Our eating habits have a direct impact on our health.
A balanced diet is one of the essential components, if not the most essential component, of a healthy life. Many people do not pay much attention to their food choices because they do not realize how powerful foods can be for health.
When you eat healthy foods, your body gets the nutrients it needs: vitamins, minerals and fiber, fiber, (healthy) fats, carbohydrates, protein, and these will strengthen the immune system, repair the damage of body, build new healthy cells, recover after an effort and fight against diseases.
The problem with our modern eating habits is that:
- With our hectic lives, we often end up eating what is practical, rather than what is healthy.
- Many common foods contain small amounts of nutrients.
- Fast food, ready meals and junk food are highly processed. Processing removes a lot of the nutrients, and these foods are often filled with unhealthy ingredients such as chemicals, preservatives, sodium, sugars and artificial flavors.
How to keep a healthy and balanced diet with that kind of chaos?
Eating these unhealthy foods on a regular basis can actually cause undernourishment even if you eat a lot of food. And since these are calories without nutritional value, your body does have the nutrients it needs (even if you fill your stomach).
The best choice is to focus on healthy foods. Focus on good foods like fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds (whole grains).
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF POOR EATING HABITS?
The most immediate and visible effect of poor food hygiene on our health is weight gain, and sometimes even obesity. But this is the tip of the iceberg because problems like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, low weight, weak bones, and sometimes even depression or problems cognitive. A multitude of other problems not listed here can occur in the medium long term if you make the wrong food choices. Diet is the key to good health!
WHAT IS A HEALTHY FOOD?
Eating well does not just mean eating soups, eating less, or saying no to fat. Healthy eating habits mean a nutritious diet, that is, eating everything in the right amount and in the right way. Do not completely exclude fat and do not overdo it with fiber and protein! Do not forget that you have to provide children with a good balance of all types of foods, because it is the age for physical and mental development. And finally, forget the processed foods, limit to the maximum sugar, salt, white flour, and some might tell you to limit also the cow’s milk (the famous 4 whites).
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY DIET?
There are rules everybody should follow in order to keep a healthy and balanced diet.
- MAINTAIN SHAPE WEIGHT
Exercising regularly and eating well can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid getting fat. It is therefore preferable to maintain good food hygiene over time rather than trying to catch up with diets. When you stop dieting, you will almost always regain all the weight you have lost. All your efforts to lose weight will have been useless.
- DISEASE CONTROL
By lowering unhealthy triglycerides and promoting good cholesterol, good dietary choices can prevent many dangerous health problems. Some foods are anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory, which avoids the damage caused by free radicals. A healthy diet helps your body minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease. Obesity, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis are all consequences of poor eating habits.
- KEEP YOUR BRAIN IN GOOD FORM
A healthy diet is as good for your brain as it is for the rest of your body. Unhealthy foods are linked to a whole series of neurological problems. Some nutritional deficiencies increase the risk of depression. Other nutrients, such as potassium, are actually involved in the functioning of brain cells. A varied and healthy diet keeps your brain functioning and can also promote good mental health.
- DECREASE THE RISK OF CANCER
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, which are substances that seek out and neutralize potentially harmful cells (free radicals). Free radicals contain an unequal amount of electrons, which makes them very unstable. When they search for and steal electrons in healthy cells, they can cause damage. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating one of their electrons, turning the free radical into a stable molecule.
- CONTROL OF GLYCEMIA
Sweet foods such as white bread, fruit juice, soft drinks and ice cream cause a spike in blood sugar. Although your body can handle occasional surges of glucose, over time this can lead to insulin resistance, which can turn into type 2 diabetes. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain bread, oatmeal oats and brown rice, cause slow release of sugar in the blood, which helps to regulate blood sugar.
- LONGER AND QUALITY LIFE
To be healthy, in addition to a healthy diet, you should start exercising, quit smoking, start monitoring your cholesterol levels, your blood pressure and your weight. Eating healthy is more a part of a lifestyle change than a diet. You will gradually feel the need to feel good about all aspects of your life.
Nutrition is the discipline that studies foods and their use by the body. This is a key element of health: some diseases are directly related to what we eat. We can control what we eat.