Food is a vital part of our lives. We need it to regulate breathing, the nervous system, digestion and blood circulation. It also helps eliminate waste products from the body.
The key to good health is eating a healthy diet, which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. Eating the right foods can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases and improve your mood and energy levels.
Make sure to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods, including fresh, frozen and canned fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, dairy products, eggs and meat. You can get many of the vitamins and minerals you need from these food groups.
Avoid processed foods that are laden with unhealthy additives, chemicals and preservatives. Processed foods can be high in saturated and trans fats, salt and sugar.
Read food labels so you know what is in your foods. Look for labels that say “low fat,” “sugar free” or “no added sugar.”
Choose whole-grain breads, pastas, cereals and rice, instead of white, refined or processed versions. These choices are lower in calories and often contain fiber, which can help you feel full and keep you satisfied longer.
Fruits and vegetables are nutrient-rich, filling and low in calories. These are also high in fiber, which can help you feel full and lower your risk of disease. Try to eat a variety of colors each day, including dark green vegetables such as spinach, kale, collards and mustard greens; red and orange veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes and tomatoes; and legumes (beans, peas and lentils).
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is important to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast that contains whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice, bulgur and pasta. This can help you start the day with energy and avoid overeating later in the day.
Snacks should be nutrient-rich and low in calories, such as raw fruits or nuts. Limit junk food, such as candy, ice cream and cookies.
The best way to eat a healthy diet is to eat foods from all food groups, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean proteins and healthy fats. It’s a smart way to help you stay healthy and prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Whenever possible, eat foods that have been grown, harvested and produced in the United States. This helps support American farmers and ensures that our food supply is as high quality as possible.
Always buy grass-fed or organic meats and poultry and dairy products that are free from antibiotics and hormones. These foods are a good source of lean protein, iron, vitamin A and other nutrients that can help you fight off illnesses.
Dairy is a great source of calcium and is an essential nutrient for healthy bones and teeth. It is also a good source of vitamin D and helps increase your immunity.
Other healthy foods include fish, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb and beef; eggs; whole grain breads, cereals, crackers, rice and pasta; and nuts, seeds, dried fruit and legumes. These foods are also good sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.