You need an average of about 2000 calories a day if you are female (aged 18-50) and lead a sedentary lifestyle.
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These figures are based on the Estimated Energy Requirements from the Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intakes macronutrients report, 2002. You need more calories to stay healthy when you are younger and need lesser calories as you age. If you eat more calories than you need over a longer period of time, you will put on unwanted and unhealthy body fat which is linked to diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Be sure to include 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits every day as a part of your 2000 calorie food intake. Include red, green, orange, blue, and purple produce in your diet for cancer protection and the vitamin and mineral punch. Also stick to fibrous fruits over non fibrous ones and whole fruits over fruit juices anytime.
Portion size is crucial to a healthy diet.
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Are you making the mistake of eating healthy spinach and cabbage during the weekdays and splurging on high-calorie foods like burgers and pasta during weekends? If yes, you are only fighting a losing battle against the bulge as portion size, especially of higher calorie foods is key to a healthy diet. Don t go for supersized portions of your favourite fast foods ever. Also check food labels especially grams of fats, trans-fats, and milligrams of sodium in these weekend treats to stay safe.
Which of these foods should be avoided like as they are a source of empty calories?
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Processed foods are foods that have been changed from their natural state. Examples are canned juices, bacon, and sauce, to name a few. Processed foods are convenient but they bring to your plate large amounts of hidden sodium, sugar, and saturated fats which are always bad for your health. Enjoy processed foods in moderation, if you must. Another thing you can do is to check the nutrition labels to avoid processed foods that are high in fats, sugars, and chemicals. It s best to stick to fresh, simple ingredients in your daily diet always.
Eating a variety of foods is key to a healthy diet.
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Eating a variety of fresh fruits, veggies, and grains will ensure that you get all the vitamins and minerals that you require for healthy living. This will also cut the pesticides you draw into your body through food contamination. Stay away from foods containing trans- fats like margarine, fried snacks, and microwave popcorn as these foods can cause heart attacks and strokes as they form deadly clots in arteries.
Which of these are not good for you?
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Saturated fats, found in red meat contain bad LDL Cholesterol. This causes your arteries to clog and cause fatalities. Refined carbohydrates found in white bread, pasta and noodles have no dietary fibre and are high in fats which you don t need beyond a point. Similarly, soda and candy are also sources of empty calories that contribute to weight gain without any nutritional gains. Always go for lean meats, poultry, and oily fish instead of red meats. This way you can replace saturated fats with the good unsaturated fats and enjoy a healthy diet.