Many people go through stages in life where they wonder what they can do to become more healthy. Have you ever wondered exactly how healthy your food choices are? As a society, we’re masters of being on the move and food options seem endless. It’s no wonder that many people have a hard time figuring out if their diet is actually healthy. This seems to be even more common as additives and processing has become more common, resulting in food that used to be ultra-healthy, actually being unhealthy. When taking steps to become more healthy, it’s important to evaluate your diet and make any changes necessary to improve the health of your diet and thus, improve your overall health.
Check the nutritional information on food labels
The easiest way to evaluate whether a diet is healthy is to look at the nutritional information on food labels This can be a learning curve, but it’s worth the time it takes to understand the information. If an item consists of mostly whole, unprocessed foods then the label will indicate that the food is healthy. If the food consists of mostly processed ingredients, then it’s not as healthy and may contain some unwanted preservatives and chemicals that your body will be better off without.
Compare your diet to the USDA’s dietary guidelines
Another way to evaluate a diet’s healthiness is to compare it to the USDA’s dietary guidelines. The USDA’s dietary guidelines are a set of recommendations for healthy eating that are based on scientific evidence. If your diet meets most of the criteria in the USDA’s dietary guidelines, then it’s likely that your diet is pretty healthy. Here, you can find the most current USDA guidelines along with a host of other beneficial dietary information.
Consider how well your diet meets the overall criteria for a healthy diet
A healthy diet incorporates plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. It also includes limiting the intake of processed foods, added sugar, and saturated fat. If your diet meets most of these criteria, then it’s likely a healthy diet. It’s important to remember that one diet will not fit the criteria of healthy for everyone. Health conditions will be a driving factor for what is healthy and not for those who may need to be on a Fodmap or gluten-free diet, among others, and often eliminate foods typically regarded as healthy.
Unfortunately, it has become more and more common for people to change their diet based on the way that they look. This sometimes leads to eating disorders that can be incredibly unhealthy and don’t meet the criteria for a healthy diet. Consult your doctor when making any drastic diet changes or if treatment options for eating disorders are needed. Even if you aren’t sure if your diet is unhealthy, it may be worth asking a professional. That way you can move forward with an educated decision that will help you become more healthy.
Ask a nutritionist for help evaluating your diet
If you’re still not sure if your diet is healthy, you can ask a nutritionist for help. A nutritionist can evaluate your diet and give you feedback on how to make improvements. They will take into consideration your health conditions, dietary restrictions, and food preferences when making recommendations.
No one method of assessing a diet’s health is perfect, but together these four methods will give you a good idea of how your diet measures up. Make sure to consult with your doctor if you have concerns, or simply need guidance on what is best for your body’s unique needs.