A healthy diet is simply a balanced diet which helps to keep or improve general health. To obtain a “balanced” diet, all foods should meet certain nutritional requirements. However, a healthy diet supplies the body with necessary nutrients: enough food energy, fluid, micro-nutrients, and sufficient food nutrients. This sort of diet has been shown to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and excess fat deposits. A “balanced” diet contains a range of nutrients that is suitable for all stages of life.
One of the benefits of a healthy diet is improved physical well-being. Healthier diet choices generally lead to lower incidences of common chronic diseases. Some of the most common are cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and depression. Studies have shown that people who consume a healthier diet tend to live longer than those who don’t. Many researchers believe that a healthier diet aids in preventing and reducing some of the more serious long-term diseases and conditions.
Because a healthy diet can provide the body with the necessary nutrients, it provides an opportunity to get the most out of every meal eaten. Instead of “jumping” from one big meal to another, each meal allows you to slowly eat smaller meals to help you meet nutritional needs as the day progresses. By choosing to eat several small meals throughout the day, you’ll be able to spread out the amount of unhealthy foods that you consume over a longer period of time and prevent the hunger pains that often come when you feel as though your body needs an instant fix.
Another benefit of a balanced diet is reduced risk of heart disease. A healthy diet reduces the amount of fat, sodium, sugar, and cholesterol that’s in the typical American diet. Most people don’t realize that what they eat greatly affects the way their body feels. In particular, eating a high-fat, low-sugar, high-calorie diet has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease. By replacing saturated fats, salt, and sugar with healthier alternatives, you can significantly reduce your risk. Some examples of healthier alternatives to butter, hot dogs, cheese, meat, and other unhealthy foods are peanut butter, skim milk, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, and whole grain breads.
Many dietitians and experts agree that one of the best tools for improving overall nutrition and finding long-lasting nutrition is creating a personalized eating plan through the use of nutrition labels and charts. By creating your own personalized dietary patterns, you can ensure that your nutritional needs are met. For example, by creating a chart that lists the five food groups and provides a recommended serving size, you can better regulate the amount of food that you consume on a daily basis.
In addition to the benefits of better eating habits, experts also believe that eliminating harmful substances from your diet helps to improve your health. Processed foods and animal fat are two of the worst culprits of environmental toxins. By replacing these harmful substances with plant-based foods, you can greatly improve your health while reducing environmental toxin intake. Experts advise that switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet can lead to higher energy levels, stronger immune systems, a reduction in stress, and a decrease in chronic diseases such as cancer.