The 10 Keys to Healthy Eating

Nutrition is often regarded as the first form of medicine. Indeed, it plays a fundamental role in our health! This article presents 10 essential keys to adopting simple dietary habits that can optimize your health and well-being.

1. Have a savory breakfast!

Most of us eat cereal with milk or buttered white toast with jam alongside a tall glass of orange juice for breakfast. But that breakfast is far from ideal in terms of nutrition. Indeed, that kind of overly sugary meal encourages insulin secretion, which should be avoided — especially in the morning.

It’s best to opt for a savory breakfast. Eating protein in the morning promotes the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates the mind and jump-starts your motivation. In addition to making you more motivated and alert, consuming protein at breakfast can also help you feel full longer and reduce snacking later in the morning.

Eggs are the perfect solution because they contain extremely high quality protein and are rich in vitamins and minerals. But there are other protein sources you can try for variety:

Animal protein: one ounce of cheese (preferably goat or sheep milk), a yogurt (goat or sheep milk), sardines or a slice of good ham (from time to time)

Plant-based protein: soy-based vegan pudding packed with protein, chia seeds, nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.)

2. Eat at least 2 to 3 fruits and 2 to 3 servings of vegetables a day

A daily intake of 28 to 32 oz of fruit and vegetables is ideal, i.e. 2 to 3 servings of vegetables (17 oz) and 2 to 3 fruits. For lunch and dinner, choose at least one raw and one cooked fruit or vegetable.

After all, fresh fruits and vegetables are very high in fiber, which has an essential role to optimizing our health. It contributes to satiety and therefore plays an important role in weight management, it helps regulate our blood sugar levels, and it also facilitates digestion and helps balance our gut microbiota.

Fruits and vegetables are also rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Getting the right amount of antioxidants is particularly important for preventing cancer, degenerative diseases and cardiovascular disease.

Vary the fruits and vegetables on your plate and their colors as much as possible to reap all their benefits!

Warning: fruit juice is not the same as fruit! Juice lacks the fiber that regulates the rate at which sugars are assimilated, so its glycemic index is much higher than that of whole fruit.

3. Eat good fat

The quest to eliminate fat has no scientific or biological basis. In fact, “good fats” are responsible for the proper development of eyesight, brain membranes and neural connections. In addition to being good for the brain, they help reduce cardiovascular risks. So good fat is a crucial ally for good health!

But not all fats are created equal! The problem is not that we eat too much fat these days, but that we eat too much bad fat.

Limit your intake of saturated fats and omega-6, which are currently over-consumed. These fats are found in animal products (meat, butter, cheese, etc.), in some vegetable oils (sunflower, coconut, palm, grape seed) and above all in many processed products (cookies, potato chips, etc.).

On the other hand, make sure you get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids! Omega-3 fatty acids occur primarily in fatty fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.), certain oils (canola, linseed, walnut), seeds (chia, flax, hemp) and in some vegetables in very small quantities (watercress, lamb’s lettuce, cabbage). Caution: do not consume tuna or salmon more than once a week, as they generally contain high levels of various pollutants, including heavy metals (mercury, PCBs, dioxins, etc.).

Choose products rich in omega-9 fatty acids. Omega-9 fatty acids occur in large quantities in olive oil, hazelnut oil, avocado, hazelnuts and almonds. In view of the environmental impact of avocados, we recommend eating them only occasionally.

4. Take the time to chew

Chewing may seem like a trivial step and is often neglected; however, it plays an essential role in our health.

Better nutrient absorption: good chewing transforms food into nutrients that reach our cells more effectively.

Eating less and managing weight: chewing triggers various hormones that send a satiety signal to the brain during the meal.

Improving digestion: insufficient chewing forces the stomach to produce more gastric juice to break down large pieces. This excess acid can irritate the digestive lining and cause acid reflux.

Protecting teeth and gums: chewing helps prevent cavities by stimulating saliva production, which cleans dental plaque and protects enamel from acidity. It also exercises our gums, essential for good dental health.

