eat healthily

Today, we are aware that we must eat well. But sometimes we don’t know exactly what eating healthy means, as there are so many contradictory statements. We often find it difficult to eat a balanced diet.  In this article, we will find out how to eat healthily.

What does eating healthy mean?

Eating well includes four main points: balance, quality, quantity, and variety. Eating healthy should provide us with enough energy and nutrients to keep our bodies functioning properly while fitting in with our lifestyle, tastes, traditions, and budget.

Why should we eat healthily?

We need energy and good-quality nutrients to maintain all our organs and systems in shape, and only a balanced diet allows us to cover our needs. 

But beyond energy: 

  • Eating healthy is a real prevention strategy: over the past decades, scientific studies show links between eating habits and health.
  • The quality of food is also linked to digestion, sleep, and physical and mental performance. So, eating healthy is essential for the proper functioning of the body.
  • A balanced diet strengthens the immune system and helps us maintain the balance of the flora (microbiota), especially the intestinal flora.
  • Eating well also helps to stabilize weight. And if you want to know how to eat healthy to lose weight, we invite you to continue reading.

How to eat healthily?

To eat healthily, the points below must be respected:


Each meal is an opportunity to eat healthily. The food balance is reached by caring about every meal, over the day, and every day. 

To have a healthy and balanced diet, compose your meals with foods providing :

  • Carbohydrates are the fuel of most of our cells. Starches (slow sugars) are found in bread, cereals (rice, wheat, oats…), potatoes, etc. And sugars (fast) are found in fruits and honey.
  • Fibers, which are essential for good transit and satiety. They could be in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
  • Proteins, which help maintain muscles and the proper functioning of all tissues. Eat foods that are naturally rich in protein: such as lean meats, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, pulses, soy products, and quinoa.
  • Lipids (fats), a source of energy and components of cell membranes, are essential to the body. To eat healthily, choose good quality fats: virgin vegetable oils (olive, flax, sesame), avocado, seeds, and nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.).
  • Vitamins and minerals: present in all food groups.

The quantity

Eating healthy means consuming a quantity of food that is adapted to our energy and nutrient needs, which varies according to age, gender, and the activities we perform. 

Eating a healthy diet in sufficient quantities will help you get back to your healthy weight. But if you eat more than you need, you may gradually gain weight; on the contrary, if you don’t eat enough, your body may function less optimally and all your needs may not be covered.

The quality

To eat healthily, the natural choice is fundamental:

  • Prefer raw, unprocessed products, such as local and seasonal fruits and vegetables, which are much richer in nutrients. If you can buy meat and poultry from the producer and local fish, try to because their quality is much better.
  • If you buy industrial products (rice, pasta, cereals, etc.): choose the least processed products, those that are not very refined, and read the label, favoring short lists of ingredients of natural origin. 
  • Ban ultra-processed products: they are often rich in sugars and fats and consequently more caloric. 

Lately, quality has extended to other dimensions: ecological and ethical. Thus, to eat healthily, you can turn to products that are certified organic (organic farming), not genetically modified (GMO-free), respectful of animal welfare and the environment, or even from fair trade.

The variety

To eat healthy, consider varying your food: each category offers different benefits to your body.

For example: 

  • Eating vegetables and fruits of different colors provides the most vitamins and minerals.
  • Varying sources of fats (oils, nuts, fatty fish) provides us with the various fatty acids our body needs.
  • Also, by eating animal and vegetable proteins, we will have all the amino acids the body needs to function well.

Finally, to keep the pleasure of eating, the sensory component of meals is super important. So, how to eat healthy while having fun? Vary the aromas, try new flavors, experiment with different textures, delight your eyes with colors, etc.

How to eat healthily on a budget?

Eating healthy does not mean spending more money. Here are some tips on how to eat well on a budget:

  • Buy local and seasonal products: they are cheaper (because you save the cost of transportation), they offer better nutritional and taste quality, and it is also an ethical and environmentally responsible gesture.
  • Opt for bulk products: pasta, rice, dried vegetables, cereals, seeds, etc. They are excellent at an affordable price and for less waste.
  • Prefer homemade food: to save money and ensure the quality of ingredients, cook meals and snacks as much as possible, instead of buying industrial products or ready-to-eat meals.
  • Organize your shopping: making lists will prevent you from buying unnecessary things.
  • Start a home garden: for those having small spaces, you can grow herbs (basil, cilantro, parsley); and if you have a garden, dare to grow salads, squash, or tomatoes.
  • Don’t forget the inexpensive foods: legumes, dark green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, chard), and red fruits.

