Healthy eating guide: Everything you need to know

Answer honestly: are most of your meals made up of healthy foods? In addition to rice and beans, which are marked cards on the menu of every Brazilian, to have a balanced diet and with all the nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the body, it is essential that the meal has at least one source of protein, in addition to vegetables. Eating well brings a lot of health benefits, such as preventing diseases from childhood, fighting malnutrition and malnutrition and, of course, increasing life expectancy.

If you are thinking of adopting a healthy diet and don’t know where to start, Cares for Life has prepared a guide for you with the help of nutritionist Felipe França, who has listed several healthy and unhealthy foods, given tips on how to eat better, how many meals we should have per day and cited the main mistakes we should avoid in order to have a balanced diet. Check it out!


What is the importance of healthy eating?


A healthy diet brings a series of benefits to the body and nobody better than a nutritionist to explain them: “First, it provides the essential nutrients that the body needs, such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates e healthy fats. These nutrients are fundamental for the proper functioning of the organism, including the production of energy, the strengthening of the immune system, hormone regulation, and support for growth and development”. In addition to the physical benefits, eating well can also positively impact mental well-being.


10 tips for healthy eating:


  1. Focus on a varied diet: having a diversified menu helps in the consumption of several important nutrients for the body’s health, such as vitamins C, B1, B12, D and E, in addition to minerals such as zinc, iron and manganese.


  1. Avoid very fatty foods: Saturated fats can be very harmful to health, since their consumption increases the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood, which can result in several problems, such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Butter, margarine and pork lard, for example, are foods with large amounts of saturated fat.


  1. Decrease your sugar intake: excessive sugar intake is the biggest cause of type 2 diabetes. too much in the preparation of juices and coffees, for example. Also, instead of refined white sugar, prefer healthier options, such as demerara or Brown sugar.


  1. Use little salt: Excess salt in the diet is one of the main causes from behind hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. That’s why it’s so important to reduce your consumption. According to Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)the recommendation is to ingest a maximum of 5 grams per day.


  1. Increase water consumption: drink good amounts of water is also part of the process of to maintain a healthy diet and offers numerous benefits: it is good, for example, for the skin and helps to distribute nutrients to the different organs of the body. A person should drink at least 30 ml of water per kilogram a day to keep the body functioning properly.


  1. Do not skip meals: few meals a day and a low-calorie diet can make it difficult to get adequate intake of all essential nutrients for health. This can result in nutritional deficiencies if the diet is not planned properly.


  1. Avoid the ultra-processed: the consumption of ultra-processed foods (stuffed cookies, soft drinks, sausages) causes a generalized deterioration in the quality of the diet and an increased risk of diabetes, obesitycardiovascular diseases, various types of cancer, depression, gastrointestinal diseases and kidney problems.


  1. Prefer natural foods: unpack less and peel more. This is the motto for healthy eating: opting for natural foods that come from nature, such as vegetables, fruits and greens, to compose meals. Your body will feel the difference!


  1. Prepare your meals: Taking time out of your cooking routine helps build a better relationship with healthy food, as well as developing a taste for cooking.


  1. Follow up with a nutritionist: this professional is qualified to prepare a diet that exactly meets your nutritional needs, respecting your reality and your tastes. Schedule an appointment now!


Facts about healthy eating


Now that you know how to explore a balanced diet, how about understanding a little better the benefits that investing in healthy foods can bring you? Check out:


– Increases longevity: eating well helps to improve the quality and, consequently, the years of life. That’s because a balanced diet full of natural foods provides all the nutrients the body needs to function properly. As a result, your heart works properly, gut health stays up to date, and you get to sleep well… all of that. increases longevity.


– Decreases the risk of diseases: you are what you eat. A person who starts to eat better has greater chances of preventing a series of diseases, such as obesity, malnutrition and anemia, not to mention cardiovascular disease and even certain types of cancer. In the long term, nutritious foods also contribute to strengthening the immune system and help to delay degenerative processes.


– Increases disposition: when we include healthy foods in our diet, the metabolism tends to work better, increasing the level of disposition and maintaining the energy levels necessary for day-to-day activities. You wake up better, work better and manage to practice physical exercises with less difficulty.


Know healthy and unhealthy foods:


Healthy foods are all those foods that have macronutrients (which help provide energy) and micronutrients (minerals and vitamins). We have selected some of them for you to include in your diet:


  • fish rich in Omega 3 (macronutrient);
  • sweet potato (macronutrient);
  • rice (macronutrient);
  • citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons (rich in vitamin C);
  • dark greens, canola oil (Vitamin K);
  • milk, cheese, yogurt (calcium);
  • chestnuts (rich in selenium);


On the other hand, nutritionist Felipe França reveals that there are several examples of unhealthy foods that should be avoided because of their negative effects on health. Some of them are:


  • Processed and ultra-processed foods, which undergo industrial processing and are rich in sugars, saturated fats, sodium and chemical additives. “These unhealthy foods are low in nutrients and high in empty calories, which can lead to weight gain and nutritional imbalance,” he warned.
  • frequent consumption of fast food;
  • fried foods should also be limited;
  • High-sugar foods, such as pastries, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and sugary breakfast cereals, should also be eaten in moderation.


How many times should we eat a day?


There is no fixed ideal amount of meals per day that applies to all people. “Studies have shown that there is no correlation between the number of meals and weight loss or improvement in the functionality of metabolic pathways. The number of meals can vary according to individual preferences – which is more important for the continuity of a favorable diet for longevity and better health as a whole”, emphasized Felipe. What the nutritionist says is really important for a healthy diet is to adjust the amount of nutrients and water according to the individuality of each one. With this, it is also important to take into account the quality of food and the adequacy of portions at each meal.


Discover the top 5 food mistakes


Felipe says that making mistakes in eating is a common thing to happen. To escape these pitfalls and move towards good nutrition, the professional listed five of the main mistakes people usually make:


  1. Consuming a lot of processed and ultra-processed foods, which are rich in sugars, bad fats and chemical additives. These foods are low in nutrients and can cause health problems.


  1. Not eating enough fruits and vegetables. These foods are important because they contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants essential for health. Not consuming enough of them can lead to nutritional deficiencies and increase the risk of disease.


  1. Consuming excess added sugars, as in soft drinks, sweets and cakes. Excess sugar is linked to weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.


  1. Not drinking enough water and opting for sugary drinks. Proper hydration is important for the body to function properly. Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration.


  1. Skipping meals or going on restrictive diets. These practices can cause nutritional deficiencies, fluctuations in blood sugar levels, and lack of energy. It is better to have a balanced diet, with regular and varied meals.


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