The health Newsroom of the World Health Organization
A balanced lifestyle will support you in your life to succeed. Making healthier decisions, however, is not always easy. The time and energy to exercise daily or cook nutritious meals may be hard to find. It doesn’t happen by mistake to preserve good health. Job, wise lifestyle decisions, and the occasional check-up and test are required. According to WHO consuming a balanced diet with the right amount of nutrients helps reduce a number of diseases especially the non-communicable diseases but it is a sad fact that after industrialization and advanced standards of living processed food has become the current hit on every menu at home. People are now eating more meats, fats, free sugars and salt/sodium, and less of fruit, vegetables and other dietary fiber.
• Fruits and vegetables: Consuming at least 400 g or five servings of fruit and vegetables daily decreases the risk of developing and helps to ensure adequate dietary fiber intake every day. The consumption of fruit and vegetables can be increased through many ways like salads at mealtimes; eating fresh fruit and raw vegetables; eating new seasonal fruits and vegetables.
• Salt, sodium and potassium: Most people have a huge intake of sodium through salt and decreased intake potassium. High sodium consumption and low potassium intake lead to high blood pressure, which in turn raises the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The amount of salt they eat is mostly unknown to people. Most salt comes from packaged foods in many countries e.g. ready meals; processed meats or from foods commonly eaten in large quantities. It is advised to scan nutrient labeling to see how much sodium is in a product before buying or eating it. The harmful effects of excessive sodium intake on blood pressure can be mitigated by potassium which can be increased by eating fresh fruit and vegetables.
• Sugar: The consumption of free sugar should be limited to less than 10% of the overall energy intake for both adults and children. Eating free sugars raises the risk of dental caries. Over food and beverage calories rich in free sugars often contribute to excessive weight gain, which can lead to excess weight and obesity. Limiting the intake of high sugar foods and drinks, such as sugar cookies, candies and sugar-sweetened drinks. Eating fresh fruit and raw vegetables as snacks is also recommended.
• Fat: Reducing the net fat consumption to less than 30% of the overall energy intake tends to reduce excessive weight gain in adults (1, 2, 3). The risk of developing NCDs is also minimized by reducing saturated fats to less than 10% of the overall consumption of energy; reduction of trans fats to less than 1% of overall energy consumption; and replacing all saturated and trans-fat fats with unsaturated fats , with polyunsaturated fats in particular.
Over time, diet changes, being shaped by multiple social and economic variables that work in a dynamic way to form human dietary habits. These considerations include wages, food costs, consumer tastes and values, cultural practices, and geographical and environmental dimensions which can influence the supply and affordability of healthier foods including climate change. WHO prioritizes at accomplishing the goals of safeguarding healthier lives and encouraging well-being for everyone of all ages.