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A healthy diet protects you against weight gain, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, it can help you feel more energized and experience a better quality of life. Many ways of creating a healthy diet exist, as no single diet is perfect for everyone. Choose foods you like that also fit your lifestyle needs to create a seven-day menu plan that works for you.
A vegetarian plan involves eating no animal flesh. Some vegetarians still consume eggs and dairy, while vegans eat no animal products at all. When well planned, a vegetarian diet can offer all the nutrients you need while helping you maintain a healthy weight.
A balanced, healthy diet can still include meat. Fish and poultry are the best choices if you choose to eat animal proteins, says the Harvard School of Public Health 2. Your breakfast options include hot cereal with berries and milk, poached eggs with a whole-grain English muffin and orange juice, uncured turkey bacon with light cream cheese and a whole grain bagel, as well as whole-wheat pancakes with berries and yogurt. For dinner, fill half your plate with leafy, watery vegetables such as spinach, broccoli or cauliflower. Reserve a quarter of the plate for a broiled, roasted or grilled piece of meat, fish or poultry and another quarter for 1/2 to 1 cup of grains such as brown rice, quinoa or whole-wheat pasta. Choose fish, especially fatty types like salmon and mackerel, at least twice per week to enhance your heart health. When you do choose red meat, opt for healthy cuts, such as flank steak, tenderloin or 97-percent lean ground beef. You should also try to have a meat-free lunch and dinner once a week at minimum.
If you like the idea of a vegetarian plan, but cannot give up meat altogether, you can create a healthy seven-day flexitarian plan. Many of your meals are vegetarian, but you can eat meat several times per week.
Red meat is rarely included, but you may eat fish and poultry a few times a week. Moderate amounts of dairy, eggs and red wine may also be part of a seven-day menu plan.
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