It is often advised that people follow a healthy eating regime, to maintain good health over a long period. Healthy eating entails eating a wide range of healthy foods in correct proportions, in reasonable quantities. A healthy diet is an everyday diet which includes varying types of food in some suitable quantities and proportions, so that the need for protein, fats, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is sufficient and a small additional provision is held for supplementary food. Usually people follow diets in stages, beginning with a balanced one, and then move on to the healthier type of diet. Diets are also recommended for children and adolescents.
There are some certain factors to be kept in mind while following any diet. The first step is to lose weight slowly by keeping off excess body weight by increasing the number of calories taken in and decreasing the calories burned through regular physical exercise. Any weight loss should be gradual so that maximum health is achieved. At the end of a three-week period one should still be taking in less calories than at the beginning.
Diets that include high-fiber fruits and vegetables should form an integral part of any diet which is to be followed. Fiber, or rather the lack of it, helps reduce the amount of calories taken in and gives the feeling of fullness longer. It gives a feeling of being full rather than clogged with empty calories. The American Heart Association recommends consuming about thirty-five grams of fiber each day for maintaining good health. This can be achieved through adding plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to the daily diet and getting plenty of dietary fiber from grains and legumes.
Fruits and vegetables in their pure state have very low energy density. The energy density is what provides most of the nutritional value to them. They are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and starch. Fruits and vegetables should be eaten liberally in any diet and should not be leftovers. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, kamut, lettuce, squash, turnips and sweet potatoes provide all the main nutrients necessary to keep you going through a healthy diet.
As for carbohydrates, a good source of these include the complex carbohydrates found in whole grain breads, cereals, pastas, potatoes and avocados. While it is best to avoid refined grains, the extra fiber in these types of products may help to keep your blood sugar levels normal. In moderation, it may also help to replace refined grains with whole grains. Nuts and seeds, while high in fat, are a good choice for adding fats to your diet as they are higher in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
No matter which diet plan you choose, it is important to add variety and try to keep your daily protein intake as stable as possible. While some people may experience weight loss or gain on a low carbohydrate, high protein diet, most people will not experience these changes. Diets that provide a high carbohydrate, high fat or a high fiber content will lead to more fat stores and will be harder to lose those extra pounds.