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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Meals

Meal Benefits

Not many people make it a priority to include healthy meals into their daily diet. Life is too hectic and fast paced these days and no one has the time to count the calories in foods and prepare elaborate nutritious meals. Also, there are fast food restaurants at each and every street corner and is it far easier to hop in and grab a quick bite. However taking some time to consider the benefits of a healthy diet will change your attitude towards the food you choose to eat. Healthy food strengthens your immunity and reduces the risk of illness and disease.
It also helps to keep your medical bills low. It gives you a great deal of energy which will naturally improve your work performance and enable you to enjoy your life more. Healthy meals will prevent excess weight gain and hence help you feel and look fit. Making a habit of eating healthy will also keep you active and energetic even as you advance in age. When the body does not receive a daily dose of nutrients, several negative side effects occur. One is likely to suffer from headaches, tiredness, concentration problems and indigestion. The hair and skin also begin to reflect the poor state of nutrition and problems such as dandruff, hair loss, dry skin and skin infections are likely to occur. Poor eating can also affect your mental state and make you more likely to experience tension, stress and depression. Today there are various meal options. There are vegan meals, non-vegetarian meals, high protein meals, low fiber meals, baby meals, gluten free meals and lactose free meals among others. Freezer meals are highly beneficial for working individuals who do not have much time on hand. These are meals that are prepared beforehand and then frozen. The meal can then be taken out of the freezer when required and warmed up before eating. Freezer meals are good options for children’s school lunches and also quick dinners. For families who spend a lot of time outdoors, camping meals are the best options. These may include freeze dried or dehydrated meals. You can also prepare a great meal outdoors using flat breads, hard cheese, nuts, dried vegetables, potatoes and fruit. Vegetarian meals are popular among many individuals. When planning a vegetarian diet it is important to ensure that the meals include sources of vitamin B-12. Many vegetarians suffer from deficiencies of this nutrient. Vegetarians who do not eat dairy products must get their calcium intake from foods such as soya, broccoli and turnip. Vegetarian diets also sometimes lack vitamin C, zinc and iron. Some valuable sources of vitamin C include oranges, kiwi fruit and peppers. Foods rich in zinc include kidney beans, nuts, legumes and grains. Iron rich foods include green leafy vegetables and raisins.

Meal Nutrition

It is very important to have a proper understanding about meal nutrition especially in today’s fast paced world where most people are overly consumed with work and their hectic lifestyle and pay the least amount of attention to their body’s nutritional requirements. Healthy meals are extremely important to provide all the essential nutrients the body requires to perform daily activities. Despite knowing the importance of meal nutrition many people skip meals under the excuse of lack of time or dieting and this can have adverse effects on their overall health. Such practices hardly ever help in losing weight in a healthy way and on the contrary may cause other health problems. It is therefore important to keep in mind certain important meal nutrition facts so that one can ensure good health in the long run. The most important nutrition fact is that every meal should include a variety of foods from all food groups so that the body gets all the nutrients and calories it requires for proper functioning. A good meal nutrition plan should include proteins, carbohydrates and fats in all meals and snacks through the day so that the body gets the required daily quota of all essential nutrients.

Nutrients In Meal

One of the most important meal nutrients is carbohydrates which is essential for providing energy and vitality to the body. Foods which are rich in carbohydrates include whole grains, whole meal bread, potatoes, beans, peas, pastas and other starchy vegetables. Another one of the important meal nutrients is protein which is important for the growth and repair of muscles, hair and bones and also plays a vital role in digestion, metabolism and boosting immunity. Good sources of proteins include fish, chicken, lean meats, milk, eggs, cheese, legumes and nuts. Similarly, fats are also important nutrients for the body as they help in protecting the body organs against shocks, promote healthy functioning of cells, maintain body temperature as well as healthy hair and skin. Good fats can be obtained from foods like oils, margarine, butter, cheese and even meats. Eating a proper quantity of these nutrients per meal is very important to ensure proper functioning of all systems in the body. One could also eat smaller meals and snacks through the day which include a healthy combination of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, whole grains, nuts and seeds. These foods not only help supply essential nutrients to the body but also help protect the body against a variety of diseases and disorders.

Healthy Diet Meal

Following a healthy diet meal does not have to involve a great deal of time and effort. It also does not mean that you eat only bland or tasteless food. With commitment and a little bit of planning, you will find that eating healthy can be a delightful experience. When making dietary modifications, ensure that you make them gradually. Smaller slower changes are likely to be more effective that sudden drastic modifications. Make a decision beforehand as to which foods you need to eliminate and which foods you need to include in your diet. You can consult a doctor or a nutritionist for a better idea. Always ensure that the food choices you make are satisfying. If they leave you feeling deprived, then you are not likely to stick to the changes. There is a wide variety of recipes for easy meals available in cookbooks and on the internet. These are especially useful for working individuals who do not have much time on their hands. In order to include quick healthy meals into your diet, it is advisable to plan the entire week’s menu in advance. This way you will not waste time in wondering what to cook. You can also do your grocery shopping for the week so you don’t have to stop at the supermarket every day. You can peel or boil your vegetables in the morning before work so that when you come home in the evenings, you can begin cooking right away. Salads, soups, sandwiches and wraps make for delicious quick meals.

Many individuals battle with weight gain on a daily basis. Once you put on weight, it often becomes difficult to lose it. Therefore the best way to ensure healthy body weight is to include low calorie meals into your diet. Opt for healthier substitutes such as olive oil instead of butter and whole wheat flour instead of refined white flour. Lean chicken breasts, broiled white fish, whole wheat pastas and fresh vegetables can all be used to make tasty low fat meals. If you are on a special diet to lose weight, ensure that you do not starve yourself. Your diet meals should be low in calories, but high in vital nutrients. Individuals who need to keep their weight in control are usually advised to consume low carb meals. Some great choices for low carb snacks include olives, celery sticks and hard boiled eggs. The daily recommended calorie intake for the average male is about 2500 calories and for the average woman it is approximately 2000 calories. However there are many diet plans which aim to supply the body with a reduced amount of calories. These help an individual to lose weight in the short term, but can lead to nutritional deprivation in the long term. Some examples of these diets include 400 calorie meals, 300 calorie meals and 500 calorie meals. It is essential to seek advice from a doctor or a trained dietitian when going in for a weight loss diet.

Family Meals

Family meals are a great occasion for the family members to come together. It is important that the meals cater to the preferences and health requirements of the entire family. Eating at home together as a family not only ensures that everyone receives proper nutrition but also helps to save money. Family meal time is also a good opportunity to introduce children to a variety of foods. This will enable the child to enjoy new foods. Children are more likely to try out foods when they see the other family members eating them. Getting the children involved in meal planning helps to build their interest in the meals. Since dinnertime is when the entire family is usually home, it is advisable to make dinner a family affair. Incorporate foods such as chicken which are not only liked by almost everyone, but are also healthy foods. Along with that you can serve steamed vegetables or baked potatoes. Whole wheat pastas and fresh vegetable salads are also great dinner foods. Another excellent family food is mini pizzas. Use whole wheat bagels instead of white pizza bread. Each family member can participate in making the pizza of their choice. Use healthy toppings such as olives, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and shredded chicken.
Preparing healthy, enjoyable meals is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. All it takes is some planning and a little bit of creativity.

Submitted on January 16, 2014