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What Healthy Foods You Should Have On Your Plate

Eat better and feel better.

Healthy eating doesn't mean boring. "Eating healthy" can get confusing though. For example, some people think carbohydrates are bad for you. In this article we will teach you what healthy eating really means, and we will give you tips to make your own healthy plate.

What is healthy eating?

"Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy." - Wikipedia

Nutrients can be divided in two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients:

  • Macronutrients: they are needed in large amounts.
    • Fat
    • Carbohydrate
    • Protein
  • Micronutrients: they are needed in smaller amounts.
    • Vitamins
    • Minerals

Healthy foods tend to be rich in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). They're low in trans fat, sugar and sodium.

Whereas junk food have less fibers. They have more sugar, sodium, trans fat and they are low in micronutrients.

You don't need to follow a certain diet in order to be healthy. Every food serves a purpose, it's all about balance.

Processed Vs. Whole Food

Processed foods are low in fibres and micronutrients. They also tend to be high in additives and preservatives. You should avoid consuming too much processed food.

Here's a list of processed foods:

  • Chocolate bars
  • Cheese
  • Dried fruits
  • Condiments
  • Packaged bacon
  • Cereals
  • Chips

Whole foods are minimally processed. The foods are provided in their original state, which means vitamins and nutrients are still intact. You should primarily eat whole foods, they will make you feel better.

Here's a list of whole foods:

  • Nuts
  • Wild fish
  • Fruits and veggies
  • Whole grain foods
  • Organic eggs and meat

Make your own healthy plate

Your healthy plate should contain:

  • Vegetables (2/4 of your plate): they will help get plenty of micronutrients that will help you feel at your best. Veggies also tend to be low in sugar, which will help you keep your blood glucose stable. Don't hesitate to add some healthy fats food such as: olive oil, canola oil, avocados. They will help you get the right intake of omega-3s.
  • Whole grains / Legumes (1/4 of your plate): whole grains and legumes are usually high in fibres and protein, which will avoid you to have an impact on your blood sugar. Try to have some whole-wheat bread, brown rice and legumes such as: beans, lentils and chickpeas.
  • Quality protein (1/4 of your plate): quality proteins will help you keep your muscles, skin and bones healthy. Try foods like: eggs, meat and fish. Seitan, tofu, lentils and chickpeas if you prefer plant-based options.

Meal timing matters

Your plate should differ depending on when you're having your meal. If you won't be very active for the next couple hours, you might want to reduce your carb intake since you won't be using most of it. For example, a post-workout meal would contain different nutrients than a dinner would.

Balance is key

This journey is all about balance. It's about finding a sustainable nutrition that works with your lifestyle. For example, you could join your friends for dinner once or twice a week. If they're doing it every single day, that's a different story.

"You are what you eat." Keep that in mind next time you're choosing your next meal. I personally feel so heavy when I eat junk food and I don't perform as well as when I'm eating some whole foods.

In summary

  • Healthy doesn't mean boring.
  • Whole foods tend to be rich in micronutrients and low in trans fat.
  • Junk foods tend to be low in micronutrients and rich in trans fat, sodium, additives and preservatives.
  • Your healthy plate should have: quality protein, good fats, vegetables and whole-grains/legumes.
  • Eat according to your schedule. Meal timing matters.
  • Have a sustainable nutrition.
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