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Today’s society is always on the go, with hectic work schedules and other responsibilities that limit the amount of time spent paying attention to eating habits. America’s society has become accustom to eating on the go, which has led to people relying on fast food. Fast food however is not necessarily a healthy alternative to a healthy well-balanced home cooked meal. A healthy diet improves one’s health because proper nourishment allows the body to heal from illness and disease.
Choosing to eat a healthy diet rather than a diet high in saturated fats will make an improvement in one’s health. Various studies have proven a well balanced diet is to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and oils, and regular exercise is better for the body. Paying attention to the types of nutrients the body needs to function in a healthy way will make a difference in one’s health. A healthy diet needs to consist of a variation of foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and a regular exercise regimen. Raw fruits and vegetables contain a high quantity of the essential nutrients that bodies need to be healthy.
Without proper nourishment, our bodies are more susceptible to illness and diseases. For example, type two diabetes and heart disease to name just a few of the health complications that are associated with poor diet choices. The possibilities of other health problems are possible when diets are high in bad fats and cholesterol. By caring for our bodies with a balanced diet there will be a lessened chance for developing various illnesses and diseases. The body is like a machine that requires proper fuel and maintenance to continue running at its best performance levels.
A well balanced diet would include whole grains such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice. The body is able to use the good carbohydrates from this type of grain. Good carbohydrates supply our bodies with the energy that we need to be active and help control blood sugar and insulin levels from rising and falling too quickly. Healthy fats and oils are also an important part of a healthy diet. Healthy fats and oils include olive, canola, sunflower, and corn oils are good to include in a balanced diet. A variety of fruits and vegetables eaten raw or cooked has several benefits. However, fruits and vegetables retain more nutrients when consumed in a raw state. There should be a significant source of protein, fiber, and minerals included in a balanced diet. Proteins, fibers and other valuable minerals exist in nuts and beans such as garbanzo or navy beans, walnuts, and pistachios. A well balanced diet will include fish for the omega-3 and chicken or turkey as a source of protein. When planning a healthy diet there needs to be a source of vitamin D, this can come from dairy products such as low fat milk or cheese or in the form of a supplement. At last red meat and butter, this is what our bodies need the least. Red meat contains high amounts of saturated fats with little to no nutritional value. The other foods that should be consumed sparingly include white bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and other sugary foods, these foods are high in the carbohydrates our bodies do not need (Harvard School of Public Health, 2005).
A healthy diet nourishes the body so we can perform at optimal levels. When consuming the vitamins and minerals needed, there will be an increased energy level. The benefits of a healthy diet will include a lower risk of colon problems, heart disease, and diabetes. A properly nourished body can resist germs and bacteria better than a body that is relying on an unhealthy diet regimen. This is difficult to do when going out to eat at the average restaurants on a regular basis. Although there are restaurants that serve healthy menus and are conscious of the fact that some people choose to eat healthier low fat foods. The menu items offered at many restaurants often include foods deep-fried or smothered with condiments that include unnecessary fats, and cholesterol. Even though many popular fast food restaurants are improving, the menus to include low fat alternatives to the traditional menu items there are better choices. These fast food menu items can be prepared at home in a much healthier manner. Cooking at home allows more choices in low fat and leaner options. For example, home cooked meals provider more control over making choices like choosing skinless chicken over beef and fat free dressings for salads versus full calories dressings.