5. Fill up on antioxidants

Antioxidants are extremely beneficial molecules that are crucial to cell protection. They help guard against various afflictions, such as premature skin aging, cancer, degenerative disorders, cataracts, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

The good news is that these miracle workers occur all around us in our food. Eating generous amounts of fruits and vegetables is usually enough to cover the body’s needs. Here are some foods with particularly high antioxidant properties:

Berries: blueberries, blackberries, goji berries, acai berries, raspberries, strawberries

Other fruits: apples, plums, pomegranates, oranges, kiwis, grapes, figs

Vegetables: artichokes, cabbages, broccoli, spinach, bell peppers

Allium family: onion, garlic, shallot

Spices: cloves, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon

Herb: thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, chives, dill, mint, rosemary, bay leaf

Hot beverages: tea and coffee

Cacao and chocolate: pure cocoa powder, dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)

You should eat organic versions of these foods because organically grown foods have 20% to 70% more polyphenols (a type of antioxidant found in many vegetables) than conventionally grown foods.

6. Eat mindfully

In our busy lives, many of us eat breakfast at breakneck speed, or gobble up lunch in front of our computers to make the most of our time. We are completely disconnected from our relationship with food.

However, it is important to devote at least 20 minutes to each meal. Mindfulness is about considering a moment in its own right, and paying attention to what we eat.

Applying mindfulness to our eating habits will have several beneficial impacts. First, it enables us to listen to our hunger and satiety signals and ensure that our intake is adapted to our needs. This will reduce the quantities we consume and our cravings for snacks.

Mindful eating also helps develop a preference for healthier foods: when we eat impulsively and emotionally without listening to our bodies, we no longer feel the pleasure of eating, and we are more susceptible to fatty, sweet and salty foods.

Finally, mindfulness also contributes to mental well-being. It allows you to observe your feelings without judgment, and to listen to yourself. Thinking only of the present moment during a meal also helps to still the mind and lower stress and anxiety.

7. Limit your salt intake

Salt is essential to proper body function, but excessive consumption can lead to the development of certain diseases. Today, we consume more than twice as much salt than we really need!

Excessive salt intake increases the risk of high blood pressure. Hypertension itself can lead to heart disease and even stroke. Salt consumption also increases the risk of cancer and stomach ulcers.

There are simple ways to reduce salt intake:

  • Limit foods high in salt: ready-made meals, potato chips, cold cuts, pizza, sauces, cheese, etc.
  • Opt for alternatives to add flavor to dishes, such as garlic, onion, thyme, chives, basil, lemon, pepper, curry, paprika and all sorts of spices.
  • Taste before salting
  • Do not add salt to cooking water
  • Remove the salt shaker from the table

8. Go vegetarian at dinner

It is recommended to prepare a vegetarian dinner, meaning no meat, fish or eggs. This type of meal will help pave the way for a good night’s sleep.

So, for dinner you should opt for plant-based protein rather than animal protein. Indeed, animal protein encourages the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for alertness and motivation. While it is perfect in the morning to rev you up, at night the body needs to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with soothing and sleep regulation.

Serotonin is made from tryptophan, an amino acid found in plant-based protein, such as legumes, soy, brown rice, sunflower seeds and chocolate. The carbohydrates found in legumes and grain products also help optimize serotonin production.

Some foods promote serotonin production, which optimizes sleep quality:

Walnuts and almonds: in addition to tryptophan, they contain magnesium, a lack of which can be linked to sleep disorders.

Carbohydrates (from whole grains and fruits): thanks to insulin secretion, their amino acids will be directed to the brain rather than the muscles. That will make room for tryptophan in the brain, so it is more readily available for serotonin production.

Furthermore, animal proteins and cooked fats are very demanding for the digestive system: they are made up of molecules that can take a long time to digest.

9. Opt for low-temperature cooking

Cooking at high temperatures erodes the nutritional quality of food: it leads to the destruction of certain vitamins and minerals. Some vitamins are very sensitive to heat, and foods can easily lose 50% of their initial vitamin content during cooking. The longer the cooking time and the higher the temperature, the lower the nutritional content of the food.

In addition, browning food during cooking is accompanied by the production of Maillard bodies, compounds which, in excessive quantities, can increase the risk of developing certain cancers.

Opt for low-temperature cooking, i.e. below 210°F. The most useful method is gently steaming your foods.

10. Eat raw foods and avoid processed foods

Raw food is a product that is sold in its original form and has not undergone any
processing: fruit and vegetables, legumes, eggs, fish, etc. Conversely, processed products
are those that have undergone some form of transformation in order to be sold and which do not occur in this form in nature: ready-made meals, fruit juices and soft drinks, cookies, etc.

Ultra-processed foods have problematic health effects: they are often low in nutrients with a high glycemic load. What’s more, they generally contain little fiber and their texture can be too soft to be satiating.

Finally, consuming processed foods throws the gut microbiota out of balance. As a result, the intestinal microbiota has fewer good bacteria, which are essential to proper body function since they fight pathogens (e.g. parasites and bacteria) and perform essential functions to prevent lifestyle diseases.

Here are some tips for avoiding processed foods:

Go with short ingredient lists, meaning no more than 4 or 5 ingredients.

Avoid products whose ingredient list includes items with complicated names (glucose-fructose syrup, hydrolyzed proteins, modified starch, etc.).

Choose products without problematic additives. Of course, you can use Yuka for this!

Eat as many raw, unprocessed products as possible, that you have prepared and cooked yourself.


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  • Nardocci, M.; Leclerc, B.-S.; Louzada, M.-L.; Monteiro, C. A.; Batal, M.; Moubarac, J.-C. Consumption of Ultra-Processed Foods and Obesity in Canada. Can J Public Health 2019, 110 (1), 4–14
  • Chambers, Lucy. (2016). Food texture and the satiety cascade. Nutrition Bulletin. 41. 277-282. 10.1111/nbu.12221.
  • Tremblay, A.; Bellisle, F. Nutrients, Satiety, and Control of Energy Intake. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2015, 40 (10), 971–979.
  • Fardet, A. Minimally Processed Foods Are More Satiating and Less Hyperglycemic than Ultra-Processed Foods: A Preliminary Study with 98 Ready-to-Eat Foods. Food Funct 2016, 7 (5), 2338–2346.
  • Fiolet, T.; Srour, B.; Sellem, L.; Kesse-Guyot, E.; Allès, B.; Méjean, C.; Deschasaux, M.; Fassier, P.; Latino-Martel, P.; Beslay, M.; et al. Consumption of Ultra-Processed Foods and Cancer Risk: Results from NutriNet-Santé Prospective Cohort. BMJ 2018, 360.
  • Zinöcker, M. K.; Lindseth, I. A. The Western Diet–Microbiome-Host Interaction and Its Role in Metabolic Disease. Nutrients 2018, 10 (3).


Anthony Berthou

Registered nutritionist, specialist in systemic food issues, teacher to healthcare professionals.

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  1. Lydia

    Absolutely amazing article, I’m going to be adding this to my diet because I am trying to have a healthy relationship with food and being the healthiest version of me. Thanks so much Yuka!!!

  2. Maria

    Fantastic information. Thank you

  3. Nancy

    Very helpful and informative!¡

  4. Pauline

    I printed the article called, “The Ten Keys to Healthy Eating,” so we can follow it starting August 1st. Preparing ourselves.
    The Yuka app is so very helpful to have a better understanding as to what is healthy and not healthy. That app is contagious! A few of our relatives are now using it because they saw me using it! Thank you, Yuka!

  5. Shirley

    I’m having to watch sugars and potassium and sodium for my husband kidney issues, definitely a struggle to eat the right things but can’t afford to join right now!

  6. Cyndy

    Great Article!

  7. Nan

    Soy? I don’t think so…..

