When it comes to good health, one of the most important things we can do daily is eat a balanced diet. Here are the top reasons for eating a balanced diet:
On average, healthy foods have less calories than their fast food and junk food counterparts. One reason is fat, sodium, sugar, artificial preservatives and other harmful additives aren’t added to healthy foods.
Manage glucose levels
Over time, eating foods high in sugar and fat on a consistent basis can lead to weight gain. This weight gain can increase the risk of having Type 2 diabetes. Another concern is these unhealthy foods lead to a spike in blood sugar levels, only to come crashing down a short time later. These “crashes” can cause a person to feel sleepy and lethargic. Over time, the body could maintain an elevated blood sugar level because it can no longer decrease blood sugar levels naturally. This is another cause of Type 2 diabetes.
Many people are aware of the physical effects of food, but it has a tremendous impact on mental health as well. Studies have linked foods with added sugars to depressive symptoms in people around the world. On the flipside, studies also indicate diets rich in fruits, veggies, lean meat and fish are associated with a decreased risk of depression.
Improved sleep quality
Alcohol consumption, obesity, and eating an unhealthy diet have all been linked to sleep apnea, a dangerous condition where the airways are blocked during sleep.
Sugary drinks have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and a high consumption of sugar can increase the risk of dementia.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Western countries. This would include hypertension, stroke. atherosclerosis, vein disease and artery disease. A diet high in sodium, processed foods, sugars, low consumption of fruits, veggies, unhealthy fats and other poor lifestyle habits have all been linked to cardiovascular disease.
Balanced Diet Tips
Eating a balanced diet is essential to good health. Here are tips on ensuring your body gets the nutrients it needs:
Eat fruits and veggies daily
Fresh, canned or frozen are all acceptable. However, fruit and vegetable juices should be drunk in moderation, due to their high sugar content.
Oily fish are great for cardiovascular health. Mackerel, sardines, herring, salmon and trout are all excellent options. Tuna, cod and haddock are good non-oily fish varieties to choose from.
Drink 8 glasses of water daily
Water is essential to life. A person can survive weeks without food, but only a few hours without water in extreme situations. Here are a few health benefits of water:
- Regulates body temperature
- Helps the body remove waste
- Helps regulate blood pressure
- Lubricates the joints
- Aids in digestion
- Helps improve exercise performance
- Reduces hangover symptoms
- Aids in weight loss
- Decrease symptoms of fatigue
- Improves skin health and vitality
Limit sugar intake
Sugary foods and drinks can cause many health problems, including tooth decay and obesity. The following foods and beverages should be eaten only sparingly:
- Fizzy drinks/sodas
- Artificial sweeteners
In addition to exercising and getting a good night’s sleep, eating a balanced diet is essential for good health. Make an effort to start eating a balanced diet today. Your body will thank you.