including the right foods in the correct amount is not enough for good nutrition. A number of other factors need to be considered when planning a diet for the adult years. These are:
variety: Eating a wide variety of foods helps you meet your requirement for all nutrients. This also ensures that your body gets those food constituents that may not be defined as nutrients but influence health and the susceptibility to disease. So, don’t just eat two or three of your favorite vegetables. Buy and experiment with all seasonal vegetables available in the market. Use a combination of oils such as mustard, groundnut, corn, canola or olive oil.
Maintain a healthy body weight.
Adjust energy intake and exercise level to achieve and maintain an appropriate body weight. Avoid overrating and take up any physical exercise for 30 minutes a day as many as five times a week.
Consume complex carbohydrates. Choose whole grain cereals [brown bread instead of white], as well as fruits and vegetables with more roughage [Apple with skin, whole orange instead of juice, green leafy vegetables instead of colocasia,etc]
Limit sugar intake.
Sugar provides empty calories with no health benefits. Use sugar sparingly. Avoid very sweet fruit, colas, chocolates, cakes, ice creams.
Use cooking oils and animal foods in moderation.
Vanaspathi, ghee and butter are saturated fat and should be used only sparingly. Also, use more than one source of cooking oil. Limit red meats to once a month.
Avoid excessive use of salt.
A high intake of salt is directly linked with high blood pressure. Use limited amount of salt in cooking. Avoid preserved foods like papads, pickles, sauces, chips, cheese etc. see this article on how to cut down on your salt intake.
Use processed and ready to eat foods judiciously.
Soups, canned foods, bakery products, breakfast foods, junk foods like chips, candies, chocolates etc. depress appetite and contain various food additives which can be unhealthy. Avoid them as much as possible.
Drink enough water.
Drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. Limit intake of colas, tea and coffee since they dehydrate the body.
Drink alcohol in moderation.
Restrict daily alcohol intake to no more than one drink for women or two drinks for men. If possible, avoid totally.