The Importance of Healthy Foods
Today most people understand the importance of healthy food and accept as a fact that “to be healthy” a well-balanced diet is required. Healthy foods are an important issue because healthy eating is important to good health. There are lots of reasons to eat healthy foods, here are just a few:
· For energy and vitality to live
· To grow at a healthy rate
· To help keep blood sugar or glucose levels in balance—not too high or too low
· For weight control
· To control of blood fats and prevention of heart disease
· To keep the body working properly
· To help the body avoid other health problems caused by diabetes
Good nutrition is an important part of healthy foods. Many causes of disease are related to poor nutrition, including heart disease, diabetes, overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. Poor nutrition can also impact day-to-day life by affecting concentration and work performance. For children, a poor diet can have a significant effect on proper growth and development.
People who want to follow a healthier eating plan should try to:
· Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables eaten as part of an everyday diet.
· Buy fresh produce in season for the best prices.
· Select canned fruits and vegetables as a convenient way to include more produce in the diet. Look for fruits canned in light syrup or natural juices.
· For vegetables, choose “No Salt Added” versions if sodium intake is a concern.
· Choose frozen fruits and vegetables, which are available year round and are rich in important nutrients.
· Choose whole grain products when possible. Look for “Whole Wheat Flour” or “Whole Wheat” as the first ingredient on the nutrition facts label.
· Include up to three servings of fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1-2%) milk and milk products each day.
· Select lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts as quality protein sources.
· Focus on choosing food items low in saturated fats, trans-fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
· Use proper serving sizes for all foods to prevent excess calorie consumption. Information on the correct serving sizes for each food group is available at The Food Guide Pyramid.
Many factors can affect the nutritional health of both individuals and communities, including an individual’s knowledge about healthy nutrition, cultural practices related to food choices, and having access to information about an adequate and healthy diet.
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