A balanced and nutritious diet plays a crucial role in safeguarding against malnutrition in its various forms and reducing the risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Unhealthy eating habits and insufficient physical activity pose significant global health risks. It is crucial to adopt healthy dietary practices from an early age. Breastfeeding plays a vital role in promoting healthy growth and enhancing cognitive development. Additionally, it offers long-term health benefits, including a reduced risk of overweight or obesity, as well as the development of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in the future.
Maintaining a balance between energy intake (calories) and energy expenditure is important for overall health. To prevent unhealthy weight gain, it is recommended that total fat intake does not exceed 30% of total energy intake.
Saturated fats should be limited to less than 10% of total energy intake, and trans-fats to less than 1% of total energy intake. It is advised to shift towards consuming unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats and trans-fats, aiming to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fats.
In a healthy diet, the consumption of free sugars should be limited to less than 10% of total energy intake. For additional health benefits, a further reduction to less than 5% of total energy intake is suggested.
To promote heart health and prevent conditions like hypertension, it is recommended to keep salt intake below 5 grams per day (equivalent to less than 2 grams of sodium per day). This helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in the adult population.
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Some of the questions our patients often ask us
A healthy diet includes a balanced intake of nutrients, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It focuses on moderation, variety, and portion control.
Eating a healthy diet provides essential nutrients for growth, development, and overall well-being. It helps prevent chronic diseases, supports a strong immune system, maintains a healthy weight, and improves energy levels.
You can add fruits and vegetables to your diet by including them in meals and snacks. Opt for fresh, frozen, or canned options without added sugars or salt. Experiment with different recipes and cooking methods to make them more enjoyable.
Carbohydrates are a major source of energy for the body. They should come from whole grains, legumes, and fruits, which provide fiber and essential nutrients. Limit refined carbohydrates and sugary foods as they offer less nutritional value.
Counting calories is not essential for everyone, but portion control is important. Focus on mindful eating, listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and choose nutrient-dense foods to support a healthy weight.
To reduce added sugar intake, read food labels and avoid sugary drinks, sweets, and processed snacks. Opt for natural sweeteners like fruits or use spices like cinnamon or vanilla to enhance flavor without adding sugar.
Not all fats are unhealthy. Healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, are beneficial for heart health. Avoid or limit saturated and trans fats found in fried foods, processed snacks, and fatty meats.
Yes, a healthy diet can be tailored to meet individual needs or preferences, such as vegetarian or vegan diets, gluten-free diets, or specific allergies. It’s important to seek guidance from a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice.
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