healthy diet includes fruits and vegetables of many colors, whole grains and starches, good fats and lean proteins.
Eating healthy means avoiding foods with high amounts of salt and sugar.
In this article, we look at the top 10 benefits of a healthy diet as well as the evidence behind them.
1. Weight loss
Losing weight can help reduce the risk of chronic conditions. If a person is overweight or obese, they are at risk of developing several conditions, including:
Non-insulin dependent diabetes
Poor bone density
Whole vegetables and fruits have fewer calories than most processed foods. A person who wants to lose weight should reduce his calorie intake, which does not exceed the requirement of each day.
It is easy to determine a person’s calorie requirements using dietary guidelines published by the United States government.
Maintaining a healthy diet free of processed foods can help a person stay within their daily limits without counting calories.
Fiber is an element of a healthy diet that is particularly important for weight management. Plant-based foods contain too much dietary fiber, which helps regulate hunger by making people feel full for longer.
In 2018, researchers found that a diet rich in fiber and lean protein led to weight loss without the need to count calories.
2. Reduced cancer risk
An unhealthy diet can lead to obesity, which can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. or people with cancer.
However, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent cancer.
In a separate 2014 study, researchers found that a diet rich in fruits reduced the risk of cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract. They also found that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and fiber reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and a diet rich in fiber reduces the risk of liver cancer.
Many phytochemicals found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes act as antioxidants, protecting cells from damage that can cause cancer. Some of these antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamins A, C, and E.
Testing in humans has been inconclusive, but laboratory and animal study results have linked some antioxidants to a lower incidence of free radical damage associated with cancer.
3. Diabetes management
A person suffering from diabetes can be helped by eating a healthy diet:
Lose weight if necessary
Blood sugar level management
Keep blood pressure and cholesterol target
Preventing or delaying diabetes complications
4. Heart health and stroke prevention
According to data published in 2017, the U.S. About 92.1 million people suffer from at least one type of heart disease. These conditions mainly involve the heart or blood vessels.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, 80 percent of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented by lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity levels and eating healthy.
There is some evidence that vitamin E can block blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack. The following foods have high levels of vitamin E:
The medical community has long recognized the link between trans fats and cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease.
If a person removes trans fat from the diet, it will reduce the level of low density lipoprotein cholesterol. This type of cholesterol collects plaque inside the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Lowering blood pressure may also be necessary for heart health, and limiting salt intake to 1,500 milligrams a day may help.
Salt is added to many processed and fast foods, and anyone hoping to lower their blood pressure should avoid these
5. The health of the next generation
Children learn most health-related behaviors from adults around them, and parents who follow healthy eating and exercise habits go through these.
Eating at home can also help. In 2018, researchers found that children who dine regularly with their families eat more vegetables and low-sugar foods than their peers who eat less often at home.
In addition, children who participate in gardening and cooking at home are more likely to make healthy diet and lifestyle choices.
6. Strong bones and teeth
A diet containing enough calcium and magnesium is essential for strong bones and teeth. Keeping bones healthy is important in preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis later in life.
The following foods are rich in calcium:
Low fat dairy products
Canned fish with bones
In addition, many grains and plant-based milk are fortified with calcium.
Magnesium is abundant in many foods, and the best sources are leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
7. Better mood
Emerging evidence suggests a close relationship between diet and mood.
In 2016, researchers found that a diet with a high glycemic load could increase symptoms of depression and fatigue.
Diets with a high glycemic load include many refined carbohydrates, such as those found in soft drinks, cakes, white breads, and biscuits. Vegetables, whole fruits and whole grains have low glycemic load.
While a healthy diet can improve overall mood, it is essential for depressed people to seek medical care.
8. Improved memory
A healthy diet can help prevent dementia and cognitive decline.
A 2015 study identified nutrients and foods that protect against these adverse effects. They found that the following are beneficial:
Vitamin D, C, and E
Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Flavonoids and polyphenols
Among other diets, the Mediterranean diet nourishes many of these nutrients.
9. Improved gut health
The colon is filled with naturally occurring bacteria, which play an important role in metabolism and digestion.
Some strains of bacteria also produce vitamin K and B, which benefit the colon. These strains help fight harmful bacteria and viruses.
A diet low in fiber and high in sugar and fat replaces the microbiome in the gut, increasing inflammation in the area.
However, a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains provides a combination of prebiotics and probiotics that help good bacteria to thrive in the colon.
Fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and kefir are rich in probiotics.
Fiber is an easily accessible prebiotic, and is abundant in legumes, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Fiber regularly promotes bowel movements, which may help prevent bowel cancer and diverticulitis.
10. Getting a good night’s sleep
A variety of factors can disrupt sleep patterns, including sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea occurs when the airway is repeatedly blocked during sleep. Risk factors include obesity, drinking alcohol and taking an unhealthy diet.
Reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption can help ensure restful sleep, whether or not a person has sleep apnea.
Quick tips for a healthful diet
There are many small, positive ways to improve your diet:
Swapping soft drinks for water and herbal tea
Meat should not be eaten at least 1 day a week
Ensuring that production makes up about 50 percent of each meal
Swap of cow’s milk for plant-based milk
Instead of drinking juice, eat whole fruits, which are low in fiber and often contain sugar.
Avoid processed meats, which are high in salt and may increase the risk of colon cancer.
Eating lean protein, which can be found in eggs, tofu, fish and nuts
A person can also benefit from taking cooking classes and learning how to include more vegetables in the meal.
A octor or dietitian can suggest to eat a more healthy diet.