The food society consumes plays a significant role in the body’s ability to prevent and recover from illness and disease. When someone’s body is healthy because of eating properly and getting regular exercise there is a decreased risk of illness. Although a person is less likely to become sick when healthy, diet exists. It is probable that everyone will catch a cold or virus at some time in life. Fortunately, some foods can help treat the symptoms. Some research has shown that there is truth to chicken soup being good for treating the symptoms of a cold. Boiling chicken releases amino acids into the water turning the water to a broth that has many healthy elements that improve the symptoms of a cold. When this broth is inhaled, the steam will thin mucus and relieve inflammation making it easier to breathe (Rutecki, 2009). Garlic has shown to have an effect on cancer cells. Allyl sulfate along with other compounds in garlic have shown to damage cancer cells in a greater way than normal cells (National Cancer Institute, 2008). The effect that garlic has on cancer cells is being researched to learn more about how this information can be applied to help treat and prevent cancer. At the World Diabetes Congress conference, researchers reported a diet rich in pulses and nuts have an effect on glycemic levels in patients with type two diabetes. The effect was comparable to taking prescription medications (Johnson, 2009). Early studies show that there is a chance a low fat vegan diet can improve or even reverse the diabetes disease (Nicholson, 2008). Changing the diet to control diabetes would allow a person to rely less on medications. If diabetics could rely less on medications is would improve the quality of life for these people.
The websites discussed in this section are easily accessible providing the public with information about how to eat healthy. Sites exist with examples of healthy foods, how to prepare these foods in a variety ways and ideas for daily exercise routines. One site that provides an abundance of information is the Harvard School of Public Health. The Harvard School of Public Health is available to the public to provide information about healthy eating. The site is full of information and suggestion to teach people about why and how to eat healthy. The Healthy Eating Pyramid developed at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition determined that the foundation for a healthy diet is regular exercise and balanced nutrition. This pyramid is an easy to follow example of a healthy diet. The diagram is colorful and designed to be easy to use as a guide to develop healthy eating habits. The pyramid shows picture examples of the optimal food choices in each category. Using this pyramid to structure a balanced diet is a resourceful tool in learning how to eat healthy (Harvard School of Public Health, 2007). The United States Government has taken action to help protect and educate the public by appointing an independent agency known as the Food Standard Agency to protect the public. This agency is to conduct research related to setting food standards for the American people. The Food Standard Agency decides what is safe for people to consume and how foods are stored and handled in a variety of settings. The other responsibility of the agency is to determine what is healthy to consume and in what amounts. This agency offers a wide array of resources to provide information relevant to a healthy diet. The website also provides information that describes in what manner the research is conducted and the results of the research. These two sites are educational sources of information meant to inform the public about the best way to make healthy diet choices.
Anyway, one looks at it a healthy diet improves the body’s health because proper nourishment allows the body to heal from illness and disease. Some changes in eating habits like eating home cooked meals more often, choosing healthier menu items when eating out, and utilizing information that is available to make healthier diet choices are all examples of what can improve one’s health. Any positive change in a person’s diet will make an improvement in someone’s health.
Johnson, K. (2009, Nov. 15). Dietary nuts and pulses beneficial in diabetes.(ENDOCRINOLOGY)(Report). Internal Medicine News, 42.20, p.36(1). Retrieved from the University of Phoenix Library Gale PowerSearch
National Cancer Institute, (2008). “Garlic and cancer prevention: fact sheet.” Pamphlet by: National Cancer Institute. Retrieved from the University of Phoenix Library Gale PowerSearch database.
Nicholson, A. (2005). Diabetes: Can a Vegan Diet Reverse Diabetes? Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Retrieved From http://www.pcrm.org/health/clinres/diabetes.html
The Nutrition Source, (2007) Staying Active Every Body’s Path to Better Health, Reaping the Benefits of Exercise. Harvard School of Public Health, para. 3. Retrieved from http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/staying-active/staying-active-full-story/index.html
The Nutrition Source, (2005) Food Pyramids: What Should You Really Eat. Harvard School of Public Health. Retrieved from http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/pyramid-full-story/index.html
Rutecki, G.(May 2009). Does mother always know best? What the evidence shows: bundle up, drink chicken soup, get plenty of sleep–are these motherly maxims supported by clinical data?(Top Papers Of The Month: Articles You Don’t Want To Miss). Consultant, 49.5,p.e13.Retrieved from the University of Phoenix Library Gale PowerSearch database.
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