There are all kinds of diets out there now that claim to be healthy. While this may be true, there are also many diets that are not healthy as well. All successful healthy diets will be made up of four elements. Without knowing what those elements are, you will not know what makes a diet healthy or not (let alone successful).
Those four elements are listed below, and what each of them mean. When you are considering a diet, make sure that you keep these guidelines in mind. This way you will be able to work your way to a better, more healthy you.
- What to eat. Unless you are undergoing a diet that has been set up specifically for you by your doctor, you need to stay within the recommended guidelines that have been set out by the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Association, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture. According to these sources, everyone should have between 5 and 7 servings of fruits and vegetables, no more than 9 servings of whole grains, and 3 servings of dairy items a day(for calcium). Also, each week you should have fish twice a week due to the high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids which are good and help reduce the risk of coronary artery disease among other benefits.
- What not to eat. A successful, healthy diet, should also encourage you to stay away from foods that have partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (i.e. trans fats), which are high in dietary cholesterol, and excessive salts. Keep in mind that you should also avoid foods or drinks that have excessive amounts of added sugars. While there are studies that say alcohol (wine) can be beneficial to your health, keep in mind that excessive amounts of alcohol should be avoided at all costs.
- Exercise is good. It's not just children that should be active. It is recommended (meaning strongly encouraged) for adults to get at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate exercise a week, while younger children need to have as much exercise as they possibly can. This shouldn't be to hard to do, since you can always tell the kids to go outside to play, and this will help them get the exercise they need.
- Information is key. When buying your foods, you need to get into the habit of checking, reading, and understanding the Nutrition Facts panels. Make sure that you know what the serving sizes are, the amount of Trans Fat and Saturated Fat in the food, the calories that it contains, as well as the amount of protein and fiber that are in the item. These should all be within the limits allowable for your diet.