Importance of Healthy Diet
Consuming a healthy diet is not about strict restrictions, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you like. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having higher energy, enhancing your health, and boosting your mood.
It shields you against many chronic non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Having a variety of foods and eating less salt, sugars, and saturated and industrially-produced trans-fats, are necessary for a healthy diet.
A healthy diet includes a mixture of different foods. These include:
- Staples like cereals (wheat, barley, etc) or starchy tubers or roots (potato, cassava, etc).
- Legumes (lentils and beans).
- Fruit and vegetables.
- Foods from animal sources (fish, eggs, meat, and milk).
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be overly complex. If you seem overwhelmed by all the inconsistent nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not unique. It seems that for every expert who tells you a particular food is good for you, you’ll find another saying precisely the opposite. The truth is that while some particular foods or nutrients have been shown to have a useful effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most essential. The foundation of a healthy diet should be to substitute prepared food with real food whenever feasible. Consuming food that is as close as practicable to the way nature made it can make a huge distinction to the way you think, look, and feel.
The Basics of Healthy Eating
While some strict diets may suggest differently, we all need a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in our diets to maintain a healthy body. You don’t need to exclude certain kinds of food from your diet, but rather select the best options from each section.
Protein gives you the power to get up and go and keep going, while also boosting mood and cognitive function. Too much protein can be dangerous to people with kidney disease, but the latest research implies that many of us need more high-quality protein, especially as we age. That doesn’t mean you have to eat more animal products, a variety of plant-based origins of protein each day can guarantee your body gets all the essential protein it needs.
Good fats shield your brain and heart. In fact, healthy fats such as omega-3s are important to your physical and emotional health. Including more good fat in your diet can help increase your mood, increase your well-being, and even cut your waistline.
Eating foods high in dietary fiber such as grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans can assist you to stay organized and reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also repair your skin and even help you to lose weight.
Calcium is also an important part of a healthy diet. As well as leading to osteoporosis, not receiving enough calcium in your diet can also add to anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties. Whatever your age or gender, it’s important to incorporate calcium-rich foods in your diet, limit those that drain calcium, and get enough magnesium and vitamins D and K to assist calcium do its job.
Carbohydrates are one of your body’s main origins of energy. But most should come from complex, unrefined carbs such as vegetables, whole grains, fruit rather than sugars and refined carbs. Cutting back on white bread, pastries, starches, and sugar can stop rapid spikes in blood sugar, changes in mood and energy, and a build-up of fat, particularly around your waistline.
Here is some helpful information, to follow a healthy diet, and the benefits of doing so.
Breastfeed babies and young children:
- A healthy diet begins early in life - breastfeeding promotes healthy growth and may have longer-term health advantages, like decreasing the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing non-communicable diseases later in life.
- Feeding babies particularly with breast milk from birth to 6 months of life is essential for a healthy diet. It is also necessary to introduce a variety of safe and nutritious complementary foods at 6 months of age while continuing to breastfeed until your child is two years old and beyond.
- Eat lots of vegetables and fruit:
- They are great sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, etc.
- People with diets plentiful in vegetables and fruit have a significantly lower risk of obesity, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
- Limit intake of sugars:
- For a healthy diet, sugars should represent less than 15% of your total energy intake. Decreasing even further to under 5% has additional health benefits.
- Taking fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes, and chocolate helps decrease the consumption of sugars.
- Restricting intake of soft drinks, soda and other drinks high in sugars also assist to reduce intake of sugars.
- Reduce salt intake:
- Having your salt intake to less than 5h per day helps stop hypertension and decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke in the adult population.
- Restricting the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments when cooking and preparing foods helps decrease salt intake.