    1. Margaret

      If you are worried about soy and estrogen, newer research has shown that plant-derived estrogens are not the same as animal-derived estrogen. Organic soy products are healthful in many ways. For example, soy has been shown to reduce the incidence of breast cancer. And soy does not affect testosterone , as was once believed, based on a single, out-of -date study.

      1. Margaret

        Here is the research on the benefits of soy, from

  8. Edna

    My friend told me about this app and I love it. Now I scan everything at the supermarket and make better choices. I have celiac and have to eat gluten free. I use to think because it’s GF it has to be good but now I’m finding that some of it has too much sodium & sugar. I do read the ingredients but the app really helps. Thank you.

  9. Julie

    This was a fabulous article lots of great information and I’m really enjoying The Yuka app it helps so much when shopping.

  10. ROZ

    Fun and informative

  11. Haez

    Thank you for continuing to value nutrition and health in general by articles like this. More power Yuka!

  12. Darlene

    Well, now days , all food is bioengineered. So it makes it even harder to pick and choose. Yes , I’ve bought bananas, zucchini, etc and others. The taste is certainly different, and the size, and weight, not the same as the real thing. I totally avoid them. When I can buy from a farmer I trust and does not used bioengineered seeds from the government. I really like your app. It is very helpful to me. But when the fruit and loose vegetables don’t have a scan code, I avoid those products. Thank you.

  13. Tammy

    Great article! Very interesting and informative. I appreciate it.

  14. Alicia

    Awesome article full of great advice. Thank you!

  15. Sue

    Does using a microwave pressure cooker help keep nutrients in vegis and chicken instead of stovetop cooking methods?

  16. Sandra Houston

    Thank you Excellent The very Best information for Health!!!

  17. Sue

    Thanks for your work in choosing excellent products. I am a big fan!

  18. ROBERT

    Good review of healthy foods… When cooked at home you have full control over the cooking time and contents. Not so if you are on the road and frequently eat in restaurants. You don’t know what type of cooking oils they use, (assume the cheapest), how often they change the cooking oil, how much salt they use, how long they cook the meat, how much and type of sweetners or sugars are included., farmed fish, caged chicken, etc. States should oversee the restaurants as it is the state/Government that gets stuck withthe major medical bills!

  19. Beverly

    My grandson started me on this app I’m new to it. I started in May. I have learned a lot and will continue to follow good choices. Thanks for all you’re doing to make us more healthy. Continue the good work.

  20. Beverly Myrie

    My grandson started me on this app I’m new to it. I started in May. I have learned a lot and will continue to follow good choices. Thanks for all you’re doing to make us more healthy. Continue the good work.

  21. Rolando

    I use this app to teach
    all of our visitors at, our lifestyle center to learn select best options at the shops! The disallowance of hazardous ingredients has a positive effect on our mental health. We love this tool! Kudos to Yuka!

  22. Ray

    Thank You so much for all the tips in eating healthy. I try to follow these as best I can😎

  23. Kimesha

    This was a great article. Concise and informative. I rarely read articles in their entirety but this one has gems that although are not foreign to me they were a great reminder to do what’s right. Kudos to the author!

  24. Julie

    Thank you for this article it is excellent!
    I love your app. I find myself using it almost every time I shop. It has helped me save so much time and money!

  25. Meek

    Hi, my diet type is plant based. I think Yuka is very useful, informative and an overall great idea to help one another to live a healthier lifestyle. I have forwarded Yuka to so many family and friends. This is exactly what we all need, so thank you.
    Love this App

  26. Joan

    Love your Ap Thank you so helpful!!
    Why do you say only eat avocados occasionally? I eat a 1/2 one almost every day
    Because of calories?
    Also what oil for baking could you recommend
    Instead of canola oil ? Thank you

    1. Sur

      I use avacados oil when I bake or fry

    2. Nan

      Seed oils are supposed to be pretty bad. I read from Dr. Gundry’s books about foods. I take some of his supplements and have noticed a big improvement in my digestion….

