A healthy diet is one that includes the right types of food and beverages that will provide the body with nutrition and energy for maintaining body cells, tissues and organs to promote optimal growth and development. In addition, a healthy diet includes avoiding foods that can damage the body and hinder healthy growth and development. Adhering to a healthy diet not only promotes optimal function, it also prevents diseases.
A healthy diet prevents cardiovascular disease. Including certain foods and avoiding others will keep your heart healthy over the long term. You should include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat proteins in your diet. Strive to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day to prevent heart disease. Whole grains are heart-healthy foods because they help control cholesterol and contain nutrients that help control your blood pressure. Because your heart is also a muscle, you need to eat foods high in protein but low in fat to keep your heart tissue healthy. Choose fish or poultry over beef and pork. You should avoid processed meats altogether.
Eating a healthy diet that is high in fiber can prevent colon cancer, according to MayoClinic.com. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and legumes. Fiber keeps your stool soft and encourages the movement of digested food through your digestive tract, which may help prevent developing colon cancer. Slowly increase your fiber intake to avoid having stools that are too loose, or diarrhea. Always make sure you drink eight glasses of water per day or fiber may cause you to be constipated. Have regular colon screenings as your doctor recommends.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body produces too little insulin, is resistant to the effects of insulin or both, resulting in uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Choosing to eat healthy foods can also control blood sugar levels and diabetes control. MayoClinic.com recommends eating foods that are low in calories and fat, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains to prevent the development of diabetes.
Maintaining healthy eating habits will prevent you from becoming overweight or obese. Overweight is determined by your body mass index, which is a measurement to determine if you are the correct weight for your height. A BMI greater than 25 is considered overweight and greater than 30 is considered obese. Controlling your portion sizes and keeping your caloric intake within normal limits will prevent obesity and the chronic diseases associated with it, including heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and many types of cancers.
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