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What are the benefits of eating healthy?

What are the benefits of eating healthy?

A healthful diet typically includes nutrient-dense foods from all major food groups, including lean proteins, whole grains, healthful fats, and fruits and vegetables of many colors.

Healthful eating also means replacing foods that contain trans fats, added salt, and sugar with more nutritious options.

Following a healthful diet has many health benefits, including building strong bones, protecting the heart, preventing disease, and boosting mood.

This article looks at the top 10 benefits of a healthful diet, and the evidence behind them.

1. Heart health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in the United States.

The American Heart Association (AHA) state that almost half of U.S. adults live with some form of cardiovascular disease.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a growing concern in the U.S. The condition can lead to heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.

Some sources report that it is possible to prevent up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke diagnoses with lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity and healthful eating.

The foods people eat can reduce their blood pressure and help keep their heart healthy.

The dietary approaches to stop hypertension diet, known as the DASH diet, includes plenty of healthful foods for the heart. The program recommends the following:

  • eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • choosing fat-free or low fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
  • limiting saturated and trans fat intake, such as fatty meats and full-fat dairy products
  • limiting drinks and foods that contain added sugars
  • restricting sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day — ideally 1,500 mg daily— and increasing consumption of potassium, magnesium, and calcium

High fiber foods are also crucial for keeping the heart healthy.

The AHA state that dietary fiber helps improve blood cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

The medical community has long recognized the link between trans fats and heart-related illnesses, such as coronary heart disease.

Limiting certain types of fats can also improve heart health. For instance, eliminating trans fats reduces the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This type of cholesterol causes plaque to collect within the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Reducing blood pressure can also promote heart health. A person can achieve this by limiting their salt intake to no more than 1,500 milligrams per day.

Food manufacturers add salt to many processed and fast foods, and a person who wishes to lower their blood pressure should avoid these products.

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