Importance of Good Nutrition
Your food choices each day affect how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Combining good nutrition with physical activity can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and promote your overall health.
The Impact of Nutrition on Your Health
Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity around the world. Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death. These include heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. By making smart food choices, you can help protect yourself from these health problems.
The risk factors for adult chronic diseases, like hypertension and type 2 diabetes, are increasingly seen in younger ages, often a result of unhealthy eating habits and increased weight gain. Dietary habits established in childhood often carry into adulthood, so teaching children how to eat healthy at a young age will help them stay healthy throughout their life.
The link between good nutrition and healthy weight, reduced chronic disease risk, and overall health is too important to ignore. By taking steps to eat healthy and with regular physical activity, you can go a long way in maintaining your overall health.
Here’s a few tips in sticking to your healthy eating plan
1. Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on. They contain more fibre than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer.
2. Always eat your fruit and vegetables. It’s recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced.
3. Fish is your friend. Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week.
4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar. You need some fat in your diet, but it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you’re eating. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay. Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy, and if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.
5. Eat less salt. Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces.
6. Stay hydrated. Always drink plenty of water. The recommended amount is 6 to 8 glasses every day. This is in addition to the fluid you get from the food you eat. Remember to drink more fluids during hot weather or while exercising.
7. Always eat breakfast. A healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet, and can help you get the nutrients you need for good health.