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A healthy diet should consist mainly of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. These foods all tend to be very high in fiber, vitamins, complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides) and minerals. These types of foods are also usually low in fat and cholesterol free. The secondary bulk of a healthy diet should be made up of low fat meats, including poultry and fish, and dairy products.
Exercise is an integral part of a healthy diet, but doesn't need to be too strenuous to have beneficial effects. A healthy diet should always include a proper amount of food in conjunction with exercise or activity. A person should not eat more than their body needs to, in other words. The more exercise a person does, the more food their body needs.
A healthy diet should contain a low-fat intake, though fat can account for 30% of daily consumption. Fat tends to be highly concentrated in meat, especially red meats and poultry skin. Fat can also be found in many dairy products. Limiting both dairy and excessive meat input is a necessary part of a healthy diet. Other fatty foods to be avoided include oil, butter, mayonnaise, many salad dressings, and any fried food. Saturated fat should be severely limited in healthy diets and is mainly found in animal products.
Limiting cholesterol input is also an important aspect of a healthy diet. Cholesterol is primarily found in animal products, dairy, and egg yolks.
The majority of food ingested in a healthy diet should be made of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates provide slow acting sugar supplies to the blood. Foods high in complex carbohydrates include whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, vegetables and fruits. Complex carbohydrates are a good exercise "fuel"? and can also provide essential fiber to the digestive system.
Other important parts of a healthy diet include avoiding too much sugar, including green, orange, and yellow fruits & vegetables, limiting protein input, and having a variety of types of foods each day.
Vitamin supplements can be helpful in a healthy diet, especially those providing E and C vitamins. Sodium (salt) should be limited. Calcium, either in the form of foods or supplements is important in bone health and should be included in any healthy diet.
Alcohol has been seen to be beneficial, but only in small amounts, one drink for women and two for men per day. Excessive alcohol intake can seriously damage the body.
The primary way to maintain a healthy diet is through variation and eating good tasting foods. The healthy diet is the most important and easiest way to look good, and live a long life.