When it comes to recommendations on healthy eating patterns, the Australian Healthy Eating guidelines state that a healthy eating pattern includes the following, I have added *edible seaweeds as a category that needs highlighting due to its rich mineral density, amazing for brain and mental health:
Vegetables from all subgroups (dark leafy green, roots, legumes (dried beans and peas), sprouts, starchy, etc.)
Grains (at least half being whole grains)
Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, remember to choose goat, buffalo, sheep as well as cow)
Protein (seafood, lean meat, and poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy)
Oils (cold pressed & Extra virgin extracted)
*I have added to these Australian Guidelines Edible Seaweeds (dulse, kombu, wakame, hijicki, nori, arame, sea moss).
Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter.
Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.
Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake as in "just don't bother" with these they are empty calories, they leach the vitamin and minerals out of your body. What is the point of losing all your nutrient gains? Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns.
Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Deanna M Minnich writes that "Most plant-based foods are known to contain more than one colorful pigment, which typically corresponds to a phytonutrient or phytonutrient category, e.g., orange/betacarotene, green/chlorophyll, and purple/flavonoids. Since a healthy eating pattern involves both a varied array (“nutrient diversity”) and dense concentration of nutrients (“nutrient density”) " then it is advised to eat the Rainbow of phytonutrients, eat across a wide variety of vegetable colours that grow above ground and below, to obtain maximum nutritional value.
If you're at all sick then you will add at least 10 serves of vegetables daily, that's only 5 vegetable serves each for lunch and dinner. If you add them to breakfast as well, your gains are huge!
I use to teach school kitchen garden programs and healthy cooking classes to students of all ages, it is vitally important that each person learns to choose ingredients and to cook for themselves and others. Book a cooking class, invite your friends to share it together, have fun!