The food you eat may have a major impact on your overall health. This is one of the reasons people should eat a healthy balanced diet. Sticking to a healthy food plan may yield many positive health benefits - including reducing the risk of some chronic diseases.

A well-balanced diet can give you all of the energy you need to feel active all day, supply you with all of the nutrients you need to growl, help you stay healthy and strong, and help you reduce the risk of diseases that may be related to diets, such as type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, stroke, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and osteoporosis.

Eating smart means adopting a healthy diet that includes nutrient-dense foods from all food groups - they include lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. A healthy, smart diet should also avoid foods laden with trans fat, extra salt, and sugar. You can treat yourself with a sweet treat now and then, but trying to avoid sugars most of the time is recommended, 

Eating smart can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, improve the health of your heart and stave off illness. Eating smart doesn’t mean you have to pay through the nose for ingredients or shop at speciality stores for rare superfoods, but rather eating a balanced diet and making sure you don’t overeat. If you’re looking for convenience you can have organic food delivered to your door, so you don’t have to go anywhere to eat healthily. 

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fish provides your body with monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids, nutrients that are good for your heart. A diet rich in these nutrients also makes it easy to avoid trans fat. This type of fat is unhealthy in several ways, including being linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Excess salt and saturated fat in your diet can lead to high blood pressure. In 2018, around one in four deaths in Australia were linked to cardiovascular disease, and around 1.2 million Australian adults live with one or more conditions related to cardiac or vascular diseases. The easiest way to avoid becoming part of this alarming statistic is to stick to a healthy diet.

A diet rich in calcium can help guarantee you maintain strong bones and teeth. Calcium loss may lead to degenerative disease osteoporosis. This disease, often associated with old age, leads to brittle bones that break easily. Eating foods rich in calcium such as dairy (milk, yoghurt and cheese), soy products that have been fortified with calcium (for vegans or the lactose intolerant), canned fish with bones (such as sardines or pilchards), leafy greens such as spinach or curly kale, and legumes can help you maintain healthy and strong bones and teeth. 

Your skin is your largest organ, so it stands to reason that what you eat can affect the appearance and health of your skin. Diets rich in healthy fats (such as avocados, walnuts, fatty fish), omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids (such as fatty fish, walnuts), vitamin E (such as sunflower seeds, walnuts, fatty fish, avocados), vitamin A (such as sweet potato, brassicas, carrots, capsicum), vitamin C (such as oranges, carrots, capsicum, tomatoes) and antioxidants (such as dark chocolate, green tea, blueberries), can help preserve the health and youthful look of your skin.

Similarly, eating a diet rich in these nutrients can also maintain the health and lustre of your hair.

Your diet may increase or decrease your risk of developing cancer. Diets high in fat and low in fibre may increase the risk of bowel, lung, prostate, uterine and other cancers. Similarly, processed or overcooked meat may increase your risk of developing some cancers. 

On the flip side of the coin, whole grains, such as Oats, brown rice, corn, rye, kidney beans and lentils may help guard against several cancers

One of the major causes of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes is obesity. Maintaining a healthy diet and adhering to portion control can help you lose weight and keep it off, drastically reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Brain food isn’t simply a phrase referring to something you should ponder. Your diet may affect your brain in several ways, and eating healthily may increase brain and memory function. Omega 3 fatty acids (fatty fish), antioxidants (blueberries, green tea, turmeric, coffee), vitamin K (broccoli), zinc, iron, magnesium and copper are all essential for brain health so should be included in any smart eating plan. 

Children tend to learn a lot from their parents and other adults around them. Children tend to learn eating habits from their parents, so parents who tend to eat healthily are directly showing their kids how to do the same. 

According to research, children who eat with their families tend to eat more vegetables than junk or sugary food, compared to children who don't eat with their families. In addition, children that help their parents in cooking are more likely to eat healthily. 

Before launching into any diet or significant lifestyle change, you should make time to talk to your doctor. They will be able to give you advice on any nutrients you should be concentrating on or help you find a diet that is right for your needs. If you need to book an appointment to see a doctor, the fastest and easiest way to search and book online is through MyHealth1st. 

Originally written 23rd February 2021


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