The importance of eating healthy is one of the first lessons you get in life. Parents cajole and make up little stories to encourage young children to take “just one more bite” of that vegetable or meat instead of simply handing over a cookie.
When children become adults, the responsibility of making good food choices shifts. Now, you take charge of the nutritional decisions for yourself and your family, and sometimes the phrase “you are what you eat” comes back to bite you.
If your idea of a snack is a bag of salty potato chips instead of a piece of fruit, you’re not alone. According to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, an estimated half of all American adults suffer from a preventable diet-related health condition.
The good news is that no matter how old you are, making changes in your diet can make a positive impact on your overall health. The highly skilled team at Cardio Metabolic Institute reminds you that the importance of eating a balanced diet never goes out of style. Here’s our take on how good nutrition benefits your whole body.
It’s more than just a weight issue
For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about eating healthy is losing weight or weight management. And it’s true that when you make prudent food choices, you’re much more likely to maintain a normal weight.
Being overweight or obese places you at risk for a variety of adverse health issues ranging from increased stress and strain on your bones and muscles to osteoarthritis, lethargy, sleep apnea, and even certain forms of cancer. You can control your risk by making smart nutrition choices.
Lower risk for developing chronic diseases
Eating a poor diet — packed with sugar, salt, and processed food — stacks the odds against you when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, but the negative impacts just don’t stop there. When you choose fatty, fried foods over lean meats and pick up a candy bar instead of an apple, you increase your risk of developing chronic conditions like strokes and cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes.
Think not just about portion control, but about variety. Eating foods packed in nutrients like lean proteins such as poultry, fish, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and fruits and vegetables may not only lower your risk to developing chronic health conditions, but also provide your body with the fuel to operate efficiently and productively for years to come. After all, chasing your grandkids in the backyard is so much more fun than watching them on the sidelines because you can’t keep up.
Heal and recover better
Another big plus to eating a balanced, healthy diet is that it allows you to bounce back quicker, to heal and recover after injuries or getting sick. It basically comes down to your body working more efficiently when you provide it with the best fuel.
Remember that old car you had when you were younger? You know, the one that required higher-octane gasoline? You knew you were supposed to buy the more expensive fuel, but you just didn’t. And the car didn’t run as well, did it? With nutrition and your body, it’s the same principle.
Your body is wired to heal — to naturally attack infections, illnesses, and injuries. But if you don’t provide it with the best fuel, your immune system can’t work at optimum capacity. Making changes in your food choices not only can keep your diet fun and interesting, but it literally can save your life.
If you’d like to learn more about good nutrition, make an appointment at Cardio Metabolic Institute in Somerset, Monroe Township, or East Brunswick, New Jersey, to check out our personalized nutrition services and our Wellness and Fitness Center. For an appointment at the office nearest you, click or call today.