There’s no denying that proper diet and nutrition are the building blocks of healthy living. Diet is about the foods we eat and the drinks that we take, while nutrition involves eating a balanced diet.
Nutrition research has shown that good diets have a positive impact on health while poor food choices have negative effects.
If your dietary patterns include whole grains, lean meat, fish, and fresh foods like fruits and vegetables, then you have a lower incidence of diet-related disease like cancer. If the greater percentage of the meals you eat is full of saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, partially-hydrogenated oils, and highly processed foods, then your diet must be really poor.
According to the Center for Disease Control in the U.S, a combination of such poor diet with a sedentary lifestyle and stress increases obesity and associated diseases. These associated diseases include high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers including breast cancer in women, and much more.
However, since our bodies require some fat, it is advised that we consume the right kind of fats. You can achieve this by consuming fats that come from plants and fish and avoiding or minimizing saturated animal fats. By so doing, we will be preventing ourselves from fat-related diseases such as respiratory problems.
Another factor on diet impact on health is eating disorders. This means eating too much or too little foods. According to the National Eating Disorders Association in the U.S, a high percentage of the world population has suffered from eating disorders at some stage in their lives. What they don’t know is that these disorders are real threats to health and are often chronic. Eating disorders are appearing mostly among middle-aged men and women.
Therefore, in order for us to live a healthy lifestyle, we need to nourish ourselves. Nourishing involves every aspect of our bodies; physical, emotional, social, mental, and spiritual. If any of these aspects is unbalanced, one can suffer from eating disorders. Thus, it is important for everyone to learn that diet is not all about giving your body sustenance but ensuring a healthy life.
Diet alone is not sufficient to have a healthy body. Health research shows that physical activity or exercise has a lot of health benefits. Exercise ensures that you are active and fit every day. It also allows some little weight loss which leads to reduced blood pressure, improved blood lipids and glucose tolerance.
Body weight is highly linked with obesity to many chronic diseases. It is recommended by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that you should aim for a healthy body weight with a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 25. The BMI shows one’s weight status in relation to height. It also gives a sense of a healthy ratio between the two.
Water helps our bodies perform biological processes. It is essential in carrying nutrients to the body cells and wastes elimination. Thus, it is recommended that men should consume about 16 cups of water per day. On the other side, women should drink about 12 cups of water in a day. 80 percent of this should come from drinking water and other beverages. The remaining 20 percent should come from foods like fruits and vegetables which contains 70% to 95% water.
However, your body water requirements also depend on some crucial factors. These include your health, your location, and your activeness. It is inappropriate that you should use thirst alone as your reason for drinking water. You should know that by the time you’re thirsty, the body may already have lost a lot of water.
Dietary guidelines improve your health by helping you meet your nutrients requirements. This assists you to reduce the risk of coming across chronic diseases.
A healthy eating plan will go a long way to preventing various diseases. Your eating pattern should include a wide range of nutrient-dense food like fruits, vegetables, and beverages. It is advised that you minimize intake of salt, cholesterol, and saturated fats.
The following factors are considered when you are following a healthy eating pattern.
Plant-based foods provide a variety of vitamins and minerals which are mostly low in fat. They also provide fiber which is very important for proper bowel function and reduces the risk of getting heart disease and some cancers. And since there are different types of fiber in foods, it is recommended that you choose a variety of foods on a daily basis. You should also know that most of the calories in meals come from whole-grain products, fruits, and vegetables.
Naturally occurring sugars and salts are important components of a healthy diet. To maintain a nutritious diet and a healthy weight, it is good that you moderate the usage of artificial sugars and salts that are commonly added to meals.
Excess consumption of alcohol is harmful to your health. This is because alcohol provides empty calories for your body. People with liver or other diseases should not take alcohol at all. Limiting alcohol intake also reduces the risk for cancers.
Others factors to be considered in the dietary guidelines include; eating enough calcium-rich foods, eat moderate portions of your meals, and moderate saturated fats intake every day.
Paying attention to your eating patterns means a lot. First, it enables you to eat a reasonable meal quantity. This helps you avoid eating more than you need or less. Second, you get a full taste of your food and enjoy it while eating. And lastly, it prevents you from suffering from indigestion. Thus, it is recommended that you avoid eating while doing other activities like driving, reading, watching television, and many more.
Nutrition research indicates that the social component to eating is important to health outcomes and your wellbeing. Family or group eating helps you develop healthy eating habits and maintain a normal weight. According to the University of Minnesota study research, family mealtimes reduces the risk of eating disorders, depression, substance abuse, and much more.
Apart from the biological effects of eating on the run, you should also consider the social, psychological, and spiritual effects. Fast-food habits deny you the merits gained from preparing foods with care, mindfulness, and appreciation. Above all, eating with others not only benefits your healthy lifestyle, but everyone involved.