The popular saying, “You are what you eat,” holds true, emphasizing the impact of our dietary choices on our overall health. Not only do the foods and beverages we consume fuel our bodies, but they also provide essential nutrients necessary for proper functioning. Long-term dietary and lifestyle habits can significantly influence our health and body weight, for example eating certain foods and not exercising increase your chances of developing heart disease.
It’s important to take steps to educate yourself to know what to eat and what to avoid. Learning how to read food labels, managing portion sizes, consulting with a dietitian or nutritionist, and referring to government dietary guidelines, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Indians, can offer valuable insights into making healthier choices.
Key takeaway: Every food choice affects your health. Choose a healthy eating pattern within your calorie limit for weight management and overall well-being.
Key takeaway: When you talk with your health care professional or nutritionist about how to follow a healthier diet overall, make sure to share information about your preferences and access to healthy foods.
Key takeaway: Saturated fats should make up no more than 10% of calories each day.
Key takeaway: Limit added sugars to fewer than 10% of daily calories. This means if your goal is to consume 2000 calories a day, less than 200 should be from sugars.
– 1 gram of sugar = 4 calories
– 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar
– 1 soda/day = averages 40 grams of sugar = 10 teaspoons of sugar = 160 calories
The guidelines suggest following a healthy eating pattern over time to help support a healthy body weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease. But what does that mean exactly?
A healthy eating pattern should include:
It should limit:
Adopting a healthy eating pattern alongside regular physical activity is emphasized as a means to support good health, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases throughout all stages of life.