A nutritious and balanced diet is fundamental to good health, as is physical activity and quitting smoking. A healthy diet includes consuming high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, heart-healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fluids while minimizing processed foods, saturated fats, and alcohol. The diet helps maintain the body’s daily functions, promotes optimal weight, and helps prevent disease.
Nutrients in food support activities of daily living, protect cells from environmental damage and repair cellular damage that occurs. Protein rebuilds damaged tissue and promote a healthy immune system. Both carbohydrates and fats provide energy for the body, while vitamins and minerals work throughout the body to support body processes. Acting as oxidants, B vitamins help you get energy from your diet. Calcium and phosphorus keep your bones strong, and sodium and potassium help transmit nerve signals. Without a healthy diet, these vital functions can be compromised.
In addition to the quality of the food you eat, quantity is also important for good eating habits. Consume as many calories as you burn to help keep your weight stable over time. On the other hand, eating more than you consume can lead to weight gain because your body converts the extra calories into fat tissue. When fat tissue builds up, it can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, breathing problems, diabetes, cancer, and more. Increased risk of developing one or more health problems. A healthy eating plan that doesn’t include extra calories can not only make you feel better but can also help you live longer
Too much or too little of certain nutrients can cause health problems. For example, a lack of calcium in the diet is prone to osteoporosis and weak bones, too much saturated fat causes cardiovascular disease, and too few fruits and vegetables increase the incidence of cancer. Eating foods from a variety of sources can help ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to avoid these health problems. If you’re not used to doing it, making gradual changes can improve your diet in the long run. For example, you can replace high-calorie, sugary drinks with water and switch from full-fat to low-fat dairy products. Choosing lean meats over fatty cuts and whole grains over refined grains can help reduce your intake of unhealthy fats and increase your fiber intake. Snacking on fresh, chewy ingredients like carrots, apples, and sliced cucumbers, which contain less salt than canned food, is healthier than the fat and salt content of potato chips.