Planning A Healthy Diet – Principles and Guidelines

Planning A Healthy DietYou make food choices – determining what you eat and how much you eat – more than 1,000 times each year. We eat so much that it is easy to choose a meal without thinking about its nutritional contribution or health consequences. Even when we want to make healthy choices, we may not know which foods to choose or how much to consume. With some tools and advice, you can learn to plan a healthy diet. As you read this article, keep in mind how your current diet compares to a healthy eating regime. One must follow the principles and guidelines for planning a healthy diet plan.

Principles And Guidelines

How well you feed yourself does not depend on the choice of a single meal. Instead, it depends on the overall style of eating. A combination of many different foods and drinks over a variety of foods over days, months, and years. Dietary principles and dietary guidelines are key concepts whenever you are choosing foods. At the grocery store, by choosing from the menu of the restaurant, or preparing home-cooked food.

Principles For Planning A Healthy Diet Plan

Diet planners have come up with a number of food choices. Whatever plans or schemes they use, however, they keep in mind these basic principles of diet planning:

  • Adequacy
  • Balance
  •  kCalorie (energy) control
  •  Nutrient density
  •  Moderation
  •  Variety


Adequacy reflects a diet that provides adequate energy and plenty of all nutrients to meet the needs of healthy people. Take iron, because the body loses some iron every day, it is important for people to eat foods that contain iron. A person who fails to provide adequate amounts of iron in their diet may develop symptoms of iron deficiency: the person may feel weak, tired and numb.

Frequent headaches and they have found that even a small amount of muscle work causes stomach fatigue. To prevent the symptoms of these deficiencies, one should include foods that provide adequate iron.


Balance in the diet helps ensure its sufficiency. The art of balancing the diet involves taking enough – but not much – of different foods in proportion to one another. In a balanced diet, foods rich in certain nutrients do not crowd out foods rich in other nutrients. Taken together, the essential minerals calcium and iron demonstrate the importance of a nutritional balance.

Meat is iron enriched, but has less calcium. On the contrary, milk is rich in calcium but poor in iron. Eat some meat for iron. Drink some milk to get calcium. And be sure to include other foods as well, as a diet consisting of milk and meat alone will not be adequate. For other nutrients, people need to eat other protein foods, whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

Energy Control

Careful planning is required for proper diet design within a reasonable calorie allowance. Again, balance plays a key role. The amount of energy coming into the body from food should be balanced with the amount of energy needed by the body to maintain its metabolic and physical activities.

Promoting this balance leads to gain or loss in body weight. The discussion of energy balance and weight control examines this issue, but one key to calorie control is to choose foods with high nutrient density.

Nutrient Density

Nutrient density enhances adequacy and caloric control. To eat well without overeating, choose foods that are rich in nutrients – that is, foods that provide the most nutrients with the least nutritional energy. Consider foods that contain calcium. You can get about 300 milligrams of calcium from either 1½ ounce of cheddar cheese or one cup of skim milk, but cheese provides about twice the nutritional energy (calories) as milk.

Skim milk is twice the calcium density of cheddar cheese. It provides the same amount of calcium for half the calories. Both types of foods are excellent choices just for sufficiency, but for convenience while controlling calories, skim milk is the best option. (Alternatively, anyone can choose low-fat cheddar cheese that has similar calories to skim milk.)


Moderation helps control adequacy, balance and calories. Foods high in solid fats and added sugars often provide some fun and lots of energy (calories) but relatively little nutrients; Plus, it promotes weight gain when consumed in large amounts.

A person who practices moderation eats such foods only occasionally and regularly chooses foods low in solid fats and added sugars, a practice that automatically improves nutrient density. Returning to the example of cheddar cheese versus skim milk, skim milk not only provides the same amount of calcium for less energy, but it also contains much less saturated fat than cheese.


Variety improves the adequacy of nutrients, and the diet may have all the benefits just described and still lack variety, if a person eats the same foods day in and day out. People must choose foods from each of the food groups daily and change their choices within each food group from day to day for a number of reasons.

First, different foods in the same group contain different groups of nutrients.

Second, there is no food guaranteed to be completely free of potentially harmful substances. Strawberries may contain trace amounts of one pollutant and apricots another. By alternating fruit options, a person will ingest very little of any of the pollutants.

Third, as the saying goes, variety is spice from life. Anyone who frequently eats beans can enjoy pinto beans in a Mexican burrito today, chickpea beans in a Greek salad tomorrow, and beans cooked with roast chicken on the weekend. Eating nutritious meals should never be boring.

Guidelines For Planning A Healthy Diet Plan

The following guidelines encourage healthy eating patterns, recognize that individuals will need to make changes to their own foods in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle, and recognize the importance of healthy choices. All sections of our society have a role to play in supporting.

  1. Follow healthy eating habits throughout life. All food choices are important. To achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support an abundance of nutrients, and reduce the risk of chronic disease, choose an appropriate pattern of eating and drinking at the appropriate calorie level.
  2. Pay attention to variety, nutrient density, and quantity. To meet the nutrient requirements in calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-related foods. Recommended amounts within and within all food groups.
  3. Limit calories to added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Adopt low-sugar, saturated fat and sodium-low intake patterns. Eat as much of these ingredients as possible and reduce the amount of food and beverages that are in accordance with healthy eating patterns.
  4. Shift to healthy food and beverage choices. Choose nutritious foods and beverages instead of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make it easier to complete and maintain these shifts.
  5. Support healthy eating patterns for everyone. From home to school, to working in communities, everyone has a role to play in creating and supporting healthy eating patterns in a variety of settings.

Key Recommendations For Planning A Healthy Diet Plan

The following key recommendations provide more detailed advice on how individuals create healthy eating patterns to fulfill the guidelines. Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes all foods and drinks within the appropriate caloric level. Healthy eating patterns include:

  • A variety of vegetables from all subgroups – dark green, red, orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and others.
  • Fruit, especially whole fruit.
  • Grains that must be at least half of which are whole grains.
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy products, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and / or fortified soy drinks.
  • A number of protein foods, including lean meat, chicken, eggs, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, sea food and soy products.
  • Oils.

Limitations Of A Healthy Eating Pattern

  • Saturated and trans fats for less than 10 percent of your calories a day.
  • Added sugar to less than 10 percent of your calories a day.
  • Sodium is under 2,300 milligrams a day.
  • If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed less – up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

Also, read this article: Why Do Diets Succeed And Fail? – Let’s Find Out

Author Profile

usman ali
usman ali
Usman loves to write about motivational content, self-development, and anything related to living a healthy life. He has a passion for helping others to be the best version of themselves.

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