Eating healthy throughout your life helps prevent all forms of malnutrition and many non-communicable diseases and conditions.
Unfortunately, the food industry has introduced a mass of processed foods, which, together with rapid urbanization and lifestyle changes, has led to a considerable change in the world’s eating habits, not just the West.
The trend is to eat more and more high-calorie foods, rich in fat, sugar, and sodium, at the expense of fruits, vegetables, and dietary fiber, such as those provided by whole grains.
Yet, eating healthy always and everywhere means having a varied and balanced diet, tailored to individual needs (for example, age, sex, lifestyle, and physical activity), regardless of cultural context, locally available food, and eating habits. The basic principles of a healthy diet always remain the same.
For adults, healthy eating always means:
Choose fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes (e.g., lentils, beans), nuts, and whole grains (e.g., unprocessed corn, millet, barley, wheat, brown rice). Include at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
Have no more than 10% of your total energy intake from free sugars, taking into account that most sugars are added to food or drinks by the manufacturer and are naturally found in honey, syrups, fruit juices, or fruit juice concentrates.
Have no more than 30% of your total energy intake from fat. Unsaturated fats (found, for example, in fish oils, avocado, walnuts, sunflower, canola, and olive oil) are preferable to saturated fats (found, for example, in fatty meat, butter, palm, and coconut oil, in cream, cheese, butter, and bacon). The acidic industrial trans fats (found in processed foods, fast food, snacks, fries, frozen pizzas, cakes, cookies, margarine, and spreads) are excluded from a healthy diet.
When is the salt too much?
A healthy man needs about 100-600 mg of sodium per day or 0.25-1.5 grams of salt. It is a minimal dose and very far from reality. Americans consume an average of 12 grams of salt per day, exceeding real needs by ten times. WHO recommends a maximum of 2 grams of sodium (about 5 grams of table salt, roughly the teaspoon content).
Salt intake becomes fatal when the amounts approach 0.5-1 grams per kg of body weight. This would equate to 35-70 grams of salt (2-4 soup spoons) for a person who weighs around 70 pounds. Salt overdose is a relatively rare situation, but not impossible. If you cannot get used to a low-sodium diet, never exceed 5 grams recommended by the WHO to avoid the unpleasant side effects we talked about earlier. see more Eating too much salt is dangerous for your body
Please don’t overdo it with salt, eating less than 5 grams per day, and using iodized salt.
For infants and children, a healthy diet promotes balanced growth and improves cognitive development. It also reduces the risk of overweight obesity at a later stage in life.
Newborns should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, and breastfeeding should continue until the age of 2 and beyond. Only from 6 months can be integrated with various, adapted, safe and nutrient-rich foods, without salt and sugar.