The 5 Healthiest Things you Can Eat

5 major food groups admin

Do you know what foods are best to put on your plate? Or how much you should eat and how often? These are the kind of questions that confront people who embark on the journey toward a healthier lifestyle. We will answer these questions in due time. For now, we made this article to give you an idea of the 5 healthiest things you can eat to kickstart your journey.

 

5 Major Food Groups

When you’re planning your meals, you have to make sure that the foods fall into the 5 major food groups:

  • vegetables and legumes or beans
  • fruits
  • lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes, or beans
  • grains (cereal) foods, mostly whole grain or high cereal fiber varieties
  • milk, yogurt, cheese, or alternatives, mostly reduced fat

The reason why they are grouped accordingly is that they provide similar amounts of key nutrients. For example, take the key nutrients of the milk, yogurt, cheese, and alternatives group. They all include calcium and protein. On the other hand, the fruit group is a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin C.

Eating a varied, well-balanced diet means eating a variety of foods from each of the 5 food groups daily, in the recommended amounts. Because different foods provide different types and amounts of key nutrients, it is important to choose various foods from within each food group. As a bonus, choosing a variety of foods will help make your meals interesting, so that you don’t get bored with your diet.

Based on the groups mentioned above, here are our top 5 picks for the healthiest things you can eat:

 

Vegetables (required daily)

One standard serving of vegetables is about 75 g (100 to 350 kJ). This is the equivalent of:

  • ½ cup cooked vegetables (for example, broccoli, carrots, spinach, or pumpkin)
  • ½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas, or lentils (preferably with no added salt)
  • 1 cup of green leafy or raw salad vegetables
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • ½ medium potato or other starchy vegetables (such as sweet potato)
  • 1 medium tomato

 

Fruit (required daily)

One standard serving of fruit is about 150 g (350 kJ), which is equal to:

  • 1 medium piece (for example, apple, banana, orange, or pear)
  • 2 small pieces (for example, apricots, plums, or kiwi fruit)
  • 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)

 

Grain Foods (required daily)

Choose mostly whole grain or high cereal fiber varieties of grain foods.

One standard serve is 500 kJ, which is equivalent to:

  • 1 slice (40 g) of bread
  • ½ medium roll (40 g) or flatbread
  • ½ cup (75-120 g) cooked rice, pasta, noodles, barley, buckwheat, semolina, polenta, bulgur, or quinoa
  • ½ cup (120 g) cooked porridge
  • ¼ cup (30 g) muesli
  • 2/3 cup (30 g) breakfast cereal flakes
  • 3 (35g) crispbreads
  • 1 crumpet (60 g)
  • 1 small (35 g) English muffin or scone

 

Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans (required daily)

One standard serve (500 to 600 kJ) is equal to:

  • 65 g cooked lean red meat such as beef, lamb, veal, pork, or goat (about 90 to 100 g raw)
  • 80 g cooked poultry such as chicken or turkey (100 g raw)
  • 100 g cooked fish fillet (about 115 g raw weight) or 1 small can of fish
  • 2 large (120 g) eggs
  • 1 cup (150 g) cooked dried or canned legumes/beans such as lentils, chickpeas, or split peas (preferably with no added salt)
  • 170 g tofu

 

Milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or alternatives (required daily)

One standard serve (500 to 600 kJ) is equal to:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) fresh, UHT long-life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk
  • ½ cup (120 ml) evaporated milk
  • 2 slices (40 g) or one 4 x 3 x 2 cm cube (40 g) of hard cheese, such as cheddar
  • ½ cup (120 g) ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup (200 g) yogurt
  • 1 cup (250 ml) soy, rice, or other cereal drink with at least 100 mg of added calcium per 100 ml

 

Final Words

Like any other habit, the first step is always the hardest. The same is true in your journey towards eating healthy. In our experience, it helps if you plan your meals and prepare them for days at a time. So that if it’s time to eat, you can just pop in your prepped meals in the microwave. 

Search the internet to find interesting and easy recipes and cooking tips to show variety in your meals. You may get bored and lose motivation if you don’t try different ingredients and recipes.