Food is an essential part of life. The choices we make about what we eat can have lasting impacts on our health. Many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity can be caused by unhealthy dietary habits (1). For many people, preventing these diseases can be as easy as engaging in healthy eating habits. These healthy eating habits include not just what food is eaten, but also when and how to eat. In this article, I will discuss very general healthy diet recommendations (what to eat). In part 2, I will discuss how and when to eat.
What to Eat
There is no perfect diet that can be applied to everyone. However, in general, the best thing is to focus on is the quality of food (2). High quality food includes are those that are closest to their whole forms found in nature. Foods like whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and healthy proteins are all high quality foods. Low-quality foods are those that are highly processed such as white bread, white rice, fried food, processed meats, sugary beverages, refined sugar, and foods high in trans fats. These low-quality foods are minimized or eliminated in a healthy diet.