The benefits of a healthy dietA healthy diet can decreases the chances of disease. Nutritionists recommend, in order avoiding disease, to have a diet high in fruits, vegetables, grains and low-fat dairy products. Also, caution is recommended regarding calories, to reduce the risk of obesity, limiting alcohol consumption and disposal of food products with a high content of salt, saturated fat, cholesterol and sugar.
A diet low in fat content (cereals, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products) can reduce the risk of heart dysfunctions, hypertension, degenerative brain diseases, stroke and diabetes, and may also prevent certain forms cancer.
Limiting the intake of saturated fat found in fatty meats, cheese, butter, and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart dysfunctions and hypertension.
Omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats contained by foods such as fish, nuts, and soybeans have a protective effect against heart disease.
A diet rich in fruits and veggies provides necessary antioxidants (such as beta-carotene or vitamins C and E) and protects the body from harmful free radicals, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease, cancer and hypertension.
Anyone can benefit from a healthy diet, but not all have the same nutritional needs. Pregnant women, children and elderly during growth period have special needs in terms of nutrition. Patients with hypertension should reduce their salt in the diet; those with elevated cholesterol levels should seek diets with limited intake of saturated fat and cholesterol.
Healthy people need to be careful regarding the amount of salt, fat and sugar consumption to prevent certain diseases such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Limiting the amount of salt can be done by eating more fresh foods as well. Prepared food such as soups, snack foods like fast food or canned, are high in salt (sodium). Also, the amount of fat consumed should be measured. Replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats can be made using olive or canola oil.
Introduction of omega-3 and omega-6 which can be found in fish, nuts, whole grains, canola oil and soybeans is also beneficial.
Diets lows in carbohydrates help lose weight initially, but do not have long-term benefits. These diets are rich in total and saturated fat and low in fiber.
Adopting a healthy diet does not necessary mean to eat less, is a way to improve health.
The combination of an active lifestyle with a healthy diet will improve health.
For a healthy diet are recommended:
– Balance: a balanced diet provides all the nutrients a person needs
– Diversity: eat different foods, no food, used independently, can provide all the nutrients you need, choose eating aliments from all food groups
– Moderation: Use moderation in everything we eat, including the number of calories consumed daily, physical activity, desserts, sweets and even restricted foods, you can eat any food as long as you do not overdo it.
Essential nutrients (macro-nutrients) are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They provide energy to the body (measured in calories).
Vitamins and minerals are known as micro-nutrients. They play an essential role in body structure and function, helping to restore the dead cells, thus promoting healing of injuries.
A healthy diet also reduces the risk of:
– Myocardial infarction and stroke: a study found that women and men who have followed the advice of nutritionists, reduced the incidence of myocardial infarctions by 28% and stroke by 14%, compared with those who have not followed the rules a healthy diet
– Hypercholesterolemia: reducing saturated and hydrogenated fats and cholesterol in the diet lowers the risk of hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol in the blood) and coronary heart disease
– High blood pressure: eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and eating low-fat dairy products lowers blood pressure and reduces risk of heart disease and stroke
– Osteoporosis: a sufficient amount of calcium protects against osteoporosis, calcium is found in dairy products, in some green vegetables and foods fortified with calcium.
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