The adage, “You are what you eat,” has survived for generations because it embodies truth. When a person routinely consumes healthful and nourishing food, his chances of being a healthy person skyrocket. The converse is equally true, as a diet filled with junk food and empty calories not only fails to provide necessary nourishment, but also predisposes the body to ailments like heart disease and cancer. In addition, a poor diet robs the immune system of its ability to ward off common colds and viruses. Fortunately, there is a plethora of information available about healthy food choices online on sites such as ConsumerLady.com. There are also many recipe sites dedicated to providing healthful and nutritious recipes.
Being overweight is generally considered a health risk, and puts a strain on the body. For this reason, it is recommended that people keep track of the number of calories they consume each day, which necessitates becoming aware of portion size and possibly portion weight as well. It has been determined that overweight individuals are often unaware that the amount of food they consume is excessive. The average woman needs approximately 2000 calories per day, and the average man, 2500. People who habitually eat more calories than they need will become overweight. Those wishing to lose weight will need to eat fewer calories than their daily allotment stipulates.
The quality of the calories a person consumes often determines his health. So-called “empty” calories are those that come solely from sugar or simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, crackers, pasta made from white flour and the like. Starchy carbs have far less calories than foods high in fat, but whole grain versions, which digest more slowly and include more fibre, are far better choices. Healthful diets are colorful and varied, and include an assortment of vegetables and fruits. Experts recommend that people eat a minimum of five servings of vegetables and fruit daily. Healthful diets may also include lean meats and oily fish, such as salmon or mackerel. The oils in such fish protect both the heart and joints. Parents who set a positive dietary example, and provide healthful food choices for their children help them to establish habits that will benefit them for life.