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The Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle

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The Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle

Kelly Merryfield, Featured Writer

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In 1995, only 12.9% of citizens in New Hampshire were obese. By 2016, it had spiked up to 26.5%. Obesity is not only on the rise in New Hampshire but in all of America. Obesity is associated with a variety of health problems such as diabetes. People with a body mass index of 35 or higher are 93 times more likely to develop diabetes. In addition, those who are obese are also at a much higher risk of coronary artery disease, strokes, and have a 53% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Clearly, something needs to be done to save the lives of our loved ones. A great start is to educate ourselves on the importance of healthy eating.

Healthy eating is not a diet, but a lifestyle change. It is not about calorie counting, but the nutritional value of the foods that you eat. Harvard plate and myplate.gov demonstrate this well. Each food group is important; vegetables, fruit, grain, protein, oil, and dairy. Vegetables should make up a majority of what you consume, with fruit following closing behind. All vegetables provide vitamin C. Vitamin C reinforces your immune system, protecting you from diseases.

Fruit is also an important aspect of your diet. Fruit consumption is crucial because it contains an abundance of vitamins. Providing your body with a variety of mixed fruits gives your body the mix of nutrients that it needs because there is no single fruit that can provide everything you need. Fruit also typically contains large quantities of water. Fruit such as watermelon contains 92% water which contributes to maintaining hydration.

In addition, grain is an important factor in one’s diet. This is because it contains fiber. Fiber helps to improve bowel function. Foods that contain fiber are also more likely to make you feel full and satisfied with fewer calories than other foods. In addition, consuming whole grain foods can help reduce your chances of getting heart disease.

Protein is also an important factor in one’s diet. Protein is broken down into three amino acids during digestion. Amino acids are important when it comes to maintaining good health. The three types of amino acids are Essential, Nonessential, and Conditional. Essential amino acids are not produced by the body; so it is important to consume foods high in protein in order to obtain the proper amount of amino acids. The amount of protein needed depends on the individual’s calorie intake. However, a person who consumes 2,000 calories a day should use 20% of their calories on protein.

Not only is it important to have a balanced diet, but you also need to be conscious of portion sizes. Whether it is at restaurants or at home, portion sizes are often misunderstood. In restaurants, they often give absurd portions that are much larger than they should be to make the customer feel that they are getting a lot for what they paid for. However, if we ate like this every day of our lives, we all could very easily become obese. A portion of protein is supposed to be the size of your fist. However, portions of meat in restaurants are usually more than double that size.

Healthy eating is not something that should be looked at as a chore. Healthy eating is crucial to ensure a healthy mind and body. Making sure that you have a proper intake of the essential vitamins, amino acids, and food groups can be so simple. It is worth it to put in the little extra effort. Be conscious of your food decisions. It will help you in the present and future!

 

Works Cited

Harvard. “Healthy Eating Plate & Healthy Eating Pyramid.” Www.hsph.harvard.edu,

“Health Risks.” Obesity Prevention Source, 13 Apr. 2016,

“Nutrients and Health Benefits.” Choose MyPlate, 12 Jan. 2016,

What Is a Serving?” Www.heart.org, American Heart Association,

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The Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle