Understanding the Basics of Following a Healthy Diet Program

A balanced diet provides enough nutrients to maintain quality health without causing an increase or decrease in weight. If your diet is balanced it should result in a stable and healthy weight leaving you with an adequate amount of energy. Your diet basics should be balanced providing you with a variety of nutrients including an adequate intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber, fluids, and macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Your diet basics should also include a majority of your daily intake coming from whole grain breads, cereals, and other starches, which are a major source of energy and fiber. B vitamins, and select minerals, like iron are also considered diet basics and should be a part of your daily meals. It is recommended that you eat 6 to 11 servings from this food group daily.

The basics of a good diet should also include a balance of carbohydrates with proteins. Try to eat at least 7 grams of protein per 15 pounds of body weight. The more muscle you have on your body the more protein you will need. In some cases up to 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight and even more if you are a competitive bodybuilder.

Eating a variety of foods are good diet basics and is necessary in order to be sure that you get all of the amino acids your body requires. Soybeans, tofu, and other soy-based foods can be substituted for meats. Stay clear of high fat foods containing a large amount of saturated fats. Eating foods of this nature will eventually lead to health problems such as heart disease. Another good diet basics rule to follow is cutting back on all processed carbohydrates. These types of foods will lead to excessive weight gain and higher cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Eating lean protein foods will lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Read food labels to identify the amounts of sodium, carbohydrate, fiber, vitamins, fat, and protein, and other specific ingredients in the food you are purchasing.

Salt is another part of diet basics and it is about 40 percent sodium. To be exact, six grams of salt contain 2400 milligrams of sodium. One teaspoon of salt has about 2000 milligrams of sodium. That means we need about one teaspoon of salt per day. To find out how much sodium is in a food product, read its food label located on the back or side of the package.

Celtic sea salt is the perfect substitution for regular table salt.

You should be eating at least 2 to 4 servings of fresh fruits and 3 to 5 servings of fresh vegetables on a daily basis. Fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins as well as necessary fiber, fluid, electrolytes, and phytochemicals. Diet basics should include a variety of fruits of all colors in order to get necessary nutrients from all sources. For better results choose raw fruits and vegetables because they contain the most vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In any case do not overcook your foods because high temp cooking destroys nutrients.

More Dieting Basics

One serving of vegetables is ½ cup chopped or cooked vegetables or 1 cup leafy greens.

Suggested diet basics plan:  At lunch, put some lettuce and tomato in a sandwich (that’s 1 serving), and eat 1 cup baby carrots too (that’s 2 more).  At dinner, add 1 cup frozen broccoli to your pasta (that’s 2).  Daily total = 5 servings of vegetables.

One serving of fruit is equal to 1 piece. (about the size of a tennis ball), 1 cup of berries or melon, ½ c. juice, or ¼ c. dried fruit.

Suggested diet basics plan:  Drink 1 c. of orange juice in the morning (that’s 2 servings), and grab an apple and small banana for backpack snacks (that’s 2 more).  Daily total = 4 servings of fruit.

Your need for whole grains and starchy vegetables may vary from 6 to 16 servings daily depending on your activity level and caloric needs.  In any case you should aim for at least 3 servings of whole grains daily.

One serving equals 1 slice of bread; ½ small bagel, pita, English muffin, or bun; ½ cup rice, pasta, hot cereal, legumes/beans, or starchy vegetables (like corn or peas), ¾ c. unsweetened dry cereal, 1 small 3-4 oz. baked potato (about the size of a computer mouse), 1 oz. small bag of chips/pretzels, 3-6 crackers.

Suggested diet basics plan:  Eat 1 ½ cup Total cereal in the morning (that’s 2 servings), a sandwich with 2 slices of whole wheat bread (2 more), 1 ½ cup pasta with dinner (that’s 3), and a 2 oz. bag of pretzels for a snack (2 more).  Daily total = 9 servings.

The examples above are not geared toward every person. If your goal is to lose weight you'd cut back on the breads and sugars and increase your protein intake. If you have blood sugar problems you'd cut out the orange juice and other certain fruits.

If you want to achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time, I can help you accomplish your goals!