The Essential Guide to Good Nutrition

Good nutrition is essential for optimal physical and mental health. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or low-fat milk and dairy products, and lean proteins, is key to maintaining good health. It's also important to plan meals and snacks to include nutrient-rich foods that are low in calories. For pregnant women and adults over 50, it's important to consider vitamins such as vitamin D and minerals such as calcium and iron when choosing foods to eat, as well as possible dietary supplements. Eating at least 400g, or five servings, of fruits and vegetables a day reduces the risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and helps ensure an adequate daily intake of dietary fiber.

Reducing salt intake to the recommended level of less than 5 g per day could prevent 1.7 million deaths each year. People are often unaware of the amount of salt they consume, which is often found in processed foods such as ready meals, processed meats, cheese, and savory snacks. Potassium intake can be increased by consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, which may mitigate the negative effects of high sodium intake on blood pressure. Reducing total energy intake to less than 5% would provide additional health benefits. Consuming free sugars increases the risk of tooth decay and contributes to unhealthy weight gain.

Recent evidence also shows that free sugars influence blood pressure and serum lipids, and suggests that a reduction in free sugar intake reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The diet evolves over time, being influenced by many social and economic factors that interact in a complex way to shape individual dietary patterns. These factors include income, food prices (which will affect the availability and affordability of healthy foods), individual preferences and beliefs, cultural traditions, and geographical and environmental aspects (including climate change). Therefore, promoting a healthy food environment requires the participation of multiple sectors and stakeholders. The “WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health” was adopted in 2004 by the Health Assembly. The strategy urged governments, WHO, international partners, the private sector and civil society to take action at the global, regional and local levels to support healthy diets and physical activity. Food and nutrition are the way we get fuel for our body.

We need to replace our body's nutrients with a new supply every day. Water is an important component of nutrition. Fats, proteins, carbohydrates are all required for good health. Maintaining key vitamins and minerals is also important for maintaining good health.