Eating a healthy diet involves getting enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from food, and limiting unhealthy foods and beverages. Eating a healthy diet also involves eating the right amount of calories in your case (that is, not eating too much or too little).
If you want to eat a healthy diet, eat enough:
• Vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat or non-fat dairy products
• Fish, seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, seeds and nuts.
It is also important to limit the following:
• Sodium (salt)
• Additional sugars, such as refined sugar (regular sugar), brown sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and honey
• Saturated fats, which come from animal products, such as cheese, high-fat meats, whole milk and butter, and from products of vegetable origin, such as palm and coconut oils
• Trans fats , which can be found in foods such as bar margarines, coffee creams and some desserts
• Refined grains, found in foods such as cookies, white bread and certain snacks
Make a personalized meal plan that helps you choose healthy foods (in English).
A healthy diet can keep you healthy.
Eating a healthy diet is good for your overall health. In addition, by making good decisions about what you eat, you can control your weight and reduce the risk of suffering from certain chronic (long-lasting) illnesses.
If you consume healthy foods (and limit the consumption of those that are not) you can reduce the risk of suffering:
• Heart disease
• Type 2 diabetes
• High blood pressure
• Some types of cancer
• Osteoporosis (weakening of bones)
Find out why it is important to eat a healthy diet (in English).
Take action. Making simple changes in your eating habits can mean a lot to your health over time.Here we give you some tips and resources to start.
Keep a diary of what you eat.
Knowing what you eat will help you decide what changes you should make. Print this feed journal [PDF, 36 KB] (in English) and write down the following:
• When do you eat
• What you eat and in what quantity
• Where and with whom you eat
• How do you feel when you eat
“Tuesday, 3:30 pm, 2 cookies with chocolate chips, at work with Maria, I was stressed.”
Use the SuperTracker page to plan and keep track of your diet and the physical activity you do (in English). Choose well when you go to the market.
Put these tips into practice the next time you go to the market:
• Make the shopping list in advance. Only buy what is on the list.
• Do not go to the market when you are hungry. Eat something before going to the market.
Put these tips into practice to buy healthy foods:
• Buy a variety of vegetables and fruits of different colors.
• Look for foods that contain little sodium on this list.
• Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
• Replace your favorite foods with foods with fewer calories and less saturated fat (in English).
• Choose foods that contain whole grains, such as 100% whole wheat breads or breads, cereals and whole grain pasta.
• Buy lean cuts of meat and poultry, and other foods that contain protein, such as fish, shellfish, and beans.
• Save money by buying fruits and vegetables that are harvested or reduced in price.Find out how to buy fruits and vegetables.
Read the nutrition information label.
Understanding the nutrition label of food packaging can help you choose healthy options.
First, look at the serving size and the number of servings per container. It is possible that the package contains more than one portion.
Next, look at the column for the percentage of the recommended daily value (DV, for its acronym in English). This way you will know if a food contains more quantity of certain nutrients or less of others. Look for foods that have these characteristics:
• Less sodium and saturated fat (5% of the recommended daily value or less)
• More fiber, calcium, potassium and vitamin D (20% of the recommended daily value or more)
Eat healthy foods when you are away from home. You can make good decisions about the food you eat wherever you are: at work, in your favorite restaurant or doing errands.
Follow these tips to eat healthy foods even when you are away from home:
• At lunchtime, eat a sandwich with whole grain bread instead of white bread.
• Instead of soda, drink water.
• In the restaurant opt for steamed, baked, roasted or grilled foods instead of fried.
• If you are going on a long car trip or shopping, bring fresh fruits, unsalted nuts or low-fat cheese sticks to eat when you feel hungry.
If you or one of your loved ones has high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or heart disease, ask the doctor or a certified dietitian what to do to stay healthy.