A healthy diet 

A healthy diet helps to protect against malnutrition in all its forms (including overweight and obesity), as well as against developing non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer in later life.

Video - what is a diverse diet and why it is important?

Video - which food groups are important for a healthy diet?

Practical advice on how to maintain a healthy diet 

  1. Eat a variety of foods from different food groups (when possible):

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2. Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables:
- For snacks, choose fresh fruit and raw vegetables, rather than foods that are high in sugars, fat, or salt
- Avoid overcooking fruit and vegetables as this can lead to the loss of important vitamins
- When using canned or dried fruit and vegetables, choose varieties without added salt and sugar

  • Benefits of eating fruits and vegetables:
    - Fruits and vegetables are important sources of essential nutrients that keep the body healthy
    - Fruits and vegetables significantly lower the risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer

3. Eat moderate amounts of fats and oils:
Fats and oils contain a lot of energy, and eating too much fat, particularly “bad fats”, can be harmful to health. People who eat a lot of “bad fats” are at higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Pregnant women and young children need enough “good fats” to help the brain and nervous system develop normally. Fats also help the body to absorb some important vitamins.

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4. Eat less salt and sugars:

People whose diets are high in salt have a greater risk of high blood pressure, which can increase their risk of heart disease and stroke. Similarly, those whose diets are high in sugars have a greater risk of becoming overweight or obese, and an increased risk of tooth decay. People who reduce the number of sugars in their diet may also reduce their risk of non-communicable diseases (such as heart disease and stroke).

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5. Stay hydrated:

Getting enough water every day is important for your health. Your body needs more water when you are more physically active, in a hot climate, have a fever, or having diarrhea or vomiting. 

  • Choose for healthy drinks:

  • (Safe) water

  • Plain coffee

  • Plain tea

  • Milk

  • 100% fruit or vegetable smoothies (no sugar added)

  • Try to minimize the intake of:

  • Sugary drinks (such as regular sodas, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened waters, and sweetened coffee and tea beverages)

  • Alcoholic drinks

  • Caffeinated drinks (not more than 3-5 cups of plain coffee per day)

  • Drinks with sugar alternatives (such as "light" sodas)

  • Sports drinks

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, 12 January). Water and Healthier Drinks. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/water-and-healthier-drinks.html#:%7E:text=Getting%20enough%20water%20every%20day,Keep%20a%20normal%20temperature

  2. Certa Nutritio. (2020, 1 April). GloCal Nutrition [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvxwMjlLzZP_l3CvIWPZHCg

  3. World Health Organization. (2020, 29 April). Healthy diet. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet