There is a compelling need for many of us to improve our eating habits but exactly what is a healthy diet and what is healthy food? We all need to focus on answering these questions because a massive 64% of people in the USA and 48% of people in Europe are overweight, with the rest of the world looking set to catch up soon. Our knowledge about the impact on our health from what we eat is constantly being updated. Being up to date on what is healthy food can be challenge but is worth it. New evidence now suggests that some foods can slow down the aging process. So you might be pleasantly surprised and encouraged to discover that the answer to the question – what is a healthy diet? – Holds the key to both help you lose weight and slow down how quickly you develop wrinkles and show signs of aging! Before I answer the questions: What is healthy food? And what is a healthy diet? Here are a few more statistics to focus your mind and set the scene on why we should all be concerned about what we eat.
- 27% of Americans are classified as obese
- Obesity is responsible for 325,000 deaths every year
- Obesity costs tens of billions each year in treatment
- 750 million people worldwide are overweight
- Being overweight leads to premature aging, heart disease and diabetes.
If you need more encouragement than this, let me appeal to your vanity – according to the latest research you can age-proof your whole body if you eat smart, do some exercise and de-stress on a daily basis. Who does not want to look and be younger and fitter?
What Is A Healthy Diet?
A healthy diet is based on knowing what is healthy food and healthy food is natural food not processed food. When thinking about what is a healthy diet, the other things to remember are that you need carbohydrates for energy but too many carbohydrates make you fat. You need proteins because they are the building blocks for your body and you need fresh fruits and vegetables because they provide essential vitamins, minerals and other substances that allow your body to function properly.
What Is Healthy Food?
Natural food is healthy food but not all foods are the same, some have greater health giving benefits than others. Recent research suggests that there are foods that have natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. These foods are beneficial in preventing age related illness such as heart disease, diabetes and premature wrinkles. When we are under stress, or undernourished, we produce invisible inflammation inside our bodies that contributes to early aging and age related ill-health. A healthy diet needs to be rich in naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant foods. These include:
- Oily fish – wild salmon, mackerel, sardines
- Seeds, nuts, beans, pulses
- Ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, avocado
- Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables – dark green, red, purple, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables
So what is a healthy diet and what is healthy food … again?
Pack your diet with oily fish, spinach, carrots, squash, kidney beans, red lentils, oranges, red grapes, blueberries, walnuts, almonds, pine kernels, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds … and you will be more likely to live a long and healthy life and look younger for longer.
Eat lots of sugary and processed foods, French fries, full fat dairy foods, white bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, drink lots of cola and coffee and you will most likely be one of the millions of people in the world that is overweight, with more wrinkles and with a much greater risk of getting heart disease and diabetes in later life, to mention but a few of the health problems associated with being overweight.