  27. Jacqui

    I believe that not all salt is bad for you. Table salt is pure sodium and therefore to be avoided. However genuine Celtic sea salt from France and pink Himalayan salt contain (95+ and 65+ respectively) essential minerals for the human body which should be consumed in small doses in our meals. This information is rarely shared within nutritional advice, but feel that it should be. Not all salt is created equal.

    I am enjoying the app and find it very useful.

    Kind regards

  28. Hayat

    Thank you for this interesting article. We need people like you to enlighten this world that is going to a scary place

  29. Trent

    You had me until recommending a vegetarian dinner.

  30. Elaine

    Love my Yuka. It’s shocking to my family that friends and family do not know about this yet.

  31. Hayden

    Reading this was no waste of time. Very helpful, and great tips!😀👍

  32. RICH arnold

    Thanks for all the information on food. Think about high EOS count and offer some foods that are so popular but harsh on high eosinophils counts on blood test

  33. Jackie

    Thanks for informing me about healthy food restrictions.
    I can’t eat the nuts because I’m allergic to all nuts
    I only eat sunflower seed just like protein. That’s all.

  34. ROLEEN


  35. Dennis

    10 Tips was much appreciated. Cooking temperatures is tough. Searing is delicious.
    Oh well..

  36. Foluso

    I love this app. It has greatly helped me in selecting healthy foods and cosmetics items when I go for shopping. Reading through this article has broading my mind on how to eat healthy foods and steps to take in preparation of the food to optimize the foods nutrients. Thanks so much Yuka team.

  37. Patrice

    Yuka is a game-changer! Just when you think you’ve heard or read it all – learned something new this morning. Keep the last meal vegetarian to promote a restful night. Thank you!

  38. Danielle

    This App has changed our lives! My husband had a recent heart episode causing him to be airlifted to a hospital where a Cardiologist performed surgery with a stent and he was back on his feet within 24 hours!! Wow! What a wake up call! Now we pay closer attention to saturated fats AND “Heart Healthy” foods/meals. LOVE THIS APP! The first night we downloaded it, we went through our entire refrigerator AND cupboards!! We dumped about 1/2 our “food” and didn’t even want to donate these toxins to other people, they went into the trash!! Thank you for your due diligence, your passion, your pictures, and your comparisons. We are so passionate about this App we actually predict “Bad, Poor, Good, Excellent” an have made it a game. We have enlightened all of our friends and family with this App hoping they will make smart choices too! This is a Game-Life-Changer!! We think its crazy how some of these foods can even be legal to sell?!! Thank you for making us more aware and wiser!!! Thanks for your commitment! I’m a member and happily donated to the/our cause/life!

  39. Janet

    This article has opened my eyes in so many ways! I have been making changes to what I eat since 2019 when I was diagnosed with Systemic Limited Scleroderma.
    I thought I was doing a good job keeping with a sensible diet, as I am trying to slow down the progression of Sclerodermas debilitating changes. But I know now that I have some more “tools in my tool chest” to use in my battle with this disease!
    My daughter is the one who told me about Yuca. She is an amazing person, packed full of kindness and generosity to all. She became a vegetarian when she was in high school, and has helped me break out of the “programmed mindset” of my generation. I I have so much optimism for the future of good health and mindfulness, because of people like her and your team!
    If you have any recommendations specific to Scleroderma, I’d love to know. The section in your article about “chewing” really opened my eyes!
    Thank you for what you are doing!
    Janet 😁

    1. clare

      if you have not discovered , do so. Dr Greger and team are evidence based, and thourogh

      1. Debbie

        Yes, love and Dr. Greger.

  40. Dee

    Canola stands for Canadian Oil Low Acid and is a highly processed INDUSTRIAL oil made from RAPESEED!
    The Canadians thought they could process it many times at very high Temps to make it food grade. I will not put it in my mouth!
    On the other hand, coconut oil is very healthy, as is avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil.

    1. Jacqui

      I agree with you!!! I’d never touch it.

