If you have begun to be interested in improving your diet and do not know how to start , the advice we give you today on how to develop a healthy eating plan will be of great help. What should I eat and when should I eat it? What foods can I mix? How many times can I eat each food? Surely these are questions that have been assailing you. But don’t worry, we are going to give you the answer for each of them. Take note!
Step one: buy healthy foods
The first step you must do to be able to follow a healthy eating plan is that the foods that are part of your diet are healthy. In this way, it will be much easier for you to prepare a healthy weekly menu for the whole family and you will avoid the temptation to eat unhealthy foods .
If you are wondering what kind of healthy foods you should include in your diet, here is a list of the different food groups that you should take into account when making your weekly shopping:
Vegetables and vegetables
Surely we will not be surprised if we tell you that vegetables should be part of a balanced diet.They are very rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.Make sure they are, at least, in your main meals. There is no vegetable or vegetable that is better or worse than another. Each one will provide you with specific nutrients, so variety is the key.Make sure your dishes are full of color and you can take advantage of all its benefits.
Another classic that cannot be missed in a healthy and balanced diet is fruits. Try to consume 2 or 3 pieces of fruit a day.Like vegetables and greens, fruits will also provide extra vitamins, fiber, and minerals to your diet. You can consume them between meals, as a dessert or as part of a main dish such as a salad. There are no rules or schedules when it comes to mixing and consuming the fruit!
Cereals and derivatives
Cereals and their derivatives are a source of carbohydrates for the diet, whose main function is to provide energy.It is important that you choose the wholegrain versions over the refined ones and that you avoid processed products such as cookies, pastries or sugary cereals.
Fats have long been labeled “unhealthy”. However, there are healthy fats, unsaturated fats, that should be part of a healthy diet. Some foods with healthy fats that should be part of your diet are nuts, seeds, olive oil or avocado.On the contrary, try to limit the consumption of saturated fats present in fatty sausages, industrial pastries, salty snacks, etc.
Legumes and tubers
Legumes are often forgotten in our diet, but they are an excellent choice of plant proteins.If you don’t have time to cook them, you can buy the jars of cooked vegetables. In 5 minutes you can have a delicious and nutritious salad. Tubers such as sweet potato or potato are also a good option to achieve different flavors and textures in the kitchen.
Dairy and vegetable equivalents
Dairy is a good source of calcium and quality protein, so it can be part of a balanced and healthy diet. Vegetable equivalents such as vegetable drinks or calcium-fortified vegetable yogurts are also a good option if you cannot or decide not to consume dairy. It is important not to include in this group dairy desserts such as custards, puddings, ice cream … which are foods very rich in added sugar.
Meat, fish, seafood and eggs
These food groups will add good quality protein to your diet. Try to make them part of your main meals and try to avoid processed products of less nutritional quality such as nuggets, fish bars, frankfurters, etc. unless they are homemade.
Never forget that healthy eating starts with buying healthy foods.
Are your dishes balanced?
Once we have made sure that the food we have at home is healthy, we are going to ensure that the dishes that make up your main meals are also healthy. To do so, we suggest that you follow the plate method.It is about dividing your plate into three parts:
- One half of the plate, made up of greens and vegetables.Vegetables will add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your recipes. The more variety of greens and vegetables you incorporate, the more variety of nutrients you can obtain.
- A quarter of the plate consists of quality protein foods: lean meats, white fish, blue fish, eggs, legumes and tempeh, tofu, seitan.
- A quarter of the plate consists of foods rich in carbohydrates: cereals and whole grains, tubers and legumes. Remember that carbohydrates are our main source of energy, do not forget to incorporate them into your main meals.
Here are some ideas for dishes that follow the healthy plate method and that you can incorporate into your diet:
- Arugula salad, cooked lentils, cherry tomatoes, grated carrot, radishes and diced chicken breast sautéed
- Baked gilthead bream with bakery potatoes accompanied by a varied salad
- Sautéed spinach with chickpeas and turkey and vegetable skewers
- Vegetable ratatouille with textured soybeans and whole wheat pasta spirals
Planning a healthy weekly menu
Now that you have mastered your plate, let’s go for the week. The planning weekly menus is complex, but we encourage you to start working on it. To do so, you can consult one of our publications on healthy weekly menus.You can also help yourself from other websites such as the Blog about nutrition.
To develop a weekly plan, we must always keep the idea of the dish in mind.Always try to have a part of vegetables and vegetables , one of protein foods and another of foods rich in carbohydrates.In order not to displace any food group, try to distribute the group of protein foods following the weekly consumption frequencies that we propose below:
- White meat: 3 times a week
- Red meat: maximum 1 time per week
- White fish: 3 times a week
- Blue fish: 1 – 2 times a week
- Legumes: minimum 2 – 3 times a week
- Seafood: 1 – 2 times a week
- Eggs: 2 – 3 times a week
Try to keep the main cooking of your recipes healthy and moderate the fried and battered ones. Prioritize healthy cooking such as the grill, the oven, the steam, the boil or the healthy stews. And if you think that time and lack of organization is a problem to prepare your healthy menus, in this YouTube video we will talk about batch cooking or how to cook for the whole week.
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