It is possible to get the best nutrition by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Each person's individual nutritional needs may differ, especially if suffering from any medical conditions such as diabetes or high cholesterol, but everyone can benefit from a balanced diet. Experts generally agree that the best nutrition consists of a diet made up of a mixture of whole grains, fruit and vegetables, some dairy products, and lean protein. Search online for charts that provide specific serving size recommendations for each food group.
When eating nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, it is easy to get the recommended daily amounts of vitamins and antioxidants, as well as fiber and other beneficial nutrients such as calcium. Each meal should include a few servings of vegetables as well as a few servings of whole grains, such as brown rice, for example. It is often recommended that vegetables be the largest portion of the meal, whereas meat should be a smaller portion of each meal.
Meats that are lower in saturated fat are commonly recommended, because they provide the best nutrition for protein without forcing the body to process the saturated fat, which can lead to heart disease. Chicken and fish are two great sources of protein that are low in saturated fat. For those who choose not to eat meat, however, eggs can be very nutritional and an important source of protein, as well as plant-based protein sources like soy and legumes.
To get the best nutrition, avoid processed foods as much as possible; this generally includes prepackaged items like chips and cookies, hot dogs, or sodas and soft drinks. It is best to snack on fruits, whole grain crackers, or vegetable sticks, for instance. Fried foods are also extremely high in saturated fat, and should generally be avoided. In general, the best nutrition comes from a diet that is made up of fresh, whole foods as much as possible. A varied diet is a good way to get the best nutrition.
A multivitamin supplement may be taken if your nutritional needs are not being met through the diet. The multivitamin may be taken every day, and can help to replace any nutrient deficiencies. This is especially important for vegetarians or vegans whose diets are limited. Extra supplements such as vitamin C or calcium may also be taken for specific needs; for instance, women need extra calcium throughout their lives to prevent bone loss. Food sources such as yogurt, milk, and cheese are also great sources of calcium.