Some people may question the importance of proper nutrition. They are asking about the benefits of having a balanced diet and choosing nutritious and low in calories. Choosing the right kind of food is beneficial, especially in ensuring a better quality of life.
In the United States, chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are the main causes of disability and death. Moreover, these diseases are the leading drivers of the country’s annual health care costs.
Healthy eating habits prove to be one of the factors if you want to reduce health problems. Some people opt to follow meal plans from wellness programs to be on track with their eating habits. Some hopped into the thought of a healthy diet without realizing the very essence of the words.
You plan to eat healthier. However, it is easier said than done. Choosing to eat healthy means you have to alter your eating habits and patterns all at once. Here are a few tips to start with.
Go for More Plant-based Food
A study published in 2019 revealed that people who choose a plant-based diet have a lower risk of any chronic disease. It added that those who consistently follow plant-based meal plans have a sixteen percent lower risk of having cardiovascular diseases. A possible reason would be these foods tend to have more nutrients and heart-healthy fiber while limiting cholesterol and saturated fat intakes.
You can focus your meal plans on various fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds. They provide plant compounds, vitamins, and minerals having cancer-protective effects. Also, fiber from plant-based food reduces the risk of colorectal cancer.
Limit the Red Meat and Avoid the Processed Ones
Meat is a good source of protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Red meat like beef, pork, and lamb can be part of your meal plan, but it has to be in portions. Too much red meat, however, increases colorectal cancer risks. Some meats also contain higher saturated fats that can trigger the rise of your blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of coronary heart disease if you fail to eat them in moderation.
Meanwhile, processed meats are preserved by curing, salting, smoking, and adding preservatives. Fes examples of processed meat include salami, sausages, bacon, and ham.
For healthier options, if you currently consume more than 90 grams of processed or red meat for healthier options, you can cut it down to 70 grams. Cutting your meat intake will lower your risk of bowel cancer.
Avoid Processed Food and Added Sugar
Get rid of any unhealthy food from your fridge or pantry and start thinking about buying the good and healthy stuff in your kitchen. This way, you have more chances of eating healthy and a lesser chance of having junk food.
Food with higher added sugar lets the liver dump equally higher amounts of fat into the bloodstream. High sugar diet leads to insulin resistance in your tissues and disrupts your endocrine system. The extra food also gives more weight to your body, making your bones weak and having your organs work harder.
Processed food contains added sugar and has a 12% higher risk for cancer. The food additives and supplemental chemicals increase the shelf life of these processed products; however, it exposes the body to potential risks to cancer.
Limit or Even Avoid Alcohol
A study suggests a cardioprotective effect when you consume alcohol. However, it is only if you have a light to moderate consumption of it. Not everyone can avoid alcohol all their life. When you drink too much alcohol, it increases blood pressure, heart failure, and even dementia. Long-term health risks include stroke, liver disease, cancer of the throat, mouth, esophagus, breast, liver, colon, voice box, and rectum. It can also affect your mental health, including depression and anxiety.
How much is too much when we talk about alcohol intake? Alcohol moderation means having two drinks or less in one day for men and a drink or less for women. For adults, drinking less is always better for the body. Also, if you are not used to drinking alcohol, never attempt to start drinking for no reason.