We are constantly bombarded by ads from the media claiming to promote a ‘healthy’ or ‘heart healthy’ diet. However, many of these diets do not work well for people who are trying to lose weight. Some of these diets claim to be as healthy as eating 100 g of carbs every day. The truth is that it is not possible to eat this amount of carb every day without becoming diabetic or overweight. Diabetics are known to have a far higher risk of heart problems, high blood pressure and stroke than the average person.
What does the healthy diet consist of? A healthy diet consists of a well-balanced combination of various healthy foods. These consist of: fats, proteins, carbohydrates. Staples such as milk, eggs, cereals or breads are fine but do not include additives such as salt or sugar.
An ideal diet is one that contains a variety of nutrients. Many vegetarians, for example, also eat meat. The reason for doing this is that a vegetarian diet contains all the necessary nutrients but does not include animal products such as meat or dairy.
By eating dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt and ice-cream, you can ensure that you are getting all the necessary nutrients. For example, milk has calcium, protein and several vitamins including vitamin D. Ice-cream has calcium, as well as vitamins B, D and E. You will get more energy from eating plant-based cheeses such as yoghurt, although you may prefer to eat tofu. The calcium in plant-based cheeses will help to prevent hardening of the arteries, which can cause clogging. Eating tofu will help you to get more protein and several other minerals such as zinc and potassium.
If you follow a vegetarian diet you should keep a separate leaflet called fibre in your diet. It will help you know how many grams of fibre each day you can have. Some vegetarians, however, do not consume dairy foods such as milk or cheese. If you want to include dairy foods in your healthy diet, it is advisable to learn how to cook them in a way that incorporates the use of water, rather than using milk.
As part of a healthy diet, the best meals are those that contain vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts and fruits. Vegetables are rich in nutrients and are low in calories, particularly when they are steamed. Your breakfast cereals, for example, should contain at least two slices of wholemeal bread. Nuts are a good source of protein and the least two slices of bread should contain ten grams of nuts.