Benefits of Healthy DietNuturemite
what exactly is the buzz about consuming a healthy diet? Are you a pastry or a pizza lover? These might sound mouth-watering to you but they are the unhealthiest food contaminating your system. Change in lifestyle, rapid urbanization, and the influence of many social and economic factors have influenced the change in individual dietary patterns. Nowadays, we all prefer packaged food items as they are delicious and highly convenient, but have you ever imagined about the side effects they have on your body? They may promote the growth of cancer cells. They come loaded with preservatives for their shelf life and contain chemical-based ingredients. This article will guide you all about your basic dietary plan.
A healthy diet should protect you from being malnourished and even from a range of non-communicable diseases. It should provide the body with all the essential nutrients like fluid, micronutrients, macronutrients, and adequate calories. India holds the second position among all the countries with most deaths caused by poor nutrition. A properly balanced diet should contain cereals, pulses, vegetables, low-fat milk and its products, fruits, nuts, chicken, fish, and lean meat in an appropriate portion. Avoid highly saturated and trans-fats like ghee in cardiovascular diseases.
Our body requires macronutrients such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and water, in larger amounts, whereas micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins in smaller amounts. These nutrients help in proper growth, immune development, proper functioning of the central nervous system, and preventing diseases.
A diet should be healthy, balanced, and diversified depending on the characteristics of the individual, locally available foods, and cultural norms.
An adult should include the following in their regular diet:
- Legumes (beans, lentils, etc.), nuts, and whole grains (oats, millets, brown rice, wheat, maize)
- Around 400 grams of fruits and vegetables per day. Cassava, sweet potato, potato, and all starchy roots should be avoided.
- Not more than 10% of total energy intake from sugar. Sugars are present in foods or drinks by manufacturers and sugars present naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices, and concentrated fruit juices.
- Prefer unsaturated fats present in fish, avocado, nuts, and in sunflower and olive oil over saturated fats present in butter, cream, cheese, ghee, fatty meat, and trans-fats found in pies, biscuits, cookies, wafers, fried foods, pre-packed snacks and ruminant trans-fats found in meat and dairy foods from ruminant animals like cows, goats, camels, and sheep. The consumption of saturated fats should be lesser than 10% and trans-fats to 1% of the total energy intake.
- Iodized salt, less than 5% of salt per day should be used.
For Infants and Children
The maximum growth and cognitive development of a child take place in the first 2 years of their life. Proper nutrition minimizes the risk of obesity and developing non-communicable diseases all through life. The diet of infants and children are almost similar to the adults, but some points should be kept in mind like:
- Breastfeeding during the first 6 months after birth is mandatory
- Breastfeeding should be continued up to 2 years of age or beyond
- After 6 months of age, breastfeeding along with a variety of safe and nutrient-rich food should be added to the diet. Sugar and salt should not be added to the foods.
Benefits of Healthy Diet
- Controls weight: Balanced and calorie-managed diet helps in maintaining a healthy weight.
- Increases longevity: Healthy diet and regular exercise increases the lifespan
- Boosts productivity: A healthy diet prevents us from becoming lethargic and maintains the energy level.
- Fights diseases: Proper diet plan prevents and manages diseases like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, depression, hypertension, and some types of cancer.
- Enhances mood: Good food affects the part of the brain that regulates mood and reduces stress.
- Reduces wrinkles: Certain food with high water content moisturizes the skin, and keeps it hydrated promoting younger-looking skin.
Effects of Unhealthy Diet
Long-term effects of an unhealthy diet can lead to diabetes, obesity, depression, poor brain function, reduced energy level, increased appetite resulting in weight gain, certain health diseases, mood problems, and slow learning. The choice of living depends entirely on us. Junk foods might cost less than a healthy diet, but the long-term effect on our health is very expensive. Such food tastes good because of high sugar, salt, and fat content making it highly addictive. So, it is suggestive to avoid it as your health should be your prime concern.
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