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July 12, 2024
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eating healthy : What are the benefits of eating healthy?

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We’re often told that we need to follow a healthy, balanced diet, but why is healthy eating important?

In this blog post, we’re going to be looking at the importance of healthy eating and nutrition, including the many benefits that a balanced diet has and the effects of poor nutrition. We’ll also be providing healthy eating tips and advice for creating an ‘eating healthy’ plan to start you on your journey.

Why is eating healthy important?

A healthy diet is important for good health and nutrition. It is essential to protect you against many chronic non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The nutrients in the foods that you eat support the activities of day-to-day living, protect your cells from environmental damage, and repair any cellular damage that might occur.

Supporting your gut health with the right healthy diet and lifestyle is of paramount importance because the gut plays a key role in your digestion and metabolism. Its primary function is the digestion and absorption of nutrients and the excretion of waste. However, 90% of the serotonin in your body also happens to be produced in the gut.

Serotonin is a chemical that carries messages between nerve cells in the brain and throughout your body. It plays a key role in such body functions as mood, sleep, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting, and sexual desire. An unbalanced, unhealthy diet can impair your gut health and impact both your physical and mental well-being.

It is also important to educate children at an early age about eating healthy foods. Eating healthily helps a child to develop both physically and mentally, to maintain their concentration and energy levels, and this helps a child to learn effectively throughout the school day. Instillingstrong eating at a young age forms life-long healthy eating habits and preferences.

Here is some useful information, based on WHO recommendations, to follow a healthy diet, and the benefits of doing so.

Breastfeed babies and young children:

A healthy diet starts early in life; breastfeeding fosters healthy growth. It may have longer-term health benefits, like reducing the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing noncommunicable diseases later in life.

Feeding babies exclusively with breast milk from birth to 6 months of life is important for astrong diet. It is also important to introduce a variety of safe and nutritious complementary foods at 6 months of age while continuing to breastfeed until your child is two years old and beyond.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit:

They are important sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, plant protein, and antioxidants.

People with diets rich in vegetables and fruit have a significantly lower risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Eat less fat:

Fats and oils and concentrated sources of energy. Eating too much, particularly the wrong kinds of fat, like saturated and industrially-produced trans-fat, can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Using unsaturated vegetable oils (olive, soy, sunflower, or corn oil) rather than animal fats or oils high in saturated fats (butter, ghee, lard, coconut, and palm oil) will help you consume healthier fats.

To avoid unhealthy weight gain, consumption of total fat should not exceed 30% of a person’s overall energy intake.

Limit intake of sugars:

For a strong diet, sugars should represent less than 10% of your total energy intake. Reducing it even further to under 5% has additional health benefits.

Choosing fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes, and chocolate helps reduce the consumption of sugar.

Limiting the intake of soft drinks, soda, and other drinks high in sugars (fruit juices, cordials, and syrups, flavored milk, and yogurt drinks) also helps reduce the intake of sugars.

Reduce salt intake:

Keeping your salt intake to less than 5 hours per day helps prevent hypertension and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke in the adult population.

Limiting the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments (soy sauce and fish sauce) when cooking and preparing foods helps reduce salt intake.

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