Healthy diet (2024)

A healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition.

It protects you against many chronic noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Eating a variety of foods and consuming less salt, sugars and saturated and industrially-produced trans-fats, are essential for healthy diet.

A healthy diet comprises a combination of different foods. These include:

  • Staples like cereals (wheat, barley, rye, maize or rice) or starchy tubers or roots (potato, yam, taro or cassava).
  • Legumes (lentils and beans).
  • Fruit and vegetables.
  • Foods from animal sources (meat, fish, eggs and milk).

Here is some useful information, based on WHO recommendations, to follow a healthy diet, and the benefits of doing so.

  • Breastfeed babies and young children:
    • A healthy diet starts early in life - breastfeeding fosters healthy growth, and may have longer-term health benefits, like reducing the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing noncommunicable diseases later in life.
    • Feeding babies exclusively with breast milk from birth to 6 months of life is important for a healthy diet. It is also important to introduce a variety of safe and nutritious complementary foods at 6 months of age, while continuing to breastfeed until your child is two years old and beyond.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit:
    • They are important sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, plant protein and antioxidants.
    • People with diets rich in vegetables and fruit have a significantly lower risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
  • Eat less fat:
    • Fats and oils and concentrated sources of energy. Eating too much, particularly the wrong kinds of fat, like saturated and industrially-produced trans-fat, can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
    • Using unsaturated vegetable oils (olive, soy, sunflower or corn oil) rather than animal fats or oils high in saturated fats (butter, ghee, lard, coconut and palm oil) will help consume healthier fats.
    • To avoid unhealthy weight gain, consumption of total fat should not exceed 30% of a person's overall energy intake.
  • Limit intake of sugars:
    • For a healthy diet, sugars should represent less than 10% of your total energy intake. Reducing even further to under 5% has additional health benefits.
    • Choosing fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes and chocolate helps reduce consumption of sugars.
    • Limiting intake of soft drinks, soda and other drinks high in sugars (fruit juices, cordials and syrups, flavoured milks and yogurt drinks) also helps reduce intake of sugars.
  • Reduce salt intake:
    • Keeping your salt intake to less than 5h per day helps prevent hypertension and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke in the adult population.
    • Limiting the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments (soy sauce and fish sauce) when cooking and preparing foods helps reduce salt intake.

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Healthy diet (2024)

FAQs

What is considered a healthy diet? ›

eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day (see 5 A Day) base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta. have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein.

What should you eat for a healthy diet? ›

8 tips for healthy eating
  1. Base your meals on higher fibre starchy carbohydrates. ...
  2. Eat lots of fruit and veg. ...
  3. Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish. ...
  4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar. ...
  5. Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults. ...
  6. Get active and be a healthy weight. ...
  7. Do not get thirsty. ...
  8. Do not skip breakfast.

What is a healthy diet for a person? ›

You can eat healthier by making a few swaps, such as choosing whole grains over refined grains and eating more protein. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been scientifically proven to provide numerous health benefits, such as reducing your risk of several chronic diseases and strengthening your immune system.

What is the healthiest diet possible? ›

Numerous studies have found the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, memory loss, depression and breast cancer. The diet, which is more of an eating style than a restricted diet, has also been linked to stronger bones, a healthier heart and longer life.

How to start eating healthy for beginners? ›

Here are some realistic tips for you to get started with healthy eating: Prioritize plant-based foods. Plant foods like veggies, fruits, beans, and nuts should make up the majority of your diet. Try incorporating these foods, especially veggies and fruits, at every meal and snack.

How to eat to reduce belly fat? ›

In general, a low-carb way of eating shifts your intake away from problem foods—those high in carbs and sugar and without much fiber, like bread, bagels and sodas—and toward high-fiber or high-protein choices, like vegetables, beans and healthy meats.

What happens when you start eating healthy? ›

Together with exercise, eating a healthy diet in the right proportions can also help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol levels and blood pressure and decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes.

What should I eat at lunch? ›

What you eat for lunch is almost as important as what you eat for breakfast.
  • Avocado and egg sandwich. ...
  • Summer rolls with peanut sauce. ...
  • Quinoa pear salad with spinach, cranberries and pecans. ...
  • Protein Salad. ...
  • Loaded Vegetable Sandwich. ...
  • Lentil vegetable soup. ...
  • Chicken burrito bowl with rice and beans.
Aug 30, 2023

What is the simplest diet you can live on? ›

The Simple Diet
  • Eat three meals each day. ...
  • Eat your heavier meals for breakfast and lunch with a lighter meal for dinner.
  • Eat two healthy protein choices at each meal or 6-8 choices per day. ...
  • Choose lots of color for each meal. ...
  • Fill in with 100% whole grain choices, 1-3 servings daily. ...
  • Drink water, tea or fat free milk.

What are the 5 foods that burn belly fat? ›

Five foods that may help burn belly fat include:
  • foods with soluble fiber like fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
  • foods with protein like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.
  • fatty fish like tuna and salmon.
  • foods with probiotics like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
  • green tea.

What is the healthiest cleanest diet? ›

The more veggies — and the greater the variety — the better. Potatoes and French fries don't count. Choose fish, poultry, beans, and nuts; limit red meat and cheese; avoid bacon, cold cuts, and other processed meats. Eat a variety of whole grains (like whole-wheat bread, whole-grain pasta, and brown rice).

What are 3 standards that a healthy diet should have? ›

With a few simple changes, you can make eating healthy your easiest habit.
  • Limit – sugary drinks, sweets, fatty meats, and salty or highly processed foods.
  • Avoid – partially hydrogenated oils, tropical oils, and excessive calories.
  • Replace – highly processed foods with homemade or less-processed options.

How do you know if your diet is healthy? ›

If, overall, your body feels good without a drastic, unexplained change in energy, you're probably getting the nutrition you need with a healthy diet, Gentile says.

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