Healthy Eating: What Should You Eat and How Much of It?

Healthy eating habits mean that you eat enough of all of the foods that your body needs to function at its best. A general guideline to follow when deciding what and how much to eat is to have a calorie intake of between 1 500 and 2000. This is just a general guideline. Sportsmen, for example, will have a different plan from someone who sits in an office everyday. It is best to consult a nutritionist if you are unsure. Otherwise, you can follow these basic guidelines.

Grains

Wholegrains are best and you should try to make at least half your portions wholegrains. The ideal daily intake is 6 to 8 servings per day. One serving is equivalent to one slice of bread, one cup of dry cereal, or a half-cup of cooked rice.

Vegetables

Vegetables are a very important part of your diet as they, combined with fruits, have the most nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. You should eat 3 to 5 servings of vegetables daily. Examples of one serving include one cup of raw leafy vegetables or a half cup of cut-up vegetables.

Fruits

When it comes to fruit and vegetables, you should aim to eat a variety of colors and types. Try to eat 4 to 5 servings of fruit per day. Examples of one serving include one medium-sized fruit.

Dairy Products

You should have 2 to 3 servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy products daily. Examples of one serving include one cup of milk or yoghurt and one and a half cups of cheese.

Proteins

Your proteins should consist of lean meats, poultry and seafood. You need 3 to 6 portions daily. One serving is equivalent to a piece of meat the size of your palm or a piece of fish the size of a chequebook.

Fats and Oils

The best options for your healthy fats and oils are liquid vegetable oils and soft margarine. You need 2 to 3 servings per day. One serving is equal to one teaspoon of margarine or vegetable oil, or one tablespoon of mayonnaise.

Added sugars and sweets should generally be avoided especially if you don’t exercise a lot or if you are trying to lose weight. These are the basic guidelines.

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