A healthy diet can be defined as a balanced and controlled intake of food that provides the essential nourishment for the body to help improve and maintain good health in general. Healthy diet typically contains all the nutrients in an acceptable quantity and also provides the body with the adequate amount of calories.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has given the following nutrition guidelines for a healthy living:
- Restrict salt and sugar intake
- Refrain from consuming fats
- Ensure that your calorie intake is the same as the energy consumed by your body
- Increase the amount of plant foods in your diet
- Do not consume contaminated food
Importance of nutrition in minimizing health risks
Some of the most prominent cancer research institutes, both in the USA as well as around the world, emphasize on a vegetarian diet consisting of fruits, vegetables and nuts. Also, according to them, regularly consuming a diet comprising of different colors of plant foods including green, red and yellow plays a vital role in prevention of cancer and obesity.
Rochester University Medical Center recently published an article on the role of nutrition in the prevention of diseases according to which proper nutrition, when combined with regular exercise, greatly minimizes the risk of cholesterol, heart diseases, blood pressure, obesity, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Also according to the article, lowering the intake of carbonated beverages, refined foods, and red meat will have a positive effect over health in general.
Healthy diets include mostly plant foods, but meat can also be consumed in moderation as long as it's lean meat such as fish and poultry instead of high fat meat such as red meat. Also, it is advisable to bake or boil meat as an alternative to deep frying.
Nutrition awareness programs
The United States government has introduced several successful programs in the past decade to promote the awareness of a healthy diet and the importance of proper nutrition among the general public, especially in low-income areas. This initiative was taken mainly in order to reduce obesity, which has increasingly been a major concern in the United States. Nutrition is also an integral part of school curriculum in several schools across the world.
Nutrition and health
Research has undeniably pointed to evidence that nutrition is, in fact, one of the most important aspects of healthy living. Good nutrition is directly related to good health, and it is wiser to eat healthy and prevent diseases. As the age-old proverb goes, prevention is better than cure.