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Healthy Eating: A Key Component of a Healthy Lifestyle
by: Kathi MacNaughton
Why is healthy eating so important?

You hear a lot today about the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle. It's all over the media ... almost everywhere you look. You can't turn around without hearing about low carb diets, such as The Atkins diet, the South Beach Diet, The Zone Diet, and lots of other healthy eating trends for losing weight and other benefits.

So is eating healthy nothing more than the latest fad? The answer is a resounding NO!

Healthy eating has always been an important factor in building a healthy mind, a healthy body, and a healthy spirit. That has never been truer than it is today. One of the reasons you hear more about eating healthy these days is because-—thanks to the discoveries of modern medicine-—experts now know so much more about the direct and powerful benefits of making healthy food choices.


No matter what your health status is currently, eating healthy can help you improve it. Healthy diets can also provide protection against a whole host of conditions and diseases, including...

* heart disease
* diabetes
* obesity
* cancer
* high blood pressure
* high cholesterol
* osteoarthritis

And when you eat healthy, you'll enjoy so many more benefits too, such as:

* Healthier cholesterol levels
* Higher energy levels and greater endurance
* Improved sleep
* Better concentration and focus
* Weight loss (if needed)
* Improved appearance and self esteem
* Fewer visits to doctors
* Increased ability to fight infections


So what do we mean exactly by the term "healthy diet?" Eating healthy is nothing more than making wise food choices each and every day about what you eat. In general, a healthy diet is all about keeping things in balance. It is also one that...

* is moderate in complex carbohydrates, such as beans, vegetables, and grains
is low in fat, especially saturated fat and cholesterol

* includes protein, such as meat, poultry, fish, and tofu

* is high in fiber, which is in fresh vegetables and fruits as well as whole-grain breads and some cereals

* is low in sugary foods and sweets
includes only moderate amounts of alcohol

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, changing your eating habits must be for keeps. Healthy eating can't be something you do for only a few days, weeks, or even months. Sure, you may enjoy some short-term benefits. But if you want to lower your risk for illness and disease and maintain a healthy weight, the changes you make must be ones that you can stick with for life.

About the author:
Kathi MacNaughton is a registered nurse and consumer health writer. For more information on eating healthy, visit

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