When it comes to nutrition, it can be difficult to know where to start. Especially because healthy eating looks different for everyone, and there’s no one-size-fits-all ideal diet.
In all honesty, these days there seems to be an information overload. Go online and you’ll see celebrities promoting their favorite brands, friends posting “What I Eat in a Day” videos, and influencers trying to sell you supplements.
It’s hard to cut through the chaos, so I’m going to make it as simple as possible. Two words: balanced eating.
If the concept seems vague, that’s because it is. One person’s idea of balanced eating will look different from the next, and that’s perfectly okay. We are all unique individuals with different bodies, needs, and circumstances. All of these factors affect what you eat and how those foods make you feel.
The overarching concept, however, is balance. The intentionality of including a variety of foods in your diet, from all food groups, including those you enjoy most - even if they are not typically labeled as “healthy.”
In reality, what’s healthy for you is whatever allows you to maintain a balanced lifestyle and feel good on a daily basis. There’s no point avoiding sweets if you’ll end up miserable and thinking about chocolate the whole time. Sweets, and other favorite foods, are part of a healthy diet when balanced with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
A good goal is to include something from the five major food groups at every meal - grains, vegetables, fruits, protein, and dairy. Let’s look at a few examples for each:
Grains: bread, pasta, rice, crackers, tortillas, cereal, oatmeal
Vegetables: broccoli, salad, carrots, celery, squash, potatoes, mushrooms
Fruits: apples, bananas, grapes, berries, oranges, melons
Protein: fish, pork, beef, beans, eggs, nuts and seeds
Dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt, soy milk
Of course, the last food group (Oils/Sweets), is also part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation. When it comes to nutrition, it’s all about balance!