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Healthy Dietary Patterns

There are many people who believe that the term “healthy” means one thing. However, a healthy diet is much more than eating a balanced diet. A healthy diet has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the risk of cancer, increase bone density, help maintain or improve physical health, improve cognitive function, lower blood pressure, improve skin condition, increase sexual ability, improve work performance, decrease symptoms of depression, and even reduce your risk for diabetes. A healthy lifestyle will keep you feeling good and help to prolong your life!

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A healthy diet consists of eating a balanced diet full of nutrients for every day consumption. A healthy diet gives your body the right nutrients: minerals, micro-nutrients, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. These nutrients provide many of the nutrients our bodies need to function properly, but many foods do not contain the proper proportions of these essential nutrients. For instance, a diet high in fat could be bad for your heart and therefore very unhealthy, while a diet low in fat and high in fiber would be better for your body and could improve your heart health.

Eating healthy means more than eating a balanced diet. For example, whole grains are important for improving brain function and physical health, while refined carbohydrates such as white bread and refined sugar are not good for you at all. Whole grains consist of essential fiber and complex carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and refined sugar are digested too quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels which cause problems for your long term health. Thus, a healthy diet must include both whole grains and refined carbohydrates.

Eating healthy dietary patterns entails eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, fiber-rich legumes, and nuts and seeds. Fruits and vegetables are very low in calories and high in nutrients. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure that you get a good amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, fiber, and phytochemicals essential to good health. Legumes and nuts and seeds are rich in protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. These nutrients can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Refined sugar is another problem. You should reduce or eliminate refined sugar from your diet completely. Foods high in calories include chocolate, sweets, cakes, and cookies. These foods add a lot of unnecessary sugar to your diet. This sugar contributes to weight gain, especially in women, and contributes to the development of many types of cancer.

Always remember that your diet is not what you eat but how much of those foods you consume. Eat a varied, healthy diet consisting of plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, fish, poultry, and nuts and seeds whenever possible. Your goal should be to eat as many of these foods as possible.