What is a healthy diet?
The fundamental principle to a healthy diet comes down to one word; balance. Many other factors are included to ensure a balanced diet, but essentially eating enough food that provides the range of nutrients your body requires encourages the promotion of good health. It is important to ensure this variety of foods, guaranteeing a broad range of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that your body needs. When you are receiving too little or too much of certain elements, this can result in health problems. That is why moderation and control of your diet is important. For example, fats are a necessary part of your diet, but when they exceed the body’s required amount, it can be stored in the body, potentially causing problems, most importantly cardiovascular issues.
How can you benefit from a healthy diet?
Eating a healthy diet most obviously will assist you in losing weight, but healthy eating has many other benefits. Changing your diet can significantly improve your general health, tackling diseases associated with heart conditions and cholesterol, as well as aiding diabetes, types of cancers, and even depression. Those who eat a balanced and healthy diet are generally considered to live longer lives because of these health benefits. Diet changes can also boost energy levels as high sugar and fat based foods are generated into energy quickly and so run out quickly, leaving us fatigued. Healthier foods release energy at a slower rate, producing a slower and more sustainable release of energy over a longer period of time. Healthy eating can not only improve your body but can change your mood; making you feel more positive and more relaxed, particularly when combined with exercise.
How can you achieve a healthy diet?
The general rules for healthy eating is that natural foods are generally healthy, and if a product has been overly processed it may contain unhealthy ingredient such as added sugars or ‘bad’ fats. Cutting down on sugars, fats and salts is usually a good place to start when changing a diet as these elements are usually the problem, and instead, replace them with natural products such as fruits, veg, nuts, seeds grains and so on. The key to a healthy diet is balance and ensuring the correct amounts of each dietary element. Your diet should include a range of carbs, proteins, vitamins and mineral, fats and dairy, which in appropriate amounts can help you feel the health benefits that follow with a healthy diet.
What is the relationship between eating healthily and calories?
Calories are your body’s source of fuel. We need to refuel our energy supply by eating food, yet many diets have branded calories as our enemy for weight, yet calories are a necessary part of our lives. A regular man should aim for around 2500 calories, and a woman around 2,000 calories per day for a healthy diet, unless trying to lose weight. Generally high calorie foods indicate a higher amount of salt, sugars or fat, yet some foods that are naturally high in calories are a useful, nutritious inclusion to a healthy diet. Corn, nuts, avocados, olive oil, and whole grain breads are all calorie-rich but beneficial foods, providing a variety of nutrients needed in your diet and also provide long lasting satisfaction to other healthy foods that fail to fill you up.
Are carbs unhealthy?
Many popular diets brand carbs as bad for your waistline and therefore your health, which when consumed excessively with other nutrients can have a negative effect, but carbs are an essential element to your diet. Many different foods contain carbs, including the typical foods such as pastas and breads, yet fruits and vegetables also contain carbohydrates, which are a healthy source of not only energy but also vitamins and nutrients. Processed carbohydrates can impact your health, and when trying to lose weight restricting carbs may be helpful, but carbs are a significant element to a balanced diet and when consumed sensibly contribute greatly to your healthy eating.
Are foods that contain sugar unhealthy?
Sugar can be an enemy to a healthy diet, tasting so delicious in a variety of food and even hidden in foods that you wouldn’t suspect. Yet it is important to address the difference between natural and added sugars for a healthy diet. Sugars are carbs which provide a vital source of energy and nutrition, yet many popular foods have sugar added to them, this is when sugars become unhealthy. Fruits and some vegetables contain naturally occurring sugars which are considered healthy when not consumed in overly excessive amounts, but added sugars provide nearly no nutritional value and contribute significantly to weight gain, damaging your health diet. It is therefore important to check the labels to ensure no products contain hidden added sugars.
How can a healthy diet affect cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat based substance that is needed within the body, but when present in excessive amounts can cause serious health problems. Low density cholesterol will cause blocks in the arteries, significantly increasing the risk of heart disease, all is not lost however as the levels of bad cholesterol can be reduced by what you eat. Not eating enough protective fats such as nuts and seeds, along with eating high saturated fat foods increases the cholesterol found in the blood. Basic changes such as consuming more fruits, vegetables, lean or fat-free animal products and high fibre foods will reduce your cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
What is omega-3 and why should you eat it?
As healthy eating and fitness become more present in the consciousness of society, much debate has surrounded whether fats should be included into a healthy diet and if so which fats. As the tag word ‘superfood’ has emerged, omega-3 has been branded as the superfood of the fat group, proving to be particularly beneficial for many issues. These include depression, memory loss, heart issues, joint and skin problems, and the general promotion of health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally. Found most richly in fish based foods, omega-3 is considered as an essential fatty acid for a healthy diet.
How important are fruit and veg?
To achieve a healthy diet, vegetables and fruit must be a vital feature to ensure the access to a mixture of vitamins and minerals that are abundant within them. Not only do fruit and veg provide a rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they also serve as a source of energy, aid weight loss and can be an influential tool in the prevention of disease. Vegetables and fruit can improve the functions of the heart, kidneys, bones and prevent the onset of cancers, diabetes and other diseases. Without the inclusion of fruits and veg, your body will be considerably deficient in vital nutrients needed for all bodily functions from the working of the brain to growing hair and nails.
In what way is fibre healthy?
Fibre is an essential element for any balanced diet, its main purpose is the promotion of digestive health and the movement of the digestive system, but fibre also has many other health benefits. Prevention of heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, cancers and so on are all influenced by fibre, making it a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle. Both soluble, being ingested into the body to assist with the reduction of cholesterol and nutritional value, and insoluble, assisting the movement of food through the digestive system, are very important for the smooth functioning of the body and when deficient can result in serious health problem. Fibre can be found in a variety of foods such as oats, cereals, breads, rice, vegetable and fruits and so are easily implemented into any type of diet and lifestyle.