Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of whole grains, healthy fats, fruit and vegetables is the key to good health. Limiting the amount of unhealthy saturated fat and refined sugar you eat is also vital.


Whole grains: Check labels in the supermarket and choose whole grain breakfast cereals and bread, and opt for whole wheat pasta and brown rice. Unlike refined grains that are found in white bread, rice and pasta, whole grains protect against heart disease and diabetes, contain high levels of healthy vitamins and minerals and are a good source of dietary fiber.

Fruit and vegetables: Add fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruit to meals or have as a healthy snack between meals. Choose a wide variety of vegetables to get the most benefit and be careful not to overcook them, which destroys their nutritional value. Fruit and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and calcium, as well as being good sources of dietary fiber.

Healthy fats: Vegetable oils such as olive, peanut, canola, corn and soybean are high in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Healthy fats are easy to identify as they are generally liquid at room temperature, while unhealthy fats are solid.


Refined sugars: Refined sugars found in cakes, pastries, cookies and donuts should be eaten only in limited quantities as a treat. Eating lots of refined sugars increases the risk of developing type II diabetes and of becoming overweight or obese. Be careful! Soft drinks and many processed foods contain surprisingly high levels of sugar – check labels to be sure.

Saturated fats: Saturated fats have been linked to heart disease, excess weight, obesity and type II diabetes. Saturated fats are found in red meat, any heavily marbled meat, chicken skins and many fast foods. They are also added to many processed foods – check the labels on food packaging.

Remember, it’s your life, your future, Your Health First.