Healthy Eating

It is very important that our food contain nutrients, so that we are assured of a good health and long life. Most often, diet means an eating plan, which aims at reducing weight. Diet actually means food taken on regular basis. A balance and nutritious diet gives a healthy life. A balanced diet is achievable through right proportions of foods. A balanced diet offers numerous benefits. Not all the requirements of the body are met through a single food. Different foods contain different vitamins and nutrients. A healthy food or a balance diet enhances the life term and prevents many illnesses. Healthy eating also enables maintaining an acceptable body weight. It increases your fitness and dynamism.

How can I maintain a healthy eating

Maintaining a balanced diet is called healthy eating. Your intake should contain different food groups in the right proportion. The five main food groups are carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, protein, dairy foods and fats and sugar.

Carbohydrates are available in potatoes, rice, cereals, oats and maize. Foods of these items will not add fat in the body. Ample vitamins and minerals are available in fruits and vegetables. They prevent heart diseases and nourish the skin. Proteins build the body and repair it. Meat, eggs, beans and nuts are some sources of protein. Cheese, milk and yoghurt are some examples of dairy foods. They contain large amount of calcium which are essential for bones and teeth. Butter, chocolate, cakes, sweets and ice creams are some sources of fats and sugar. Sugar is essential for generation of calories. Unsaturated fat supports the immune system.

Some interesting statistical information

With the present trend of obese population in the UK, by 2010 one in four people will be obese. Unhealthy eating is the main cause for this.
Premature deaths account to 200000 every year in the UK due to heart diseases and strokes, the cause of which is unbalance diet.
Over 80% of men and about 70% of women take much salt.
A healthy diet prevents cancers, osteoporosis, heart disease, strokes and diabetes.

What are the risks involved with unbalanced diet

Unbalanced diet leads to malnutrition and binge eating. Essential vitamins and minerals are not available in an unbalanced diet. Deficiency of vitamins and minerals can cause the following risks:

  • Lack of vitamin A causes weakness of immune system. Excess of vitamin A can result in weakness of bones in old ages.
  • Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause depression.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency causes anaemia.
  • Deficiency of vitamin C causes aching joints and teeth problems. If vitamin C is absent altogether, it causes scurvy.
  • Deficiency of vitamin D leads to weakness of muscles and bones.
  • Calcium deficiency can cause bone and tooth decay.
  • Folic acid works with vitamin B12. Deficiency of folic acid can cause anaemia and can affect the foetus in pregnant women.
  • Iron deficiency leads to anaemia.
  • Deficiency of magnesium can cause bone and tooth decay.
  • Vitamin B3 deficiency can cause skin problems.
  • Potassium deficiency can lead to arrhythmia, nausea and diarrhoea.
  • Vitamin B2 deficiency can cause dry skin, sensitivity to light and sleep with disturbance.
  • Deficiency of vitamin B1 can cause headache and tiredness.
  • Zinc deficiency can result in hair loss and poor wound healing.

Fats, sugar and salt should be taken at minimal levels to avoid problems such as colorectal cancer, tooth decay and high blood pressure.

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