)

Strawberries About 8 large strawberries

1 cup, whole, halved, or sliced, fresh or frozen

Watermelon 1 small wedge or slice

1 cup, diced or melon balls

Dried fruit (raisins, prunes, apricots, figs, etc.) ½ cup dried fruit
100% fruit juice (orange, apple, grape, grapefruit, etc.) 1 cup

2. Vegetables for healthy eater

Raw, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated vegetables are available in whole, cut-up, or mashed form.

Vegetables are divided into five categories based on their nutrient content: dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and other vegetables.

Recommended Daily Vegetables Table by age

Daily Recommendation*
Toddlers 12 to 23 months ⅔ to 1 cup
Children 2-4 yrs 1 to 2 cups
5-8 yrs 1½ to 2½ cups
Girls 9-13 yrs 1½ to 3 cups
14-18 yrs 2½ to 3 cups
Boys 9-13 yrs 2 to 3½ cups
14-18 yrs 2½ to 4 cups
Women 19-30 yrs 2½ to 3 cups
31-59 yrs 2 to 3 cups
60+ yrs 2 to 3 cups
Men 19-30 yrs 3 to 4 cups
31-59 yrs 3 to 4 cups
60+ yrs 2½ to 3½ cups
Vegetables Amount that counts as 1 cup of vegetables
Dark-Green Vegetables Broccoli 1 cup, chopped or florets, fresh or frozen
Bitter melon leaves, chrysanthemum leaves, escarole, lambsquarters, nettles, poke greens, taro leaves, turnip greens 1 cup, cooked
Amaranth leaves, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli raab (rapini), chard, collards (collard greens), cress, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, watercress 1 cup, cooked

2 cups, fresh

Raw leafy greens: Arugula (rocket), basil, cilantro,  dark green leafy lettuce, endive, escarole, mixed greens, mesclun, romaine 2 cups, fresh
Red and Orange Vegetables Carrots 2 medium carrots

1 cup, slices or chopped, fresh, cooked or frozen

1 cup baby carrots

Pimento/Pimiento 3 whole

1 cup

Pumpkin, calabaza 1 cup, mashed, cooked
Red and orange bell peppers 1 large bell pepper

1 cup, chopped, fresh, or cooked

Red chili peppers ¾ cup
Sweet potato 1 large sweet potato, baked

1 cup, sliced or mashed, cooked

Tomatoes 1 large tomato

2 small tomatoes

1 cup, chopped or sliced, fresh, canned, or cooked

100% vegetable juice 1 cup
Winter squash (acorn, butternut, hubbard, kabocha) 1 cup, cubed, cooked
Beans, Peas, and Lentils Dry beans and peas and lentils (such as bayo, black, brown, fava, garbanzo, kidney, lima, mung, navy, pigeon, pink, pinto, soy, or white beans, or black-eyed peas (cow peas) or split peas, and red, brown, and green lentils) 1 cup, whole or mashed, cooked
Starchy Vegetables Breadfruit 1 ½ cups, cooked
Cassava ¾ cup, cooked
Corn, yellow or white 1 large ear of corn

1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

Green peas 1 cup fresh or frozen
Hominy 1 cup, cooked
Plantains ¾ cup, cooked
White potatoes 1 medium white potato, boiled or baked

1 cup, diced, mashed, fresh or frozen

Other Vegetables Avocado 1 avocado
Bamboo shoots 1 cup
Bean sprouts 1 cup, cooked
Cabbage, green, red, napa, savoy 1 cup, chopped or shredded raw or cooked
Cactus pads (nopales) 5 pads

1 cup sliced

Cauliflower 1 cup, pieces or florets raw or cooked, fresh or frozen
Celery 1 cup, diced or sliced, raw or cooked

2 large stalks (11″ to 12″ long)

Cucumbers 1 cup, raw, sliced or chopped
Green or wax beans 1 cup, cooked
Green bell peppers 1 large bell pepper

1 cup, chopped, raw or cooked, fresh or frozen

Lettuce, iceberg or head 2 cups, raw, shredded or chopped
Mushrooms 1 cup, raw or cooked
Okra 1 cup, cooked
Onions 1 cup, chopped, raw or cooked
Summer squash or zucchini 1 cup, cooked, sliced or diced

3. Grains for healthy eater

A grain product is one of those foods manufactured from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or any cereal grain. Grain items include bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, grits, and tortillas. The Grains Group also includes foods like popcorn, rice, and oats.

