A Healthy Meal in 10 Steps!

A sufficient and balanced diet depends on healthy meals. You, too, can create your own healthy meal in 10 steps by making conscious choices. A healthy lifestyle can mean a huge difference through small changes. plate
1. Balance means everything: Understand how many calories you need daily. The only way to maintain your ideal weight is to balance calories you take from foods with the energy you consume. Balance means everything! Consult a nutritionist, if needed.
2. Enjoy your meal, but in smaller portions: Enjoy tasting delicious foods with friends or family at lunch or any other time. Eating too fast, grabbing something to bite in front of the PC or TV, or feeling obliged to eat something when the things go up-and-down for you, will eventually cause you to consume excessive calories. Check whether you are hungry or satisfied during and after a meal. Do not gorge yourself with foods.
3. Avoid bigger portions: Use smaller plates or bowls at home. Choose smaller portions when dining out. If you cannot finish your meal, you can share it with animals on the street or have it packaged for home. Always choose fruits instead of desserts. If you want to eat something sweet, you may want to share your portions with others on the table.
4. Do not skip foods that you must normally have more frequently: Consume veggies, fruits, wholegrains and dairy products more. These foods contain nutrients such as potassium, calcium, vitamin D and fiber, that your body needs to stay healthy. Try to consume these foods daily at your meals or as a snack.
5. Fill half of your plate with multicolored veggies and fruits: Look to find a diversity of colors as much as food diversity at your meals. Beet’s red, carrot’s orange, spinach’s green and cauliflower’s white will suit your plate just perfectly. Make sure to eat salad along with meats. You can consider grazing on fruit between each meal or as dessert after finishing the meal.
6. Do not underestimate the power of dairy products: Make sure to consume milk, yogurt, cheese, ayran, kefir, cacık at least once a day. You may prefer to consume low-fat or lactose-free dairy products after consulting with your nutritionist, if you are prone to cardiovascular diseases, cholesterol or lactose intolerance. These foods not only will help protect your digestive system, but also fortify your immune system with calcium.
7. Choose wholegrains: Eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread, and choose brown rice or whole-wheat rice instead of white rice. Look to buy wholegrains from the grocery store or supermarket These foods will control your blood sugar and prevent you feeling hungry quickly. You will also receive many vital nutrients, from fiber to vitamin B.
8. Eat less of certain foods: Consume as little as you can of foods that contain saturated fat, sugar and extra salt. Don’t make these items a part of your daily diet. Treat yourself on some special days. Well, go on and enjoy a slice of your birthday cake!
9. Be careful with the amount of sodium/salt in your foods: Try not to use salt in your foods. Pickles and brined foods are high in salt. Try to avoid or just stop consuming these foods, if you have hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Make sure to read labels to check the amount of salt in ready-to-eat foods.
10. Drink more water: Try to stay away from drinks with high sugar content. If you drink one cup of water every hour, you will create a healthy routine and be more hydrated. Try to drink more water on hot days or if you are doing exerting physical exercise.

USDA Nutrition Education Series.


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