Healthy Eating – What Does Eating Healthy Look Like?

Healthy Eating - What Does Eating Healthy Look Like?

Many people have a hard time changing their eating habits. They are often overwhelmed by conflicting nutrition and diet advice.

Try to eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits (3 or more servings per day). Select whole grains over refined ones and drink fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products.



Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is a good way to get important nutrients, such as fibre, folate, vitamins C and E, potassium and phytochemicals (naturally occurring plant compounds that have disease-preventive properties). A diet rich in these foods helps lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer.

Make sure that fruits and vegetables take up the largest part of your plate at mealtime, and choose those that are low in sodium and fat, such as steamed veggies, salad greens and leafy vegetables. Try adding herbs and spices to your meals to add flavor without extra calories.


Adding fruits to your meals and snacks can help you get more of the nutrients your body needs. Try citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits; berries of many colors; kiwi fruit; and tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango. Avoid dried fruits that are high in added sugar and read labels to find those with little or no sodium.

Aim to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruit daily, including fresh, frozen, canned or dried options. Add fruit to your breakfast cereal, or make a smoothie with leafy greens and other veggies.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and carbohydrates, the body’s preferred energy source. They also provide protein, iron and magnesium.

Choose quinoa, bulgur, barley, millet, oats and triticale (wheat-rye hybrid). Look for products that have the words “whole grain” near the top of the ingredients list, check out here.

Aim for three 1-ounce servings of grains a day. MyPlate recommends that half of these should be whole grains. The nutrient-rich bran and germ layers of whole grains provide B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium and phytochemicals (1).

Lean Meats

Many experts recommend limiting red and processed meats to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Eating lean meats can help you keep saturated fat intake low while increasing protein and other important nutrients like iron.

Choose chicken, turkey and fish (poultry) for the leanest options; select ground poultry without skin and lean cuts of beef like round, sirloin tip or tenderloin. Poultry and fish are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to support heart health.


Dairy products include milk, yogurt, cheese and other foods made from milk or other dairy sources like fortified soy beverages. They are important for overall nutrition and provide essential nutrients. For most people, healthy eating patterns recommend getting the majority of dairy intake from fat-free or low-fat options.

The dairy industry has worked hard to portray a positive image through its 1990s-era Got Milk campaign and more recently with the promotion of #undeniablydairy by influencers. However, many dairy farms pollute the environment and are fraught with animal welfare issues.

Beans and Legumes


Beans and legumes (lentils, peas, split peas and chickpeas) are nutrient-dense foods that are a good source of protein and fiber. They also provide a good source of folate, potassium and iron. These healthy beans are low in fat and sodium. They can be eaten on their own or added to whole grains, soups and salads.

Legumes are a staple food in many cultures around the world. They are inexpensive, healthy and versatile. They are rich in plant protein, fiber, folic acid, iron, and magnesium. They are also high in soluble and insoluble fiber.

Meatless Meals

Eating more meals without meat can help reduce sodium intake and save money since plant-based foods tend to be less expensive. It can also be good for the environment and may help prevent health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.


To get started, try swapping out meat once or twice per week for scrumptious meals like lasagna, hearty soups and salads. When you do eat meat, go for lean cuts and use spices, herbs, sauces or seasonings to make it flavorful. Try to avoid processed meats and opt for poultry, fish and vegetarian options instead.