What is healthy eating? There are so many fad diets that it can be difficult to figure out what is healthy eating. Is it gluten free? Fat free? Carb free?
The key to healthy eating, according the mounting research, is to eat a more plant-based diet. That type of healthy eating seems to be the key to health and a long life. But, don’t worry, you don’t have to go to extremes and become a vegan saint, or even a vegetarian.
An article in ABC Health News recently explained the power of plant-based diets.
What is Healthy Eating?
The research suggests that healthy eating means eating more vegetables, whole grains and legumes. This healthy eating plan can help prevent many diseases. Healthy eating may reduce your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and even dementia.
According to Dietitian Sue Radd eating a plant-based healthy diet means focusing your food intake on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
The Research Answers the Question of What is a Healthy Diet
The answer is think “plant power.” You don’t have to shun all meat and fish, just make plant-based foods the base of your diet.
Nutrition expert Dr. Rosemary Stanton criticizes the current emphasis on certain nutrients such as calcium and iron. Instead, she advises us to focus more on the types of food we eat. Aim for eating a balanced diet from all food groups. When we do that, we will get the nutrients we need for a healthy diet.
What is Healthy Eating? Here’s the Science
Growing evidence suggests plant-based diets may help us better manage or reduce the risk of developing many chronic health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity and dementia.
For instance, the plant-heavy ‘DASH diet‘ has been found to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It also reduces the overall risk of conditions like heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney stones, and diabetes.
The Australian Heart Foundation’s Chief Medical Adviser, Professor Garry Jennings, says heart disease develops over decades and prevention measures are much more effective if they start early. People who suffer from heart disease are usually prescribed statins. Professor Jennings states that “I would consider a healthy diet and statins to be complementary rather than alternatives.”
According to Ms. Radd, “We used to quote years ago that 30 to 40 per cent of cancers are associated with your diet and lifestyle. A recent meta-analysis has shown it’s closer to 60 per cent.”
Healthy eating is a first step in reducing your cancer risk. The American Heart Association now recommends that we eat 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. A recent survey showed that people who ate 7 or more portions per day of fruit and vegetables had a 42% lower chance of dying.
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