How to eat healthily at every meal?

It is recommended to eat three meals a day to eat healthily. If you feel hungry between meals, you can have a balanced snack.

Take your time and eat quietly, without distractions (such as television, computer, or cell phone). As you eat, enjoy your meal: chew gently, savor each bite, and swallow without pressure.

And since hydration is part of eating well, accompany your meals with water and drink it between meals.

How to eat healthily in the morning?

Eating healthy in the morning is the foundation of your food day: breakfast will give you the energy and nutrients you need for the morning and will also help you manage hunger throughout the day.  

Here’s a sample breakfast if you want to eat healthily:

  • Bread or cereal, preferably wholemeal with no added sugar: gives you carbohydrates, fiber, and some protein.
  • Fruit, fresh or dehydrated: rich in vitamins and minerals, fiber, and quick sugars.
  • Dairy product: provides protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
  • Good fats: like butter, oilseeds, or seeds, which give energy and are sources of vitamins.
  • A drink to keep you hydrated: coffee, tea without sugar, or homemade fruit juice to treat yourself.

How to eat healthily at lunchtime?

Our lifestyle sometimes forces us to neglect lunch. But eating healthy at noon is important to have enough energy for the rest of the day; it is also important to avoid cravings (very frequent) at 4 o’clock.

To eat healthy at lunchtime, you can organize yourself with the “meal-prep” technique, which consists of preparing in advance what you are going to eat over a few days; very useful for cooked vegetables, rice, or pies… you only have to reheat it when you eat.

With the leftovers of the day before, you can make lunch: chicken in a sandwich, pasta, or rice in a salad. And why not, if you have enough, prepare your bowl with what you ate in the evening.

If you want to eat healthy at lunch, here are some menu ideas:

  • For those who like mixed salads: make a “buddha-bowl” with your favorite raw vegetables, salmon or shrimp, and a portion of rice or noodles.
  • If you like eating on the go, make a whole wheat sandwich with tuna or white ham and raw vegetables.
  • If you like all-in-one meals, consider making vegetable pies: the pastry provides carbohydrates and fat, the filling contains eggs and milk for protein, and the vegetables provide fiber.
  • And to satisfy traditional tastes, compose a meal: a portion of protein, for example, codfish or grilled chicken, with potatoes and steamed vegetables.

If you are still hungry at the end of the meal, eat a piece of fruit or a dairy product as a dessert. And if you’re full, save it to eat later in the afternoon as a snack.

How to eat healthily in the evening?

The last meal of the day is also important. Eating well at night prevents you from going to bed hungry, but it should be light enough to let you sleep well. 

To digest properly, while respecting your body’s biological rhythm, it is better to stop eating 2 or 3 hours before sleeping.

How to eat healthy at dinner? Make a small plate with :

  • Vegetables: cooked or in soup, they are better digested than raw vegetables. Add a teaspoon of oil.
  • Lean proteins: the most easily digestible in the evening are fish, poultry, and well-cooked eggs.
  • If you wish, a small portion of wholemeal bread or cereals (rice, pasta).

To eat healthily in the evening, avoid excesses: too much bread, starchy foods, or fruit will give you more energy; excess fats and spices can make digestion difficult.

How to eat healthy to lose weight?

To lose weight effectively, you need to have a caloric deficit, which means taking in fewer calories than you spend.

But eating healthy is essential to avoid possible nutrient deficiencies. All food categories are important: 

  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit every day but in moderation (2-3 servings per day).
  • Choose lean proteins such as fish and poultry.
  • Eat rich fiber foods, such as legumes and whole grains, which give you energy and satiety.
  • Use fats in moderation, without eliminating them: small amounts of oil in salads, a handful of nuts at snack time.
  • Stay well hydrated to avoid water retention.

And if you can’t lose weight even with a healthy diet, consider physical activity: playing sports uses up more calories, which will help you lose weight more quickly.

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