We are in an era where being healthy is a central issue. In fact, by adopting a healthy lifestyle, we can change ourselves, getting more healthier, happier and live longer. Moreover, that can also help the environment to be more healthy and sustainable.
We also have written many articles on the topic of nutrition and healthiness with the help of Newairz as well. However, we haven’t talked about the fundamental of nutrition and how to eat healthy properly.
So here’s a concise guide of how to eat healthy. But before answering the “how-to”. Let’s talk about the “what”. What are foods and nutrients?
Let’s firstly understand some basics, like what is a calorie, what are carbs, fats and proteins, minerals and vitamins. In this guide, I will try my best to talk in the most simple ways for you to understand some basics, and easily grasp how to eat healthy and build yourself your perfect healthy meals.
What are foods, nutrients, and calories?
As the dictionary states: “any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc.”
In principle, we have 2 kinds of nutrients, macro and micro. Nutrients can be calories, nutrients are what compose food, which gives energy as calories. And nutrients are needed to be healthy, especially the right and healthy ones.
So let’s keep digging into our topic…
There are 3 most important nutrients to know. Macronutrients are nutrients that provide energy in the form of calories, compare to micro-nutrients. These 3 nutrients: Carbohydrates (carbs), fats and proteins and these are the ones we are going to talk about most in this guide.
Micronutrients are food also in any food. There are known mostly as vitamins and minerals. We need some of them to also be healthy and have energy and no lack of anything such as iron, zinc, magnesium and all kinds of vitamins. A lack of iron could cause fatigue called anaemia for instance.
As said, nutrients are calories. Calories are needed for us to have energy and function properly. In fact, the more you do sport, the more you move, the more you need calories. Even when you use your brain, calories are needed. Brains love healthy fats, for instance, there are mostly composed on this substance. That can be the reason why you feel tired after having thought too much.
In very simple word Every action, our body does need calories.
Good and Bad Calories
Then you have good and bad calories. Good calories will be good fat, protein and carbs.
Bad calories would be processed food like Macdonald, Nutella or sugary drinks and alcohol. We often call them empty calories has for most of them they will satisfy your desire and your appetite, but like any sugar or bad fat, they will be consumed and digest to quick and in the long term making you not healthy as you will crave for more and more.
Instead of good calories like eggs, chicken, quinoas, veggies, fruits etc..
This is a quick tab from Healthline showing how much calories in different ingredient for you to have an idea:
- Celery: 14 calories per cup (100 grams), 95% water (
- Carrots: 52 calories per cup (130 grams), 88% water (
- Lettuce: 5 calories per cup (35 grams), 95% water (
- Broccoli: 31 calories per cup (90 grams), 89% water (
- Grapefruit: 69 calories per cup (230 grams), 92% water (
- Tomatoes: 32 calories per cup (180 grams), 94% water (
- Cucumbers: 8 calories per cup (50 grams), 95% water (
- Watermelon: 46 calories per cup (150 grams), 91% water (
- Apples: 53 calories per cup (110 grams), 86% water (
These are very healthy food as there are from mother nature, known as fruits and veggies.
A big mac contains 257 calories which are equal almost at 5 apples. Taking into account that the average people should eat around 1800kcal per day.
I hope you follow me… Let’s continue…
Carbs, Fat, Protein, what are they?
As said these 3 are nutrients, macronutrients, and they are necessary. And this how now you’re going to understand how to eat healthy.
So in order to have well-balanced nutrition and thus to eat healthy you need a portion of all of them. Then how much that will depend on your age, condition and goals. But the daily recommendation for average people grossly will be between carbs, protein, fat 50/25/25.
Carbs – 1gr of is 4kcal
There is 2 kind of carbs: Simple carbs and complex carbs.
In a few words, simple carbs are sweet and go fast to the digestive system. Complex carbs take longer and can contain fibre which takes more time to digest and can have more benefits for our energy level in the long run.
Carbs are the most necessary source of nutrients that our body needs. They can be food in pasta, rice, potatoes, any veggies, and fruits.
You have good carbs and bad carbs: some are just more sugary than others. As if you look to a label of any food you’ll find Carbohydrates and just under of which sugars and here the more you have sugars the more it can be not so healthy. Cause yes sugar is a carb. But not every carbs are equal then, as there are some healthy carbs (which contains no sugar) like the ones in veggies or in whole grains like quinoa and lentils for instance.
Protein – 1gr of is 4kcal
As for carbs, 1gr of protein is also 4kcal but they don’t have the same benefits. Proteins are famous to build and maintain our muscle, but that’s not it. Proteins are also good to protect the skin the brain ect..
Protein is found in animal and also in plant-based food. Here we have listed the top healthy protein for one of our previous article:
- Tofu (Soya)
Fat – 1gr of is 9kcal
Ha, that’s the big haha. Yes, for 1 gr of fat we have 9 calories, as it’s double of what you can find in carbs or proteins.
It’s really important to have fat in our diet. Focus on the good ones.
Bad vs good fats
Again, if you look at a label in the back of any food you find you can see Fat and under that line, here comes,” of which saturates”. Saturates are like bad fats. So the more you have the saturates the more it can be not so healthy. But it’s hard to say that is so bad cause actually having a bit of some bad fat is not so that bad! Hum.. just try to get more healthy fat like poly and mono-saturated which can be found in avocado, fatty fish or nuts as there are very essential for the good function of as we said our brain and our body, in general, they can even help to absorb more vitamins in our body when eating and digesting.
So how to eat healthy?
Now my goal is for you to answer this question easily. The more easy information you have to digest, the simple you can answer.
As seen previously you need to eat a well-balanced diet.
Well, balanced diet sample day:
Having a good breakfast with good fats, proteins and carbohydrates will help you to get you healthy from the start of the day.
The best-balanced breakfasts that we eat and that we mostly recommend to the people we work with are omelette, bowl cake, or well-composed porridge with pumpkin seeds which will give you the healthy fats you need.
I also want to debunk something here: eating healthy is not about eating less it’s about eating better.
Breakfasts are one part then you can have some nuts as a healthy snack to get enough good fat.
The general meals will be composed of protein like eggs, chicken or tofu/beans for vegetarian/vegan, with some veggies, and some nice carbs like bulgur or quinoas.
It is recommended to eat more carbs during the day as it’s more needed in our active time and less before going to bed to sleep peacefully.
Related –> Best Easy Healthy Lifestyle Tips
As I say being healthy can be the base of everything, and by knowing the basic of nutrition and how to eat healthy you are in a good way to be healthy and to enjoy more your life with better health. I hope this article helps you to make better decisions on the way you eat. So, enjoy your healthy meals.
If you want to learn more about how to be healthy and fit I recommend you to read these 2 different articles from my personal blog:
Enjoy the reading, enjoy your life. It’s all love and broccoli.