Best Diet Plan You Should Follow
What is a diet
A balanced diet gives your body the nutrients it needs to function in a right way. To get the proper nutrition you need, most of your daily calories should come from:
- Whole grains
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruits
- Lean proteins
The Dietary Guidelines for AmericansTrusted Source explain how much of each nutrient you should consume daily.
The amount of calories in food refers to how much energy is contained within that food. Your body uses calories to walk, think, breathe, and perform other important functions.
Keeping a healthy weight requires an average of 2,000 calories a day, but the amount depends on a person’s age, sex, and level of activity.
There are differences in the calories required for men and women, and those who exercise use more calories than those who do not.
Based on current recommendations, Trusted Source recommends these calorie intakes for men and women of different ages.
|Active children: 2-8 years
|Sedentary children: 2-8 years
|Females: 9-13 years
|Males: 9-13 years
|Active females: 14-30 years
|Sedentary females: 14-30 years
|Active males: 14-30 years
|Sedentary males: 14–30 years
|Active people: 30 years and over
|Sedentary people: 30 years and over
The source of your daily calories is also important. It is called “empty calories” when foods primarily provide calories and very little nutritional value.
Examples of foods that provide empty calories include:
- Cakes, and cookies
- Processed meats
- Drinks and sodas with energy
- Added sugar to fruit drinks
- Cream of ice cream
- Potatoes and fries
It’s not just the type of food but also its ingredients that make it nutritious.
Make your own wholemeal pizza with lots of fresh vegetables on top for a healthy meal. Compared with this, premade pizzas are often loaded with empty calories.
What to eat for a diet
Typically, a healthy diet includes these nutrients:
- Nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants
- Dietary fiber, starch, and carbohydrates
- and healthy fat
Diets should be composed of a variety of foods from the following groups:
- Protein foods
In addition to meat, eggs, fish, beans, nuts, and legumes, protein foods also include dairy products and cereals. People who follow a vegan diet will only consume plant-based foods. There won’t be any meat, fish, or dairy products in their diet, but other foods that contain similar nutrients will be available.
As an example, tofu and beans are plant-based sources of protein. There are people who cannot tolerate dairy products but can still have a diet by replacing dairy products with nutrient-rich alternatives.
Try to limit the number of empty calories you consume and get the calories you need from foods that contain other nutrients instead.
Avoid these foods
to maintain a healthy diet:
- Trans fats
- Added sugar and salt
- Red and processed meat
- High-processed foods
- or refined foods
that may be healthy for one person may not be healthy for another.
Many people find whole wheat flour to be healthy, but it may not be suitable for those with gluten intolerance, for example.
Fruits are nutritious, they make a tasty snack or dessert, and they can satisfy a sweet tooth.
Local fruits that are in season are fresher and provide more nutrients than imported fruits.
Fruits contain a lot of sugar, but it is natural sugar. The fiber and nutrition of fruits are also unlike that of candies and many sweet desserts. As a result, they won’t spike blood sugar levels and their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants will improve the body’s supply.
If you have diabetes, your doctor or dietitian can advise you on which fruits to choose, how much to eat, and when.
As a source of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, vegetables are very important. Consuming a variety of different colored vegetables will provide you with a full array of nutrients.
Dark, leafy greens are an excellent source of many nutrients. They include:
- green beans
- Collard greens
- Swiss chard
Local, seasonal vegetables are often more affordable and easier to prepare than imported ones. Use them for the following purposes:
- As a side dish
- roasted in a tray with a splash of olive oil
- as the base for soups, stews, and pasta dishes
- as a salad
- In purées
- in juices and smoothies
Many types of bread and baked goods contain refined white flour, which has limited nutritional value. Most of the beneficial nutrients are located in the outer shell, which manufacturers remove during processing.
A whole-grain product includes the hull as well as the grain itself. Whole grain products provide extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Whole grains add both flavor and texture to food.
Switch to whole grain bread, pasta, and rice instead of white bread and pasta.
In addition to its other functions, protein is essential for wound healing and muscle development, among others.
The following are examples of healthy animal-based foods:
- Red meats, such as mutton and beef
- Poultry, like chicken and turkey
- Sardines, fish, including salmon, and other oily fish
Several trustworthy sources have reported that processed meats and red meats may increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.
Some processed meats also contain a lot of added preservatives and salt. Fresh, unprocessed meat is the best option.
Protein, fiber, and other nutrients can be found in nuts, beans, and soy products.
- Sunflower seeds
Tofu, tempeh, and other soy-based products are great sources of protein and healthy alternatives to meat.
Among the nutrients found in dairy products are:
- Vitamin D
Fat is also present in them. When trying to reduce your fat intake, you might want to consider reduced-fat options. Consult your doctor for more information.
Dairy-free milk and other alternatives to dairy are now available for those following a vegan diet, made from:
- Almonds and cashews
Calcium is often added to these, making them an excellent alternative to dairy from cows. Several of these contain sugar, so read the labels carefully before buying.
Fats and oils
Energy and cell health require fat, but too much fat can cause weight gain and add calories to the diet beyond needs.
Traditionally, guidelines have recommended avoiding saturated fats due to concerns about rising cholesterol levels.
According to recent research trusted Source, replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat can lower cardiovascular disease risk, and that some saturated fat should be included in the diet, about 10 percent or less of calories.
The use of trans fats, however, should be avoided.
Fat recommendations are often difficult to follow, but a scientist at Trusted Source has suggested the following guidelines:
- Fats to limit: butter, cheese, and heavy cream
- Fats to love: vegetable oils and fish oils
- Fats to lose: trans fats, used in many processed and premade foods, such as donuts
Most experts consider olive oil to be a healthy fat, and especially extra virgin olive oil, which is the least processed type.
Deep-fried foods are often high in calories but low in nutritional value, so you should eat them sparingly.