A healthy diet is something everyone who cares about their health claims to want, but what is a healthy diet?
Developing healthy eating habits isn't as confusing, unappetizing, or restrictive as many people imagine. The first principle of a healthy diet is simply to eat a wide variety of foods. This is important because different foods make different nutritional contributions. Healthy eating means getting all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are available out there to keep you as healthy as possible.
Secondly, fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds are foods high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These foods are the easiest to find fresh and natural and therefore should make up the bulk of the calories you consume. The remainder of your nutrients could come from small amounts of grains, legumes, meats, dairy, and eggs, if you are not a vegetarian or vegan.
You should also try to maintain a balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure. Don't eat more food than your body can utilize. Otherwise, you will become bloated, feel fatigued, toxic and gain weight. The more active you are the more you can eat and still maintain this balance.
Following these three basic steps doesn't mean that you have to give up your favorite foods. As long as you eat mostly fruits and vegetables, there is nothing wrong with an occasional treat. Just be sure to limit how frequently you eat such foods, and pay attention to how you feel and look afterwards.
You can also view healthy eating as an opportunity to expand your range of choices by trying new or unusual foods that you don't normally eat. If you ask a naturopathic physician, a healthy diet doesn't have to mean eating foods that are bland or unappealing. Well chosen fruit alone, perfectly ripe and in season, can be nirvana. Try a ripe mango, banana, or cherries. The perfect gourmet salad with spinach, arugula, walnuts and cranberries with a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese is heavenly. Try the grass-fed buffalo, the raw cheeses, the flour-less walnut, date and chocolate cake and have fun. Bon apetit!