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Diet - Healthy Eating And Exercise

Dec 27, 2007
Our life and health is impacted every day by the food we eat. Your body needs a constant supply of energy to fuel your heartbeat, breathing, digestion and to help repair body tissue. This energy is measured in calories. To maintain a healthy balance with calorie intake and fat intake in mind, you need to find a balance in the food you choose to eat.

There are five main food groups which people should be eating a varied mixture of on a daily in order to maintain healthy eating. Starchy foods make up one of these groups. Starchy foods refer to bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. These foods are your main source of carbohydrates and make up half of your daily energy intake. You need a sufficient amount of starchy food just like you need a strong amount of dairy products. Dairy products are rich in protein and your best source of vitamin D and Calcium. As well as starchy foods and dairy products you also need some intake of fats and sugar. Your fat intake should not exceed 35% but you should not cut it out of your diet completely as fat is the most energy dense nutrient that your body can get.

Probably the most important out of the five food groups however is fruit and vegetables. It is said that you should have at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. There is strong evidence that by doing this you are reducing the risk of things such as heart disease.

There is strong evidence that suggests by eating healthy you are reducing the risk of illness such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and several types of cancer, including bowel cancer. Having a healthy diet is important and can potentially extend your life.

Healthy eating can however be overlooked when it comes to dieting. The image of slim women is all that greets us in fashion magazines, the music industry and the film industry. These images are burned into our minds as what we should all look like and women and men across the country are doing anything they can to lose weight, including risking their health.

Every where we look there are new diet fads appearing, this is especially evident across the internet. The list of these diets seems never ending and most offer a quick fix to lose weight fast. One of these diets is the Atkins diet. On the Atkins diet you are encouraged to eat all types of meat, cheese, eggs and fats (butter or oils); completely throwing out the fact you are supposed to keep your fat intake down to around 35%. You are also told to limit the amount of carbohydrates you eat on this diet, which again throws out the fact that carbohydrates make up half of your daily energy intake.

Another diet fad that has grown in popularity is the liquid diet. Even though medically it is only really safe to go on this diet if you are going to undergo a medical procedure such as a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy; people are using it as a way of losing weight fast. In certain cases of extreme obesity, a liquid diet is used to make the person lose weight. A liquid diet either partially replaces meals or completely does meaning that your only intake will be fluids such as teas and juices.

A liquid diet could possibly disrupt the natural flow of your body and will not provide you with enough nutrients, energy or protein to get you through the day. A liquid diet will also not teach individuals the requirements of healthy eating to maintain weight loss over a long period of time.

Diet fads are growing more popular but these are just quick fixes and will not help you in a long term sense. The best way in order to loss weight as well as keeping a good balance of the five food groups is to eat the right foods in the right quantity. Cut out sugary snacks and replace them with more fruit intake; vary your diet so you aren't eating the same things over and over.

As well as eating the right type of food you should also start a regular exercise programme which will get you in shape faster than any diet fad will. Regular exercise will not only keep you healthy it could also be the reason as to why you live longer as taking regular exercise will help to prevent against things such as diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Medical guidelines state that healthy adults should be getting at least 30 minutes of intense activity five days a week. This exercise can be anything from walking, mowing the lawn, dancing, cycling, any type of sport, aerobics or even weight training. The key to exercise is finding one that best suits you.

Exercise combined with a good diet, which incorporates all of the five food groups is all you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to lose the weight that you want.
About the Author
Helen Cox is the webmaster of Article Alley, home of all your Health and Fitness article needs.
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