If you feel confused by all the conflicting nutrition and diet recommendations out there, you’re not alone. It’s really hard not to get lost when one expert tells you one thing and another says exactly the opposite. So, what is “healthy eating” about? If you eat healthy and exercise then you will live longer because one minute of exercising adds one minute to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5000 per month. Of course, it’s a joke, but with a grain of truth.
Healthy eating is not only about longer life; it’s rather about happier life – feeling great, having more energy, improving your look, and stabilizing your mood.
A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition. The requirements for a healthy diet can be met from a variety of plant-based and animal-based foods from all food groups. Nutritious foods nourish your body and give you energy to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
Macronutrients and micronutrients
The seven major classes of nutrients are:
These nutrient classes can be categorized as either macronutrients (needed in relatively large amounts) or micronutrients (needed in smaller quantities). The macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, fiber, proteins, and water. The micronutrients are minerals and vitamins.
Molecules of carbohydrates and fats consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Carbohydrates range from simple monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, galactose) to complex polysaccharides (starch). Protein molecules contain nitrogen atoms in addition to carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. The fundamental components of protein are nitrogen-containing amino acids, some of which are essential in the sense that humans cannot make them internally. Most microorganisms and plants can biosynthesize all 20 standard amino acids, while humans and animals must obtain some of the amino acids from the diet.
Most foods contain a mix of some or all of the nutrient classes, together with other substances. Some nutrients can be stored internally (e.g., the fat-soluble vitamins), while others are required more or less continuously.
Essential and non-essential nutrients
- Essential nutrients are unable to be synthesized in the human body and so must be consumed with food. Some fatty acids, but not all, are essential in the diet: they cannot be synthesized in the body. Also our body cannot manufacture some of the amino acids (termed essential amino acids); the diet must supply them.
- Nonessential nutrients are those nutrients that can be made by the body; they may often also be absorbed from the food we eat.
Healthy eating means a properly balanced diet
A properly balanced diet (in addition to exercise) is also thought to be important for lowering health risks. A poor diet may have an injurious impact on health, causing deficiency diseases such as blindness, anemia, scurvy, preterm birth, stillbirth and cretinism; health-threatening conditions like obesity and metabolic syndrome; and such common chronic systemic diseases as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. A poor diet can cause the stunting of marasmus in chronic cases of malnutrition.
Poor health can be caused by a lack of required nutrients or, in extreme cases, too much of a required nutrient. For example, both salt and water (both absolutely required) will cause illness or even death in too large amounts.
Eating healthy meals can be easy even when you’re busy. All you need is a good plan. Spend a few minutes each week to plan your meals and snacks. This will help get meals on the table faster and save time and money.
Healthy eating starts at the grocery store. It’s easy to make nutritious meals and snacks when your kitchen is stocked with healthier ingredients.
Ten Funny Diet Tips
- Don’t take diet tips too seriously.
- Eat healthy and exercise: one minute of exercising adds one minute to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5000 per month.
- Wear black. Black, really, makes everyone look thinner.
- Stand next to a person fatter than you whenever possible.
- Eat naked and standing in front of a mirror.
- Eat those little things called appetizers until you lose your appetite.
- Always eat your dessert first because life is unsure.
- Get a tan: a ruddy complexion helps you look thinner.
- Always be optimistic: if you have flabby thighs, be happy that your tummy covers them.
- Laugh every day: one minute of laughter kills 1,000 calories