Consuming a balanced diet throughout one’s life helps prevent malnutrition and a variety of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and illnesses, including diabetes. Dietary habits have changed due to the increased manufacturing of processed foods, the rapid urbanisation of the world, and the changing nature of people’s lives. Foods heavy in energy, fat, free sugar, and sodium/potassium are becoming increasingly popular. Many individuals are not getting enough fruit, vegetables, and other dietary fibre, such as whole grains. The exact composition of a diversified, balanced, and nutritious diet may vary depending on individual characteristics (e.g. age, gender, lifestyle, and level of physical activity), cultural context (e.g. regionally available foods and dietary traditions), and dietary habits. The fundamental ideas of what defines a healthy diet, on the other hand, have not changed. One of the ways to consume a balanced diet in our daily life is by planning our meals based on the Food Pyramid (piramid makanan). People who have special dietary requirements or a medical condition should get guidance from their doctor or a trained nutritionist.
The key to maintaining a healthy diet is to consume the appropriate number of calories for your activity level, thereby maintaining a balance between the amount of energy you consume and the amount of energy you expend. If you consume more calories or drink more fluids than your body requires, you will gain weight because the energy you do not use will be stored as fat. If you eat and drink insufficient fluid, you will lose weight.
Followings are the tips that cover the fundamentals of healthy eating and can help you plan your meals healthily:
- Base your meals out of starchy carbohydrates with high fibre content.
Starchy carbohydrates should account for somewhat more than a third of your total caloric intake. Choosing high-fibre or wholegrain options, such as whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, or potatoes with their skins on. In comparison to white or refined starchy carbohydrates, whole grain food contains more fibre, which can help you feel fuller for a more extended period. Make an effort to include at least one starchy dish with each major course. However, while some individuals believe that starchy foods are fattening, the carbohydrate content contains fewer than half the calories found in fat. It is essential to keep an eye on the fats you use while preparing or serving these foods because they raise caloric content.
- Include various types of fruits and vegetables.
It is recommended that you eat a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. Substitute a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit – that is a convenient way to include fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Eat more proteins.
Fish is a good source of protein, and it contains many vitamins and minerals. Make an effort to consume at least two portions of fish per week, with at least one portion of oily fish included. Oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower the risk of developing heart disease. You should also include other proteins like eggs, dairy products and poultry.
- Reduce the intake of saturated fat, salt, and sugar.
A high intake of saturated fat can raise cholesterol in the blood, increasing the likelihood of developing heart disease. Consuming high-sugar foods and beverages regularly raises your chances of becoming obese and developing tooth decay. Too much salt in your diet can cause high blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart disease or stroke.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
You must drink enough fluids to avoid being dehydrated. It is recommended that you consume 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. Additionally, you will receive fluids from the meals you consume. Sugary soft drinks and fizzy drinks should be avoided because they are high in calories. They are also detrimental to your dental health.