Benefits of Healthy Eating

The benefits of healthy eating are many, and they depend on which nutritious foods you consume. You can improve your heart health, your weight, and your bone health by making good food choices.

Benefits of Healthy Eating
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It is easy to grab a hamburger from a fast food restaurant or order a pizza when you are tired and do not feel like cooking. However, eating food high in fat and bad carbohydrates will affect your health in negative ways. Eating a healthy diet may take some getting used to, but it has many benefits for your health.
Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke
Research studies funded by many organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Mayo Clinic and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), prove that eating a diet high in fiber and low in saturated fat can help prevent the risk of heart disease and strokes. Fiber is in whole grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables. Saturated fat is in meats such as beef, pork, veal and lamb, as well as in whole milk and products such as cheese, ice cream, hard shortening or lard, and butter. Dark fish, poultry (without the skin), and vegetable oils such as olive and canola are low in saturated fat. The USDA Pyramid website provides more information and minimum recommended daily amounts of these foods (see Resources).
Preventing Obesity, Diabetes and Osteoporosis
Originally published to help people lower their risk for stroke by the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, the "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension" (DASH) also lowers the risk of obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis. The Nutrition Education Services division of the Oregon Dairy Council website features information, recipes, shopping guides and meal planners to help you follow the diet (see Resources).
More Energy
Eating healthy foods gives you more energy than eating a diet that includes fast food and junk foods such as cookies, pies, cakes, candy and potato chips. "Prevention" magazine reports foods that increase energy and prevent fatigue (see Resources). It also has many tips about planning meals and what foods to eat so you will have energy all day. Some of these foods are fresh orange juice, peanut butter sandwiches on whole grain bread and high protein foods such as soy burgers.
Resources
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NHLBI
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USDA Food Pyramid
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Prevention Magazine: Energy Foods
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Oregon DASH Diet Eating Plan

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