The importance of a balanced diet, dietary fiber, dietary fats as well as an organic diet
What does a balanced diet include?
A healthy, balanced diet includes the following nutrients:
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Carbohydrates which include starch and fiber
- Healthy fats
You can get these nutrients from eating a variety of foods from the 5 main food groups. The 5 food groups include:
If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can still get all your protein from food and do not always need to turn to supplements. You can eat legumes, beans, nuts and tofu just to give you an idea of protein substitutes.
Importance of a balanced diet
A balanced diet ensures that your body is getting enough nutrients it needs to work effectively. It helps your body work at its optimal. When you eat a balanced diet, you feel good and are less prone to disease, bloating, muscle aches, pain, fatigue, and infection.
Children who do not eat a balanced diet may face growth and developmental problems. They can also suffer from poor academic performance as well as get sick often. It is easier to teach kids at a young age to eat healthy to not develop bad eating habits that are hard to break when they get older.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest said that four of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States are directly linked to diet. Some of the causes include:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
The importance of dietary fibre
Fibre is important to help keep your gut healthy, your heart healthy, and reduce your risk of diabetes. It is estimated that only 5% of the American population meet the adequate intake of the daily fiber recommendation.
One of the more common benefits of dietary fiber is the effect it has on your gut. A 2009 study shows the positive impact fiber has on gastrointestinal disorders such as:
- Diverticular disease
- Colorectal ulcer
- Hiatal hernias
Another study from 2019 concluded that people who increased their dietary fiber intake increased their weight loss.
The importance of dietary fat
You do need healthy fats in your diet to help your body function properly. Fat is a source of essential fatty acids. These acids cannot be made by your body. Fat helps the body absorb Vitamin A, Vitamin D as well as Vitamin E. These vitamins are known as fat-soluble vitamins. This means that they can only be absorbed with the help of healthy fats.
Fats help your body store energy, insulate your body, as well as help, protect your vital organs. Think of fats as messengers that help proteins in your body do their jobs correctly.
A study shows that after decades of focusing on low-fat diets, many consumers, food manufacturers as well as restaurateurs remain confused about the role of dietary fats on disease risk and sources of healthy fats. The researchers concluded that educating yourself on healthy fats and including them in your diet will help you become healthier.
The benefits of an organic diet
Eating organic foods means that you are exposed less to pesticides and GMOs that are given to livestock. Organic foods are not healthier in terms of nutrition levels. You are going to get the same benefits between organic foods and non-organic foods.
With that being said, organic diets do lead to less pesticide and antibiotic exposure. Being exposed to pesticides long term can cause chronic illness and diseases.
Other benefits include:
- Better tasting food
- Stronger immune system- less processed food in your diet
- Organic foods are not genetically modified
- Food is fresh
A recent study in France followed 70,000 adults for five years. They found that those who ate organic developed 25% fewer cancers than those who did not eat organic. Other studies have shown that eating organic food has been associated with a lower risk of diabetes, pre-eclampsia as well as genital birth defects.
The importance of diet and exercise
Regular exercise and a balanced diet is essential for maintaining physical and mental health as well as your overall well-being. Diet and exercise do not only help prevent excess weight gain, but it also helps improve your sleep and mood. Physical activity helps improve brain-related function as well as outcomes.
Some of the diseases that regular exercise and a balanced diet can prevent include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
When it comes to exercise, in general, you should aim for at least 2.5 hours of medium intensity exercise per week. Mixing aerobics with weight training or sports is a great way for you to vary your workouts.
Make sure that you stretch before and after your workouts. Drink plenty of water and if you are feeling pain, stop and take a break. You do not want to hurt yourself whilst trying to get healthy.
You can take a few small steps to increase your overall health:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walk to the shops in your neighbourhood instead of drive
- Drink water instead of fizzy drinks
- Cut sugar out of your coffee and tea
- Try to cut down on your bread intake
- Walk the dog
- Eat healthier snacks- make your own dried fruit, have fruit and vegetables instead of chips
- Cut out processed foods
A healthy, balanced diet, as well as a regular exercise routine, will keep your mind and body healthy and young. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans explain how much each nutrient you should consume daily.
In the United States, 36.5% of adults are obese. A further 32.5% of American adults are overweight. Together, more than two-thirds of adults in the U.S are overweight or obese. You can change this by having a healthy diet and exercising to keep your weight down, your heart healthy and your mind focused.
If you would like to learn more about healthy diets such as the organic diet, click on the article to learn more: