The Four Best Foods For Healthy Food Lovers
The Healthy Food Guide from Healthline combines ten different components of a good diet to help you live a healthier life. A quality diet is a balanced diet which helps to maintain or enhance overall health. A good diet gives the body essential nutrients: minerals, vitamins, proteins, and sufficient food energy. By eating healthy, you can improve your overall health; reduce the risk of many types of cancer; and improve the functioning of the immune system. The Healthy Food Guide also discusses the basics of nutrition – what kinds of foods provide the nutrients that we need and how much of each we need.
It’s no secret that most Western diets are lacking in essential nutrients. Fat is one of the most important ingredients of healthy foods, but too much fat – or the wrong kind of fat – can be a source of problems for the heart and lungs. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average American eats about one gram of fat per pound of body weight. Even more troubling is that there are links to heart disease and other health problems that are associated with high levels of dietary fat.
That’s why it is a good idea to limit the amount of fat intake that you consume. The Healthy Food Guide suggests that you eat lean meats, low-fat dairy products, seafood, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and moderate in fat intake. In addition, the US Department of Health recommends that people between the ages of 2 and 20 should limit their fat intake by 20% of total calories consumed each day. This includes intake of fast food, chips, sweets, fried foods, dried mixes, confections, and alcoholic beverages.
Eating healthy fats such as those found in nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, sunflower seeds, olives, sesame seeds, canola oil, peanut butter, and fish oil is important. Healthier fats may reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that eating a variety of foods high in unsaturated fats along with low-fat dairy products was beneficial for reducing the risk of heart disease. However, the foods that provide the most healthy fats are those high in unsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds, olives, sesame seeds, canola oil, and fish oil.
People should also watch their sodium intake. The American Heart Association recommends limiting the total amount of sodium to 2% of your total daily intake. However, some sources suggested that unsaturated fats are even more beneficial when added to help limit your sodium consumption. Unsaturated fats, which also include omega 3 fatty acids found in nuts and seeds, may help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. They may also help decrease the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
One final food group that is often overlooked when it comes to good nutrition and good health is the dairy products. Milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream all contain some of the most important nutrients to be found in whole foods. In fact, it is those dairy products that are often thought of first as good choices for weight loss or management of certain medical conditions, such as heart disease and osteoporosis. If you drink any milk, especially regular milk, at all, you should make sure that you read labels to see what kind of fat and calcium is contained in the product. While it may help your overall health, the addition of extra fat and calcium to your diet can be unnecessary and possibly even harmful if taken at an elevated level.