Food provides our bodies with energy, but not all food is created equal. Understanding how diet affects your health is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The foods we eat impact our physical and mental health in various ways, from improving our overall well-being to increasing our risk of illness and disease. However, the link between physical and mental health and diet means that poor nutrition can have the opposite effect and lead to mental illness, weight gain, and sickness.
Today, we’ll explore the relationship between diet and health and provide some tips to help you maintain a healthier diet.
The Benefits of Healthy Eating
Healthy lifestyles start with balanced diets. Nutrients in foods help our bodies perform necessary functions and impact growth and development. There are many benefits of healthy eating, including:
- Better immune systems
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Reduced risk of chronic illnesses, including type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers
- Improved digestive system functionality
- Help in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
- Supported muscle development
- Healthier skin, teeth, and eyes
- Better mental health
In addition to these substantial benefits, a balanced diet supports healthy growth and brain development in children.
The Impact and Risks of Poor Nutrition and Unhealthy Diets
The United States is facing a pandemic, but it’s not one caused by viruses or bacteria.
Sedentary lifestyles and poor diets have led to a sharp decline in the health of Americans, including the prevalence of heart disease, cancer, and stroke, the three leading causes of death in the U.S.
Moreover, federal healthcare spending has grown exponentially in the last 50 years, and around 85% of federal dollars spent on healthcare go toward managing diet-related chronic illnesses. Poor diet and health impairment go hand in hand and contribute to many health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease and stroke
- Tooth decay and tooth loss
- Type-2 diabetes
- Some cancers
- Eating disorders
- Worsening of mental health conditions
3 Easy Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Diet
Now that you know how diet affects your health, it’s time to take action! Here are three easy tips for maintaining a healthy diet.
1. Get Into the Habit of Reading Nutrition Labels
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has begun a new initiative to help consumers make better food choices and maintain a healthy diet. Updated nutrition fact labels on food help the public understand the link between chronic illness and diet and provide more specific nutritional information.
We recommend that you always review nutrition labels to help you reach targeted nutrition goals like protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins while limiting other nutrients, such as sugar, sodium, and cholesterol.
2. Eat Moderate Portions
Overeating is one of the leading causes of obesity and puts you at a higher risk of developing chronic illnesses. Additionally, exercising portion control will make it easier to eat what you want while maintaining a balanced diet.
There are many ways you can reduce your portion sizes without giving up the foods you love, including:
- Using a smaller plate
- Drinking a glass of water before your meal
- Ensuring at least half of your plate is full of veggies
- Eating more fiber
- Waiting at least 20 minutes before getting seconds
- Checking food labels for suggested serving sizes
3. Eat a Variety of Nutrition-Filled Foods
Your body needs more than 40 different nutrients, so mix up the foods you eat. Eating the same meals every day can lead to poor diet and nutrition deficiency, even if you’re otherwise eating healthier foods.
Be sure to look at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate initiative to learn more about the vegetables, fruits, protein foods, dairy, and grains you should include in your diet.
Find More Health and Nutrition Resources and Information with Truvy
Maintaining a healthy diet can help you reduce your risk of chronic illness and depression and help you live longer. Additionally, arming yourself with information and resources on health and nutrition can help you make healthier choices and improve your health and wellness.
Thankfully, Truvy is committed to making healthy living easier. Visit our blog for more tips on health, nutrition, and steps to living a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle.