A healthy diet consists of a variety of food groups that meet certain nutritional needs and which are low in saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol, and sugar. A healthy diet is definitely one which helps to maintain or enhance general health. A healthy diet gives the body vital nutrition: sufficient vitamins, minerals, proteins, and essential fats. It is said that the diet is the best way to control one’s weight if an individual maintains his weight by eating a well-balanced meal and making frequent small but frequent snacks. A healthy diet is absolutely essential for individuals who want to have a slim, lean, and firm body.
In spite of a healthy diet, many people usually feel that they are not getting all the nutrients that they need. Sometimes, it happens that an individual may feel tired and weak without having taken any kind of vitamins or minerals. Some individuals even suffer from chronic diseases such as obesity, high cholesterol, heart diseases, diabetes, etc, as a result of deficiency of vitamins and minerals.
The benefits of a healthy diet include strengthening the bones, enhancing the immune system, reducing the risk of various kinds of cancer, etc. Most doctors recommend healthy eating habits as the best way to reduce or prevent the risks of several kinds of cancers. In fact, several new studies have revealed that diets rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta carotene, lycopene, etc., can help protect the human body from cancer-causing carcinogens such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, occupational chemicals, etc. A healthy diet, therefore, can prevent diseases such as colon cancer, breast cancer, etc., from developing.
Processed foods, on the other hand, are those that are highly processed and contain mostly artificial ingredients, refined sugars, salt, and fat. These foods are highly nutritious but highly lacking in dietary fiber, necessary nutrients, and calories. Studies have shown that most people gain weight due to the excessive consumption of processed foods. Moreover, experts argue that these foods are more easily digested than fresh foods. Because of this, they contain higher calories, which lead to weight gain.
An unhealthy diet usually consists of mostly junk foods, sugary and processed foods, etc. Processed foods often lack the nutrients and vitamins needed by the body. Therefore, a healthy diet consists mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, dairy products, poultry, and eggs. Fresh fruits and vegetables consist of a large number of nutritious ingredients, which the body needs. When the portion sizes of the unhealthy foods are decreased, the body loses nutrients, and its ability to absorb vitamins and minerals.
Unhealthy diets also contain too much fat and too many calories. Excess calories can be converted into fat, which increases the risk of heart disease. Unhealthy fats include saturated fats (found in meat, milk, cheese), trans fats, and other forms of hydrogenated fats, and sugar. To keep the percentage of total calories lower, a diet should include a healthy amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and natural fibers.