A healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition.
It protects against many chronic noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Eating a variety of foods and consuming less salt, sugars and saturated trans fats and produced industrially, are essential for a healthy diet.
A healthy diet includes a combination of different foods. These include:
Staples such as cereals (wheat, barley, rye, corn or rice) or tubers or roots with starch (potatoes, yams, taro or yucca).
Here is useful information, based on WHO recommendations, to follow a healthy diet and the benefits of doing so.
Breastfeeding babies and small children:
A healthy diet begins early in life: breastfeeding encourages healthy growth and can have long-term health benefits, such as reducing the risk of overweight or obesity and developing noncommunicable diseases later in life.
Feeding babies exclusively with breast milk from birth to 6 months of age is important for a healthy diet. It is also important to introduce a variety of safe and nutritious complementary foods at 6 months of age, while continuing to breastfeed until your child is two years old or older.
Eat lots of vegetables and fruits:
They are important sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, plant proteins and antioxidants.
People with diets rich in vegetables and fruits have a significantly lower risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Eat less fat
Greases and oils and concentrated sources of energy. Eating too much, especially the wrong types of fat, such as saturated trans fats and industrially produced fats, can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The use of unsaturated vegetable oils (olive oil, soy, sunflower or corn) instead of animal fats or oils with a high content of saturated fats (butter, butter, lard, coconut oil and palm) will help to consume healthier fats .
To avoid unhealthy weight gain, total fat intake should not exceed 30% of a person’s total energy intake.
Limit the intake of sugars:
For a healthy diet, sugars should represent less than 10% of your total energy intake. Reducing even more to less than 5% has additional health benefits.
Choosing fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes and chocolate helps reduce the consumption of sugars.
Limiting the intake of soft drinks, soft drinks and other beverages with high sugar content (fruit juices, cordials and syrups, flavored milks and yogurt drinks) also helps reduce the intake of sugars.
Reduce salt intake:
Keeping your salt intake to less than 5 hours per day helps prevent hypertension and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke in the adult population.
Limiting the amount of salt and condiments with high sodium content (soy sauce and fish sauce) when cooking and preparing food helps reduce salt intake.