For something we do every day, eating can feel complicated. Especially if you are constantly looking for a healthy diet. You may have heard that you need to eat more fiber and less sodium, but who has time to add up all the grams and micrograms? You can use the well-known US Department of Agriculture plate guide, but it is not very specific. And if you’re a fan of food tracking apps (which can be really great), well, logging every snack isn’t always as easy as it sounds. After all, bananas don’t come with an easy-to-scan label to enter their nutritional information.
So how do you know if you’re giving your body the nutrients you need? “Most people who eat a balanced eating plan that includes a variety of nutritious foods from all food groups don’t have to worry about nutritional deficiencies,” says Theresa Gentile, MS, RDN, CDN and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Some guidelines Gentile recommends for eating a variety of nutritious foods include:
- Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal
- Focusing on whole fruits instead of their sauced or pressed counterparts
- Vary the vegetables so you get a variety of nutrients and don’t have to eat the same old salad every day
- Making half of your grains whole. That means rice, quinoa, popcorn and whole wheat bread instead of white bread or the best pastries from your local bakery
- Eating a variety of protein foods such as beans, fish, and lean meats
- Opting for low-fat or fat-free dairy or dairy alternatives
Following these tips may give you all the nutrients you need, but it’s still important to stay on top of the signals your body is sending about your diet. To help, Gentile shared the top ways your body tells you it’s satisfied with how you’re feeding yourself.
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Shiny hair can be a sign of health and vitality for a reason. So if your hair looks luscious, you’re probably feeding it well with a healthy diet. According to a 2019 dermatology study, thinning hair or prematurely graying hair can sometimes be signs of a vitamin deficiency.
It’s normal to lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair per day, so don’t panic if you see some down the drain or on your pillow.
The Nutritional Deficiency That Can Cause Hair Loss