Introduction?Nutrition is essential for everyone, both the healthy and the sick. In combination with physical activeness, maintenance of healthy weight and eating well is an excellent way of keeping the body well and staying strong free from diseases. Healthy eating has been defined in various ways through years. Specialists have always been advocating for fat-free/low fat, carbohydrate free/ low carbohydrate. Recently, people have turned to gluten-free foods or have become vegetarians or vegans.
All these have shaped how healthy eating is defined. It is widely known that healthy eating is good for every person’s wellbeing, but the question is what exactly makes up a healthy diet. The solid foundation for a healthy diet is eating a variety of food, however, there are also plenty of healthy eating plans that exclude or include certain food types. Before embarking on any dietary changes, one should consult a dietician in order to help them find an effective plan that is healthiest considering their lifestyle (Falk et al, 2012).
In summing up, healthy eating can be defined as eating food that is enjoyable for you, in right amounts and free from any components that may affect the normal functioning of the body. Healthy eating means striking a balance?Healthy eating consists of a balanced diet. Such diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, starchy foods, and proteins. It is not mandatory that all these food categories are eaten at the same time every day, but making them inclusive in a regular diet and ensuring that eating a wide range of foods from every category will likely fulfil all the nutritional requirements as well as giving the body the needed energy (Bisogni et al., 2012). Apart from a balanced diet, another key component of healthy eating is moderation both in the choice of foods and the size of a serving. For instance, it is possible to eat healthy by taking some small portions of ice cream on a regular diet but taking several cups would not fit into a healthy diet.
Moderation can be summed up by generally eating less of each food category; taking in more of low-calorie and healthy foods such as fruits and fresh vegetables and less of unhealthy substances which include saturated fat, refined sugars. ?Healthy eating should not, however, be confused with a healthy diet; healthy eating, in this case, means making changes which one can live with and enjoy a lifetime. Diets are meant for a short period of time. This is because when one is on a diet, they may feel hungry and what food will always be in their minds. And after stopping dieting, one may overeat to make up what had been lost while on a strict diet. Eating a healthy, balanced diet comprising of a balanced variety of food is far more satisfying. And matching this with more physical activity will eventually lead to a healthy weight, healthy mental condition, and general wellbeing and stay there than if one was on a diet.
In order to make a healthy eating habit, the first thing is to think of the reasons for healthier eating. Do you want to have an improvement in your health? Do you want to have a better feeling? Or are you trying to set a certain pace for the family or colleagues at work? All these are the factors to consider before making any changes.Pairing it down and knowing your nutrients?It can be easier to understand healthy eating concepts if it is paired down to making simple choices, whole foods. Minimally processed and unprocessed foods have the best natural nutrient and chemical concentrations of the required nutrients and are for the body than the industrial supplements and processed foods with added nutrients. For instance, oranges should be chosen over orange juice, oatmeal over packaged cereals and brown rice over white rice.
Guessing what is healthy and what is not might be useful over time but for a lasting remedy, one needs to get more information about what should be chosen by reading nutritional labels (Bisogni et al., 2012). For instance, a loaf of bread which claims to be made of whole grain may not primarily be a whole-grain bread. In order to find out the truth, one should check the ingredients list on the label to confirm that whole wheat flour is listed as the first ingredient.
The Harvard Healthy Eating pyramidhttps://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/pyramidtest/?The Harvard Healthy Eating Pyramid is a representation of the latest widely used tool in nutrition science. The widest bottom part is for the most important things while the ones at the narrow top are those that should not be eaten regularly if at all they should be. This pyramid shows daily physical exercises and general weight control in the widest, most essential category. In the wider part of the pyramid are fats and oils from healthy sources including plants, while at the narrow top are the refined starchy foods such as white rice and white bread. Such foods as red meat should also be taken in small quantities, and instead, poultry, eggs, and fish should be taken as they are healthier choices.
While there may be other suggestions from extreme diets which state otherwise, what remains to be common to all is that everyone needs a balance of carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, fiber and mineral salts for the sake of sustaining a healthy body. There is no need of doing away with certain food categories from your diet, instead, healthier options should be selected from each category. The growing taste of healthy eating at the McDonald’s?With the current pressure in the United States and the rest of the world to offer healthier meals, McDonald’s made an announcement in September 2013 made an announcement that it was no longer going to market some of its less nutritional foods to the kids, it also added that it had plans to include fruits and vegetable offerings in many of its adult combinations in its menu. The offerings announced in conjunction with the campaigns by Clinton foundation to lower the cases of obesity in children are part of the efforts by the McDonald to compete for customers who are at all-time conscious for their health by providing food choices that are lower in sugar, fats and salt content relative to its more common options of burger and fries. ?Such companies as McDonald have a very important role to play in shaping the environment and culture influencing the healthy eating behaviors among the young people in the society. Its latest move which was estimated to cost the company about $35 million is one of the series of stages it has taken towards renewing its menu in order to align with the contemporary health requirements as well as addressing the concerns which have been raised by nutritionists for a very long time and other parties which have been in the forefront in criticizing its caloric and fatty foods.
It has also added calorie counts to its menu boards as an advancement towards the federal requirement for having such labels which went into effect in 2014. In place of the fries, McDonald’s is now offering an option of side salads or two slices of apple dippers. The changes undertaken by the McDonald’s resulted in an average of 20 percent calorie reduction (Stutts, 2014). The company also aims at reducing the added sugars, saturated fats and calories through reformulations by 2020. Some of the items which have seen these changes at the moment include chicken products which have undergone a 15 percent sodium reduction across the national menus. ?In 2012, McDonald’s released a press statement on its menu changes.
It also promised to create awareness amongst parents and children through its marketing initiatives nationwide. McDonald ‘s is also aiming at promoting nutritional messages in its communications aimed at reaching the children, including its advertisements, merchandising, digital and its meal packaging. As one of its Corporate Social responsibility (CSR), McDonald is also funding community-based awareness programs on nutrition. Since 2006, the company has also been supporting the Better Business Bureau’s Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising initiatives (Deng, 2009).
?McDonald’s is one of the companies deserving to be credited for not only taking an initiative of changing its menus towards fostering healthy eating for its customers but also in acknowledging its role in fighting against the endemic of the diet-related disuses such as diabetes and child-obesity. This a good first step towards becoming the realization of corporate accountability and other companies ought to follow the suit. However, has to put more focus on addressing its controversial marketing strategies towards the children. And as long as it continues offering sodas, fries, and burgers to the kids together with toys, McDonald’s will continue being the target of the health professionals and critiques. ?In its relationship with the government, McDonald’s alongside other restaurants were prohibited in the counties of Santa Clara and San Francisco from carrying out its toy offers kids’ foods for not meeting the similar legislation suggested in New York (Hearst et al., 2013). McDonald’s and other restaurants such as The Wendy’s and the Burger King have always been the target of study by nutrition and dietetic researchers among them from the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, who they claim that fast food companies/restaurants are currently more on children than ever which raises a lot of question on why should their focus be centralized on children.
?In conclusion, your style of eating is your choice but in order to ensure healthy eating keep it well rounded and balanced. A well-balanced diet is one of the essential aspects of healthy eating and this should comprise of all the nutrients required by the body including vegetables and fruits, proteins and fats/oils from healthy sources, starchy foods and minerals and not forgetting to take in plenty of water. If it is necessary that you grab a meal from the McDonald’s, ensure that it is balanced both in size and caloric content. ReferencesBisogni, C. A., Jastran, M., Seligson, M.
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Copyright 2008, President and ?Fellows of Harvard College: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/pyramidtest/