Everyone knows that they should eat healthy foods, but do they understand why? Healthy eating is not always about being thin or losing weight - it is about keeping our bodies healthy for a better quality of life. Choosing healthy foods provide us with the proper nutrition to help our bodies develop properly, prevent illness, and maintain a healthy weight; whereas a diet high in saturated fats or sugars can have an adverse effect on our bodies, causing obesity, mood swings and chronic illness.
To make the proper food choices, one must know the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods. A healthy diet includes balanced portions of lean protein (found in fish, meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, nuts, and beans), carbohydrates (found in fruits, vegetables, pasta, rice, grains, and beans), and healthy fats (found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils).
Research has shown that eating a balanced diet improves chances of reducing our risk of chronic diseases such as dementia, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. Each food group is vital in the protection and function of our body's organs. Lean protein helps to maintain muscle mass and joints, carbohydrates are the main source of glucose, which is a major fuel for all the body's cells and the only source of energy for the brain, and healthy fats are needed to aid the body in the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
When we regularly eat processed foods, fast food, and sweets, we are loading our bodies with excess saturated fat, preservatives, and sugars. Such a diet does more than add inches to our waistline. Saturated fats and trans fats, like those found in junk food, circulate throughout your body and can lead to fat build-up in your blood, thereby increasing your blood pressure, clogging your arteries and increasing your risk for heart disease. Sodium increases blood volume. Too much sodium can cause your blood to retain salty water and increase your blood pressure. Adding additional sugar to our diets not only leads to obesity, and diabetes, but research is proving that it also plays a role in aggressive behavior.
There is an old saying “you are what you eat”, and science is proving this to be true. When we load our bodies with excess fat, sugar and sodium, not only do we risk gaining weight, but we also risk developing chronic diseases. By choosing whole natural foods, we give our bodies the adequate nutrients that it needs to maintain a healthy body, sustain energy, and improve our quality of life.