Though the importance of good nutrition has been elevated in recent years, a vast number of people continue to neglect the basic principles of a sound and healthy diet. What we eat and how much plays a great role in determining our longetivity and likelihood of developing life threatening illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. More importantly, this is one facet of the health equation that we are in control of and have the power to change for the better. Just being conscious of important facets of good nutrition are the first step toward a healthier and happier life.

Good nutrition can be broken down into several simple guidelines that most people neglect:

1. Eat a well balanced meal
2. Only eat during the normal times and avoid snacking
3. Take Vitamins and Minerals on a regular basis
4. Drink Water
5. Know what you are eating and make sure it is healthy
6. Monitor your weight and overall health and know that when these two are out of line you need to adjust things

As we all know by now a well balanced meal consists of the four basic food groups consisting of: dairy products, meat/protein, fruits/vegetables and breads/cereals. Because of individual taste and propensities we often find that one of these is not to our liking. However, they are all essential and if one of the groups does not appeal to you because of taste or a medical condition (lactose intolerance etc.) then you must find another way to get the essential proteins and nutrients contained in that food group. Often it is simply a matter of doing a bit of researching and finding something that you like.

The first of these has been well known for some time now. Eating meals at the normal times of breakfast, lunch and dinner and avoiding snacks is by far the healthiest approach and leads to a much less likelihood of excess weight gain or unwanted calories. Eating when you are hungry easily turns into a habit and when this happens it is much harder to break than simply being disciplined in the first place. A caveat to this rule is that in some instances snacks are necessary and recommended. This is often found in glucose tolerance/intolerance illnesses such as hyper and hypoglycemia and diabetes mellitus. Check with your Doctor if you feel you may have one of these illnesses.

Vitamins and minerals play an important role in health care because even when following the guidelines of a balanced meal important minerals and vitamins are often left out. Therefore almost all of us will need dietary supplements of some kind. If you want to know exactly what you are deficient in then you should schedule a consultation with a dietician or Physician.

Just drinking several glasses of water daily can do wonders for our health and digestive system. Though many like to think other beverages are equivalent to water, this has been proven to be false. There are many views of how much water is recommended for the average person. Simple research and self-monitoring can help you find the right amount.

Most people have acquired the habit of reading the ingredients of the foods they eat. If you have not then it is time to start. You need to know what additives are in your food and how it has been processed and grown if at all possible. Many additives are unhealthy and detrimental to good health. Inquire, ask questions and find out what is in the food you eat and how it affects your overall health. You owe it to yourself.

The last step to healthy nutrition is to simply monitor yourself and determine if what you are doing is giving you the results that you want or not. If not then it is likely something needs adjusting. Be aware, that good nutrition is not enough by itself for a healthy life. We also need exercise and other facets of general healthcare that cannot be neglected. Nutrition is a very important part of the picture but don’t neglect other aspects of healthcare.

Ray Kelly is an Exercise Scientist with 15 years experience in the health and fitness industry. Sign up for his Free Exercise and Meal Planner at or

Author's Bio: 

Ray Kelly is an Exercise Scientist with 15 years experience in the health and fitness industry. Sign up for his Free Exercise and Meal Planner at or