    2. Emily

      what about cold pressed rapeseed oil? would that be considered less processed and therefore not canola oil? thanks

    3. Carolyn

      I have read the same thing , and I will not buy canola oil , also I am staying away from all Geo engineering foods , also farm raised fish , buy only wild caught,

    4. Nan

      Canola oil is in SO MANY processed foods…yuk.

  41. Keith

    Thanks so much.
    I need and appreciate these practical reminders on getting back to the basics of what I refer to as “clean eating” and how to do it. This encourages me to commit to it.

  42. Sherry

    Great information. There’s a lot of information in the short read. And the “Chewing” part is super interesting!! I have been working on staying away from the processed foods. It’s a process of making good choices and taking time.

  43. Lorraine

    Great news and I’ll pay attention now what not yo eat.

    1. Braydon

      It is fantastic. It is amazing and there’s lots of knowledge on here and I love reading about all the food health. And I’ll pay attention to what I will not eat I’ll pay attention to the healthy food I will eat I Pay attention to the vegetables that I eat

    2. Braydon

      It is fantastic. It is amazing and there’s lots of knowledge on here and I love reading about all the food health. And I’ll pay attention to what I will not eat I’ll pay attention to the healthy food I will eat I Pay attention to the vegetables that I eat and I love the app

  44. Jill

    Thank you so much! Love this app💌

  45. Jo

    What about frozen fruits and veg? How much do they degrade during freezing and after?

  46. cris

    I have read in multiple credible sources (including several PhD’s and MD’s) that canola oil is very bad for you, as the canola seeds become toxic at the high temperatures necessary to extract and refine the oil. But you have it listed here as a good source of Omega-3 fatty acid?

    1. Dee

      You are so right!

    2. Jacqui

      I agree too!!

  47. Judy

    Those of us that have been diagnosed with AMD are told how our lifestyle is important to slowing the process of the disease and our diet is so important. All information I have seen encourages us to include salmon in our diet. They do warn to eat salmon with the least amount of pollutants.

    1. Dee

      Even salmon is now farm-raised. It’s flesh is not coral colored like it should be , but is gray and colored by Red pellets. Look for wild caught with no coloring added.

  48. Phil

    Thanks for the information. Very helpful love this app.

  49. Barb

    Great information 👍🏻

  50. Yelena

    Thank you for information. Love this app.

  51. Agustin

    Since I found about the Yuca app for buying healthy products make it so easy.Love this app.Thank you

  52. De

    Thanks for the info

  53. Caren

    I am allergic to eggs so instead I eat blueberries and snack pack of chocolate covered almonds or espresso beans.

  54. Roseanne Wegrich

    I have just started YUKA and love using it while grocery shopping. I just have the “free” app and it is educational to me. Thank you.

  55. Siobhan

    I have a question about salt..
    I have started taking a small amount of Celtic salt and then drinking water, as I read on instagram that our cells can’t pull the water inside without it…is this true?

    1. Jacqui

      I believe this to be correct… genuine French Celtic sea salt has approx 95+ essential minerals for the body and genuine pink Himalayan salt about 65+. Not all salt is created equal, so to just talk about “salt” is misleading….common white table salt should be avoided at all costs as it is purely sodium which is harmful in large amounts and used in many ready meals, fast foods etc etc because it’s cheapest.

      1. Jacqui

        Ps I also take a small grain of Celtic sea salt with a glass of water for hydration 👍🏻

  56. miriam

    I am a big proponent of raw; however, as we age I have found lightly steamed vegetables are more friendly in my gut

  57. jen

    Very good read. Its good to know there are educational articles that help point us in the healthy right direction. Thank you for the information. I really enjoy the Yuka ap. Things that I thought were “better” to consume turn out not to sometimes be not the best option.

  58. joyce

    Thank you for informing me.

  59. Linda

    Good advice. Accords well with the Zoe programme which I am following. I need to tweek your advice a bit because of pre-diabetic blood sugar readings. Also probably need more protein as older and active!

  60. Norma

    I’m really enjoying the Yuka app, it really makes me think about what i’m buying/consuming.

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