{STEP 1.1}  The Benefits of a Healthy Diet

Understanding the benefits of a healthy diet may be exactly the motivation you need to take on this challenge of a lifetime.

As we age our bodies begin to function at a less-efficient level.  Depending on each of our individual lifestyles, some of us 'age better' than others.  

While there are factors that are out of our control, such as genetics, many depend on the choices we make over the course of our lives.  

Quick-List of Benefits

  • Reduce Risk of Onset Diseases
  • Reduce Signs of Aging
  • Weight Loss & Control
  • Support Digestive Tract
  • Increase Immunity
  • Better Concentration & Mood

Statistics suggest we will likely develop either a degenerative disease over time or contract an infectious disease which our body's immune system is unable to fight.  That will begin the process of pathology and eventually lead to a decline in our health and, eventually, lead to death.

The great news is that a healthy diet has the ability to fight off infectious diseases by providing nourishment to strengthen our immune system and allow it to work at full capacity everyday.  This means less time spent in a doctor's office and less money spent on healthcare expenses!

One of the best benefits of a healthy diet is the ability to slow the onset of degenerative diseases. They are often referred to as lifestyle diseases and are the four leading causes of death, amounting to almost 1.4 million deaths each year in the US alone.

Cancer, heart disease, and stroke all fall into this category.  

Understand Your Diet Determines How Much Risk You Take.

While the quality of our immune system is directly responsible for fighting off bacterial diseases and viruses, the cause of these lifestyle diseases and others are based on risk factors.  The list below details risk factors that are universally accepted throughout the medical community.

Dietary Risk Factors

  • High saturated & trans fat intake
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Low complex carbohydrate intake
  • Low vitamin & mineral intake
  • High sugar intake
  • High sodium intake

Other Risk Factors

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Smoking and tobacco use
  • Stress
  • Environmental contamination

These risk factors exhibit many common characteristics of the modern diet, but look at the positive.  With the exception of genetic predisposition and aging, you have control over eliminating (or at least minimizing) these risk factors.

Live Longer and Healthier in the Long-Term.  Live Smarter and Happier in the Short-Term.

Some scientists who study aging, known as gerontologists believe the maximum life capacity of human could be over 120 years.  These predictions may seem ridiculous but are becoming more realistic as time continues.  

The Guinness Book of World Records acknowledges the oldest person to live was a French woman by the name of Jeanne Calment who died at the age of 122.  The United Nations estimates that there are 316,600 living people over the age of 100, and predict that number to increase 1000% in the next 40 years.  

In addition to effectively extending your healthy life span, there are several, more immediate, benefits of a healthy diet.

Your healthy diet plan will allow your body to operate at maximum efficiency.  A lighter workload for the body means reducing stress and increasing energy.  This alone eliminates two of the most common complaints reported to medical professionals, being decreased energy and high stress levels.

The benefits of a healthy diet on concentration, memory, and temperament have been studied extensively. Studies show a positive link between all three.  Any athlete or individual training should recognize the importance of a healthy diet plan in reaching optimal performance.

Many people suffer from problems within their digestive tract.  These symptoms can potentially be eliminated and simultaneously reduce the risk of cancers in the digestive system by maintaining a healthy diet.  

One of the most visible benefits of a healthy diet is the anti-aging effect on our bodies.  Skin is our largest organ and is the primary layer of protection for our internal tissues.  It is exposed to a variety of sources that cause damage and in order to complete adequate repairs, proper nutrition is needed.  As a rule of thumb, we should treat our skin as our natural indicator for our internal health!

Our skin ages from exposure to free radicals.  Just as metal rusts from exposure to oxygen, free radicals are the rust of our bodies that accumulates over time, damaging our skin and many of our internal body tissues.  Antioxidants stop free radical formation and help us achieve the anti-aging benefits of a healthy diet.

Most Importantly, You'll Lose Weight and Keep It Under Control.

Almost everyone could benefit from losing a few pounds.  The World Health Organization (WHO) believes about 1.4 billion people are overweight.  Obesity in adults has been linked directly to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and gallbladder disease.  The United States Surgeon General declared the issue of obesity an epidemic in 2001.  

An almost guaranteed indirect benefit of a healthy diet plan is to lose weight, and keep it off.  Something any fad diet or weight loss program explicitly refuses to guarantee.  A healthy diet means a healthy weight.

The benefits of a healthy diet plan will postively affect you, internally and externally, mentally and physically, in the short-term and long-run.  Plain and simple, if you care and love yourself, take the next steps and commit yourself to a lifelong healthy diet!

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Action Steps
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Read these articles to get a basic understanding of the concepts...

  1. Benefits of a Healthy Diet:  Reasons to Change Your Life for the Better

  2. What are Carbohydrates and Do You Really Need Them?

  3. What are Lipids and Are They as Scary as They Sound?

  4. What is Protein and How Does My Body Actually Use It?

  5. What is Fiber and Why is It So Important to a Healthy Diet?

  6. What are Vitamins?  For Starters... They're Essential Nutrients

  7. What is a Healthy Diet?  Its Core Components Explained

**As always, feel free to use the navigation below to backtrack and get an overview of Healthy Diet Mentor and our plan to get you on your way to a lifelong healthy diet.

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