Maintaining healthy eating habits will help reduce the risks of chronic illnesses, promote weight loss, and increase your energy levels. Healthy eating is about making wise decisions regarding the foods that a person puts into their body. Part of practicing healthy eating is eating the right foods and the right portions of that food from all of the food groups in order to maintain high energy levels, optimum health, and just plain feeling good. Healthy eating is a nutritional lifestyle that increases health.
Healthy eating has to be a lifestyle in order to reduce the chance of overeating. “Healthy eating is not a diet. It means making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life” (Healthy Eating: Benefits of a Healthier Diet, 2011). Two of the most common problems that we often see regarding the way we eat is, emotional eating and under eating. The difference in healthy eating and emotional eating is that regular hunger comes about gradually and emotional hunger comes about suddenly, and it is triggered by an individual’s mood.
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Emotional eating is eating to feed your emotions or feelings. Often times emotional eating isn’t about hunger at all, it just feels good and satisfying to eat. Another difference between emotional eating and healthy eating is that emotional eating normally causes you to want certain types of food, most often, not a healthy option which leaves you feeling regretful. One of the best ways to avoid emotional eating is to eat the recommended five meals per day, your three important meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a snack in between. This way you are never hungry.
Sometimes when you go for long periods without eating, emotional hunger will kick in, and you will grab anything in sight to eat no matter if it is healthy or not because emotional hunger gives the feeling that we have to eat right away unlike the gradual occurrence of physical hunger. When you practice healthy eating habits, five small meals a day will reduce the chances of that happening. In most cases under eating is looked at as dieting, but it can easily become an eating disorder. Under eating is often practiced by people that are extremely weight conscious.
Because of fear of gaining weight they will under eat the recommended amount of calories or neglect certain food groups, most likely carbohydrates. The negative effects of under eating are many and can be quite serious. Problems that may develop from under eating include depression, irrational thinking, issues with digestion, skin and hair, and restless sleep, to name a few. The best way to eat and be healthy without depriving the body of what it needs is to be educated on how to balance what you eat and stick to small portions.
Healthy eating involves eating from all of the basic food groups each day to get the necessary vitamins and nutrients. The best way to eat is by staying away from salt, sugars, and fatty foods and adding more veggies, fruits, whole grains, and dairy and protein foods. Many people make the mistake of omitting certain food groups from their diet in an effort to lose weight. However, the most effective way to lose weight and maintain those results as well as good health is to have a balanced diet. A balanced diet means to eat from all of the food groups in the correct amounts.
All of the food groups are essential to good health and give something different to the body. The food groups in whole grain, fruits and veggies, dairy, protein, and fats and sugars. Whole grain foods include pasta, cereal and bread. Whole grains are high in minerals, vitamins and fiber. Fruits and veggies can be eaten a few different ways to get their nutritional value. Whether canned, frozen, or juiced, fruits and veggies have similar nutritional value as whole grains. Proteins are great sources of magnesium, B vitamins, zinc and iron.
Foods that are good sources of protein are poultry, nuts, eggs, beans, meat and fish. Dairy foods include cheese and milk products. A balanced diet of these food groups will likely make us feel good and get us to a comfortable weight and have a more lasting effect. Equally important, eating smart is a controllable risk factor for chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Heart disease is caused by too much plaque inside the arteries. Plaque is made up of calcium, carbohydrates and other things in the blood and can cause blockage to the arteries.
One of the best ways to reduce the chance of heart disease is by eating healthy and incorporating physical activity to your daily routine. Heart disease patients are encouraged to eat more fish and increase omega 3 in their diet. Also, they should consume little to no alcohol. Diabetes is common in individuals who have poor diets. Diabetic patients have to be careful to eat minimal carbohydrates to help keep blood sugars down. High blood sugar comes as a result of the body becoming resistant to insulin, hence, the development of the disease.
Cancer and osteoporosis have also been linked to being overweight. Making sure that there is plenty of vitamin D, antioxidants, and calcium, being consumed along with regular exercise will help reduce the risks of these and other diseases. Maintaining a healthy body weight can cure, delay and prevent the development of diabetes in most people. Likewise, chronic illnesses are not the only health issues that we face if we don’t practice healthy eating. Depending on what a person’s eating habits are, they could be at risk for obesity or anorexia.
Obesity is different from being overweight. When a person is overweight, it can be due to a variety of things such as, water, bone or muscle. Being obese means a person has an excess in body fat. Obesity doesn’t come solely from overeating but also can be promoted by genetics, and lack of physical activity. Eating foods that are high in fat and a lack of exercise can contribute to obesity as well. Being obese has been said to increase the chances of developing arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease to name a few.
The extreme opposite of obesity would be anorexia. Anorexia is a very serious eating disorder and in some cases it is life threatening. Anorexia is said to be a mental disorder where a person refrains from eating in effort to experience significant weight loss. This disorder is brought on by an intense fear of being overweight. Most people that suffer from anorexia reduce their calorie intake to less than 1000 calories per day and exercise more than the recommended amount. A diet of less than 1000 calories a day can result in malnutrition.
Malnutrition is the condition of a body that lacks adequate vitamins and nutrients. This condition, as well as anorexia can cause a variety of illnesses, even death. Being educated on how to obtain and maintain a desired healthy weight by eating the recommended amount of nutritious food is the best tool for a person struggling with anorexia and malnutrition. Additionally, it is important to know that what we eat can affect our metabolism, brain function, mood, and energy levels. The key to getting our metabolism up in the morning is by starting the day with a healthy breakfast.
In order to keep the metabolism burning throughout the day is by eating several small meals a day. When your metabolism is up, so is your energy levels, and as long as your energy is up you can burn calories all throughout the day. While eating healthy is a large part of maintaining optimum health, we shouldn’t forget about exercise. Eating smart accompanied by daily exercise will give us even greater results and will promote a feel good sensation. This feel good sensation is brought on by the release of endorphins that happens while working out.
Endorphins are located in the brain and are natural pain relievers. They promote the feeling of happy. Do you want to live a long, healthy, and happy life? If so, consider changing the way you look at food. Maintaining healthy eating habits will help reduce the risks of chronic illnesses, promote weight loss, and increase your energy levels. You can feel your best by incorporating smart eating habits into your daily regimen. References Emotional Eating: Feeding Your Feelings. WebMD. Online. Internet. 2003. http://www. webmd. com/diet/features/emotional-eating-feeding-your-feelings.