Stay Healthy – Eat Healthy

There is an increasing awareness about maintaining health and wellness, and the best way to stay healthy is to eat healthy. There are three main factors, which helps us in developing a complete healthy body: good diet, regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

Let us begin with diets and have a look on some healthy food groups, which we should consume. It is also essential to see the calorie-content of various foods as elevated calories in food results in health problems such as obesity and diabetes. Health experts believe that a healthy diet can lower the risks of number of life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, heart attack and osteoporosis. Hence, developing, managing and maintaining a good diet has become an essential part of our health routine.

And for doing this we should know the basic difference between a well-balanced diet and a nutritious diet. Although, most of us believe that a well-balanced diet and a nutritious diet are one and the same, in reality they are not!!! A nutritious diet would comprise of foods, which contain all the essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin, fats, carbohydrates and minerals. A well-balanced diet implies a diet that not only contains foods with all the essential nutrients, but also, in correct proportions and adequate amount. Even if you take all the essential nutrients through your daily foods, but if they are not in correct proportions or adequate amounts, you may still have to face the health problems. Therefore, instead of opting for just a nutritious diet, every health-conscious person should opt for a well-balanced diet.

The ingredients of a well-balanced diet differ according to the sex, age and physical fitness of an individual. An older adult may be unable to eat certain foods required to fulfill his/her nutritious requirements. However, a well-balanced diet can help an older adult to get the essential nutrients even through a sparse diet. For example, 100 grams of wheat and 100 grams of rice contain nearly 12 grams and 6.4 grams of protein, respectively. Similarly, 100 grams of ragi and 100 grams of rice contain 344 mg and 9 mg of calcium, respectively. Therefore, by planning a well-balanced diet we can give all the essentials nutrients even with the small amount of foods.

To derive all the essential nutrients from the foods, we shall always need to choose a variety of healthy foods. All the five essential nutrients can be derived, if a diet includes foods from the following groups:

· Green leafy vegetables

· Fresh or seasonal fruits

· Cereals and pulses

· Fish and meat products

· Dairy products such as curd, cheese etc.

Today, obesity and overweight are one of the major factors for life-threatening diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attack and diabetes. Obesity and overweight problems are essentially caused due to not eating correctly and consuming lot of calories. Calories are needed everyday by our body for proper metabolic functioning. However, over-consumption of calories can lead to various health problems. Daily calorie needs of an individual depend on various factors such as age, physical fitness, height and weight and body composition. Hence, you also need to be conscious about the foods, which are calorie rich. Take a look at following figures:

· 28 grams of butter = 200 calories

· 37 grams of potato chips = 200 calories

· 75 grams of burger = 200 calories

· 66 grams of hot dogs = 200 calories

· 385 grams of apples = 200 calories

· 357 grams of green peas = 200 calories

· 588 grams of broccoli = 200 calories

· 1425 grams of celery = 200 calories

Knowing this you would surely choose to buy a few kilograms of apples that provide you other nutrients also rather than to eat burgers or hot dogs to avoid unnecessary calorie intake. Ideally, women require 1940 calories and men require 2550 calories intake in a daily basis. You may also plan a well-balanced and optimum calorie-intake diet by discussing it with your dietician.

Remember, you can avoid a lot of future treatments and medications by maintaining a well-balanced diet and optimizing your health-care.

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