Eating healthy is more than just about losing weight. It’s about feeding your body the nutrients it needs so you can thrive. And when you follow this diet, there are more benefits than just losing weight.
What Is Healthy Eating?
The word healthy is subjective, which is why many people have been calling healthy eating balanced eating instead. The idea instead is that you are eating a balanced diet of nutrient-dense foods from all of the major food groups. This means getting your proteins, grains, fats, and fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Benefits of Healthy Eating
Improved Heart Health
The CDC has stated that the leading cause of death for adults in the United States is heart disease. And heart disease can be any of the following: heart attack, arrhythmia, or heart failure. But what if you could reverse heart disease? You can with healthy eating!
Heart-healthy foods are:
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products
- Fish and poultry
- Beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
- Limiting saturated fats and trans fat (commonly found in fatty meats and full-fat dairy products)
- Limiting foods and drinks containing added sugars (sometimes low-fat can mean higher added sugars, make sure to read the nutrition label!)
- Consuming less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day
- Hiber fiber foods, found in beans, lentils, and high-fiber vegetables and fruits
By eating healthy, you’re not only providing fuel for your body, but also protecting your heart. A healthy and balanced diet will reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Reduced Cancer Risk
The CDC states that “Cancer is caused when the cells divide uncontrollably and spread into the surrounding tissues.” So to lower the risk of cancer, one must prevent cells from dividing. While that might sound hard, it’s as simple as eating antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the cells from damage by removing free radicals. Without free radicals in the body, there is a lower chance of cancer.
Here are foods high in antioxidants:
- Berries like blueberries and raspberries
- Dark, leafy greens like spinach
- Pumpkin and carrots
- Nuts and seeds
These foods contain antioxidants like beta carotene, lycopene, and vitamins A, C, and E. A study from the National Cancer Institute found a link between laboratory and animal studies. It shows that certain antioxidants have reduced free radical damage that causes cancer.
Increase in Mood
Besides being healthy inside and out, your brain will also thank you for it. There is a reason the gut is called the second brain! There’s a strong relationship between food and mood. Think about how you feel after a balanced and filling meal. Are you energized? Now, think about the last time you ate fast food or junk food. You were probably feeling sleepy and cathartic.
This is due to your glycemic index. A 2016 study found that a diet with a high glycemic index can trigger symptoms of depression and fatigue in people who have obesity but are otherwise healthy. A high glycemic index shows up after consuming refined carbs like sodas, cakes, white bread, and biscuits. Meanwhile, healthy and balanced foods like vegetables, whole foods, and whole grains have a lower glycemic index.
There is also research to show that our gut health will also determine our mood. One found a link between the Mediterranean diet that’s full of fresh, whole foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, limiting poultry, eggs, and dairy products, and rarely eating red meat) and better mental health.
Other benefits of healthy eating include:
- Improved gut health when eating fermented foods
- Improved memory when following a Mediterranean diet
- Managing diabetes
- Strong bones and teeth when eating calcium-rich foods like dairy, kale, broccoli, tofu, and plant-based milks
Overall, eating healthy and balanced will not only promote weight loss but will drastically improve your health too. You might not see it, but you’ll feel it!
All of this can easily feel overwhelming when you’re trying to ensure you're eating all the right foods and nutrients. Wayt can help! Our Whey Protein can help you meet your protein needs when needing something in a pinch (like after a workout!). Or if eating fruits and vegetables is hard for you, our Organic Greens or Essential Multi can easily fill in the blanks in your diet. If you’re wanting to improve your gut health and microbiome, check out our Probiotic!