Healthy Diet Tips to Avoid Missing Out on Essential Nutrients
Whether trying to lose weight or improve your health, eating a healthy diet with all the nutrients you need is an essential part of life. However, what does eating healthy mean?
As noted by the best bariatric surgery doctor in Mexico, healthy eating is especially important for patients who have undergone weight loss surgery. No matter your goal, you can learn a lot from these tips often incorporated into bariatric diets. Healthy eating can take many forms, but one element it should contain is vital nutrients. Foods and drinks are meant to be enjoyed. Here is how you can get the nutritious foods you need, avoid weight gain and find a healthy eating pattern that works for you.
A Healthy Diet Should Focus on Protein
Protein is an essential nutrient for many body processes. Every cell in your body contains it. It's necessary for cell growth and repair, especially after exercise. Protein is filling, even vegetable proteins like beans and legumes, so it helps maintain a healthy body weight. Those who undergo weight loss surgery prioritize protein in their diets, which helps them lose substantial excess weight.
Eat Diverse Nutrient-Dense Foods
Although it's true that you need to consume fewer calories when losing weight, sometimes people take that idea too far. Avoiding overeating is crucial, but your primary concern should be to consume nutrient-rich foods. All foods have calories, but not all are nutrient-dense. Your body needs all essential nutrients to thrive, including carbs, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. If you don't eat many vegetables, try introducing them to your diet one at a time.
Avoid Empty Calories
Empty calories are foods and drinks high in calories but low in nutrients. Examples are:
- Sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juice
- Energy drinks
- Sweetened breakfast cereals
- Potato chips
- Processed foods with added sugars
Packaged foods like macaroni and cheese and candy bars are high in calories but don't have essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, or protein. Some diet-friendly foods may have fewer calories but may also lack nutrients, pointing to the need for a balanced diet. If you base your food choices on the number of calories something contains, you're missing the point of eating healthily.
Reduce or Eliminate Ultra Processed Foods
Get more essential nutrients by eliminating highly processed foods. Along with previously mentioned soft drinks, candy, and sugary cereals, avoid mass-produced baked goods and some boxed snack foods if they contain few whole foods as ingredients. The items tend to have unhealthy saturated fat, hydrogenated oils, and artificial sweeteners. Also, avoid highly processed meats like cold cuts and sausages. Diets high in ultra-processed foods increase the risk of depression, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and similar health problems.
You don't need to avoid processed foods altogether. Many healthy choices like yogurt, nuts and seeds, canned beans, canned fruit, and frozen vegetables have undergone some processing and can be used as part of healthy meals.
Do I Need to Follow a Specific Diet to Achieve Healthy Eating?
Healthy eating doesn't mean following a specific diet. Some people must avoid certain foods because of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and other overall health issues. Instead, consider following an overall healthy eating pattern involving smaller portions. Only eat until you feel full. That way, you won't overeat and can maintain a healthy weight.
Make Nutrient-Dense Eating Work for You
Do you still need to figure out how to maintain a healthy balanced diet with critical nutrients? Make food selection another priority. A well-stocked pantry makes choosing healthy meals and healthy snacks much easier.
When visiting the grocery store, stock up on these healthy foods:
- Fresh produce
- Oily fish, like salmon and tuna
- Lean red meat (in moderation)
- Low-fat milk
- Protein sources, including chicken eggs, tofu, and Greek yogurt
- Plant-based foods like legumes, canned beans, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash
- Whole grain bread and brown rice
- Healthy fats like olive oil and avocadoes
- Simple snacks, like nut butter, nuts, and seeds, hummus, olives, and dried fruit
- Fiber-rich carbs, including sweet potatoes and oats
Build Your Relationship with Essential Nutrients Slowly
Focus on a single meal if you're not used to food preparation. Healthy nutrients, especially planted-based foods, are colorful. Look for vibrant fresh produce, like spinach, sweet potatoes, red and yellow peppers, etc. Fresh fruit, especially berries, is another important food group to include. Add whole grains, and lean meats like chicken breast, fish, and seafood, and you have a balanced diet packed with nutrients.
Nutrient-dense foods protect you against disease, lengthen your lifespan, and promote overall health. Combine your nutrient-dense diet with a physically active lifestyle that includes regular exercise, and you'll be more apt to stay healthy for most of your life. By following these healthy diet tips and not worrying about what kind of diet you’ll eat, you get all the essential nutrients you need.
Author's BIO: Lori Wade is a journalist from Louisville. She is a content writer who has experience in small editions. Lori is currently engaged in news and conceptual articles on the health and beauty industry. You can find her on LinkedIn. Hope you appreciate Lori’s useful insights!