What does a healthy diet look like?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 12:00 AM    Views : 255by:DOH

A well-balanced diet combined with regular exercise is the key to good physical and mental health. Have you experienced binge-eating, bloating, sluggishness, or maybe feeling irritable after eating certain foods? Your mind and body is the product of everything you eat and do. This is why itís important to be mindful of the kinds of foods you consume and the lifestyle that you lead.


Are you and your family getting the daily dose of proper nutrition? No single food group will provide you the right amount of nutrients so it is necessary to combine from different food groups. Every body has different nutritional requirements, but the basics are the same. A†healthy diet†and lifestyle includes the following:

  • Eat† legumes, nuts and whole grains, like corn, oats, wheat bread, and brown rice or root crops like gabi, kamote, and kamoteng kahoy

  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, like malunggay, kalabasa, sitaw, ampalaya, banana, mango, papaya, apple, orange

  • Eat fish, shellfish, lean meat, and eggs

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day

  • Eat less salty, fried, fatty, and sugar-rich foods, as well as the intake of sugar-rich drinks

  • Stay physically active

What about infants and young children? The Department of Health encourages exclusive breastfeeding for infants and children up to two years of age. When a baby reaches six months, breast milk should be complemented with a wide variety of healthy food, avoiding anything with high sugar and salt content.

In the Philippines, however, the National Nutrition Council (NCC) determines that there are†high levels of stunting†among children less than five years old, with†more than 29,000 children dying annually due to undernutrition. Itís a condition that leads to impaired brain development, poor educational performances, low energy levels, obesity, and diseases.


Serious health issues can also affect adults. Peopleís eating patterns adjust to the high production of processed and fast food, unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle are now global risks to health. Poor nutrition leads to a wide range of health problems, including lower immunity, high risks of diseases, impaired physical and mental development, and even death.

Change must begin in your home. Encourage your entire family to practice one healthy habit at a time. Here are a few simple ideas to start with:

  • Let the kids help out in the kitchen. Involving children in the cooking process makes them more excited about eating healthy foods.

  • Avoid frying as much as possible. Frying in oil adds calories and unhealthy transfats. Healthier cooking methods include roasting, baking, or steaming.

  • Keep fresh fruits, nuts, or chopped vegetables for snacking. You and your family are more likely to reach for these healthy snacks if theyíre readily available.

  • Avoid junk food and processed items during grocery runs. Itís easier to start eating healthier if you donít keep junk food around the house.

  • Check the nutritional labels. Just because an item is packaged as natural doesnít mean it is good for the family. Read the ingredients list and watch out for foods that have added sugars, saturated fats, and trans fats.


Collaborating with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), the NCC, the World Health Organization, and the Department of Health has developed a visual guide for a healthy food plate for Filipino adults. See the Pinggang Pinoy sample meal plan†here.

The Health department continues its mission of promoting proper family health through ďHealthy Ever After,Ē a show produced in partnership with GMA News TV. Hosted by Max Collins and Pancho Magno, the show features the real-life couple as they discuss topics such as proper nutrition, family planning, safe motherhood, breastfeeding, infant care, and adolescent health sexuality.


S & T Trivia

" Who created the Lunar Rover or moon buggy used in 1969 by American astronauts who first landed on the moon? A Filipino employee of Lockheed Corporation christened Eduardo San Juan. "

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