The Health Benefits Of Healthy Eating Habits And A Balanced Diet
In nutrition, the diet is the total amount of food ingested by an animal or human being. Diets can be broken down into two broad categories, based on how they are prepared and the calories in them. These categories are carbohydrate and protein diets. Each has its own purpose, while all of them together form the dietary requirements of humans. For those people who are not familiar with the two concepts, here is an overview:
Carbohydrates are found in many foods, including rice, bread, pasta and cereals; fruits such as oranges and grapes; beans; vegetables such as spinach and tomatoes; nuts such as almonds and pecans; legumes such as lentils and black beans; and alcoholic beverages. Proteins are found in meats such as beef, chicken, pork and lamb. Foods that contain both carbohydrates and proteins include grains such as oats, barley and wheat. Nutrients are the following:
A well-balanced diet will provide the appropriate balance of these foods. Ideally, a diet should contain carbohydrates, proteins and fats in small to moderate proportions. There is some controversy about whether the recommended percentage of fat in the diet is too high. For most people, though, the goal is to maintain or lose the weight within recommended limits, rather than going outside the narrow range of 20% over one’s desired safe level.
One study comparing carbohydrate diets to high-fat diets showed that the low-carbohydrate diet promoted weight gain, while the high-fat diet promoted weight loss in people with a similar body size. Another study comparing low-calorie and high-fibre diets showed no significant difference in weight loss, but those on the low-calorie diet gained more pounds. However, people who adhered to the high-fibre diet lost more pounds over the four-week trial period. No one is sure why this happened. One theory suggests that because people on the diets had to pay more attention to food, their metabolisms were also different and therefore would respond more to the foods and likely to lose weight more easily.
In conclusion, healthy eating habits are most effective when they are part of an overall program. If weight loss is the goal, one should combine diet and exercise in such a way that both efforts are focused on a common end point. This can be accomplished by planning a balanced diet composed of foods from each food group and creating regular physical activity. The combination of diet and exercise is believed to be most effective for long-term weight control.
Adhering to a healthy diet may help maintain weight and prevent further weight gain. Changing eating habits may help individuals lose and maintain weight. A healthy diet may help decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer. It can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and may promote better glucose control. Finally, healthy eating habits and a balanced diet may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a disease affecting almost one in five Americans.