A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve general health.
It is important for lowering many chronic health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer.
A healthy diet involves consuming appropriate amounts of all essential nutrients and an adequate amount of water.
Nutrients can be obtained from many different foods, so there are numerous diets that may be considered healthy.
A healthy diet needs to have a balance of macronutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates), calories to support energy needs, and micronutrients to meet the needs for human nutrition without inducing toxicity or excessive weight gain from consuming excessive amounts.
The World Health Organization (WHO) makes the following 5 recommendations with respect to both populations and individuals:
- Try to burn as much energy as you eat, and try to eat as much energy as you burn, as a healthy weight is a balance between those two.
- Increase consumption of food producing plants, particularly fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts
- Limit intake of fat and oil, and avoid saturated fats, which are those that become solid at room temperature such as coconut oil and all animal products including basically meat, dairy and egg. Prefer unsaturated fats, which remain liquid at room temperature instead, and which are found in almost all the plant based oils and foods. Eliminate trans-fatty acids
- Limit the intake of granulated sugar
- Limit salt / sodium consumption from all sources and ensure that salt is iodized