The foundation of good health is the food we eat. A well-balanced diet contains portions from all food groups including grains, vegetables, fruits, meat and beans, milk, and healthy fats and oils.
Grains provide the body with energy and fiber. Whole grains are especially beneficial because they may help control blood sugar levels and protect against heart disease. Whole grains include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat bread or pasta, and popcorn.
Eating large portions of fruits and vegetables can decrease the chances of a heart attack or stroke, and may protect against some forms of cancer. The best veggies are dark green or orange, such as broccoli, spinach, squash, corn and sweet potatoes. Healthy fruits include apples, bananas, strawberries and grapefruits.
The meat and beans category also includes nuts, seeds, tofu and eggs. These protein rich foods, such as almonds and pistachios, can help reduce the risk of heart disease and provide the body with fiber. The best meat choices are fish and poultry because they contain less saturated fat and more heart-healthy omega-3 fats, such as salmon, tilapia and chicken. When eating red meat, choose lean or low-fat options.
Dairy products help build bones because they provide the body with calcium. Smart dairy choices are fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. Healthy fats and oils such as olive, canola or peanut oils can improve cholesterol levels and may protect the heart from potentially deadly rhythm problems.
It is important to remember to focus on the quality of the foods you and your family eat rather than the quantity. By emphasizing nutrient-rich choices, you can lower both the portion size and salt intake. For more simple ways to make your diet better, visit the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/EatingHealthy.
Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218