Nutrition can be difficult. The rules seem to change all the time. To help you I have written 4 tips that you can apply to your diet and will help you make healthier choices when planning your meals.
A lot of things in nutrition can be confusing. However the first major rule is actually very simple. If you eat MORE calories than you use in a day you will put on weight. If you eat LESS calories than you use in a day you will lose weight.
If you are not sure if a food is healthy or not, look at how processed it is. If it looks like it came from a vegetable, fruit or animal then it is not that processed. If it does not look like something that was grown or came from something alive then it is very processed (e.g. biscuits or a Mars bar). Another tip is to look at the list of ingredients. If this very long or the main ingredient does not make up most of the food (e.g. ham that is only 50% meat) then this shows a lot of processing.
A healthy balanced diet is one that contains everything in moderation. Your body needs fats, carbohydrates and protein (the exact amounts depends on your goals). It also needs vitamins and minerals that are found in all of these. A low fat diet can lead to a lack of Vitamin A, D, E, K and Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids. Because fruit and vegetables are a source of carbohydrates, low carb diets can lead to a lack of many nutrients such as iron and fibre.
The key to a healthy lifestyle is everything in moderation. It is not possible to eat healthily 100% of the time and it is not possible to make sure our food is 100% unprocessed and organic all the time. The key is to make small changes to our lifestyle that we can maintain. Instead of eating a biscuit for a snack, have an apple. Put cinnamon in your coffee instead of sugar, poach chicken instead of frying it, use wholewheat spaghetti and rye bread instead of normal spaghetti and white bread. When you do have processed foods or snacks don't eat too many.
I hope these tips will make things easier for you to understand what a healthy diet should look like. If you have any other tips, thoughts, comments or questions, please leave them below