Whole grains and refined grains are the two types of grains. Whole grains contain the bran, germ, and endosperm of the grain kernel. Whole grain flour, bulgur (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole grain cornmeal, and brown rice are all examples of whole grains. Milling is a technique that removes the bran and germ from refined grains. This process removes nutritional fiber, iron, and numerous B vitamins from grains, giving them a finer texture and extending their shelf life. White flour, corn grits, white bread, and white rice are examples of refined grain products.

Choose whole grains when possible and limit refined grains like white rice and white bread

4. Protein for the healthy eater

The Protein Food Group includes seafood, meat, poultry, and eggs, as well as beans, peas, and lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy products. The Vegetable Group also includes beans, peas, and lentils.

Choose a range of protein foods to receive more of the nutrients your body requires and to improve your health. Choose lean or low-fat meats and poultry, such as 93 percent lean ground beef, pork loin, and skinless chicken breasts. Salmon, anchovies, and trout are examples of seafood that are high in beneficial fatty acids (omega-3s) and low in methylmercury. Vegetarians are exempt from the advice to eat lean or low-fat meat and poultry, as well as a variety of seafood.

Beans, peas, and lentils, as well as nuts, seeds, and soy products, are all vegetarian options under the Protein Foods.

Choose lean meats or plant-based proteins such as beans.

5. Diary for the healthy eater

The Dairy food Group contains products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, lactose-free milk, fortified soy milk and yogurt, and other dairy products. The term “milk-based foods” does not cover foods manufactured from milk that contain minimal calcium and a high fat content, such as soft cheeses, sour cream, cream, and butter.

Dairy products are a great source of calcium, protein, and vitamin D. However, it’s important to know that some dairy foods might be lower in fat and sodium than others.

6. Water for the healthy eater

Drinking plenty of cool, clean water is crucial for your health and, in fact, for your very life, so make sure you drink plenty of it. You can survive for considerably longer periods of time without food than you can survive for lengthy periods of time without water. Throughout the body, water plays a critical role in all functions and processes, including digestion and evacuation. When you’re on a diet, water can also be a weight-loss assistance because it can encourage you to consume less calories.

‘Drinking water is essential for weight loss since it keeps you hydrated without providing you with extra calories.’

Tips to healthy Eating

  • Healthful eating is all about eating in a balanced and modest manner, with healthy meals at least three times a day being consumed. Foods of many different sorts are consumed by healthy eaters, who do not restrict themselves to a single type of meal or food group.
  • Eating healthfully necessitates a significant amount of flexibility. You may overeat or undereat, consume foods that are sometimes more or less nutritious, or ingest foods that are sometimes more or less nutritious.
  • However, you should constantly ensure that your body and brain are properly fueled on a regular basis with adequate food to maintain both your mind and body robust and awake at all times.
  • A person who is a healthy eater is also a competent problem solver. Nutritionally conscious eaters have learned to take good care of themselves and their food by exercising sound judgment and making intelligent judgments. Healthy eaters are always conscious of what they are consuming and are mindful of the impact it will have on their bodies.
  • When someone is unable to maintain control over their eating, it is likely that they will lose control over other elements of their lives as well. They may wind up spending too much money, talking too much, and even going to bed later and later in the evening than they should.
  • It is important to remember that restricting eating in any way is never a good thing. Healthy eating is a way of life, not just something you can do to improve your physical appearance or your way of life. If you’ve been thinking about ways to improve your quality of life, healthy eating is an excellent place to start. Effortlessly simplify your life and the lives of those around you, as well as your own family.

Conclusion

Eating a range of healthful foods that promote your health is the foundation of nutrition according to mayo clinic

Do you want to go beyond the basics of nutrition? For tailored nutritional advice that takes into consideration your health state, lifestyle, and food choices, consult your doctor or a nutritionist.

Also, discuss your health risks with your doctor. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may advise you to cut down on salt in your diet.

Now you know how to be a healthy eater. What are your thoughts?

Sources:

  • www.healthline.com. “healthy-eating-tips” Link
  • www.heartandstroke.ca “Healthy eating basics.” Link
  • www.cdc.gov. “healthy-eating-tips” Link

Medically Reviewed by:

Name: Ezire Lilian Chinwe

Description: A highly motivated and licensed biomedical scientist with over 7 years of experience, dedicated to advancing healthcare through innovative research and analysis. Expertise includes genetics, microbiology, and immunology with a commitment to staying at the forefront of scientific advancements.

Link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilian-ezire-3ba4b2215/

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