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Healthy Diet

What Foods Create a Healthy Diet?

Following a healthy diet is about more than losing weight. Some people just want to stay healthy or improve their health. They're not really concerned with weight loss. If you fall into this category, then you're probably not interested in one of the hundreds of weight loss diets available today. It can be difficult learning how to eat properly if you're not interested in following a specific, short–term diet.

This article lists some nutritional guidelines that will help you stay healthy and prevent disease. It's not about weight loss. The guidelines here are strictly to help you change your eating habits, and develop a healthy diet to follow indefinitely.

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How to Have a Healthy Diet

Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet. Your body needs carbohydrates in order to get enough energy. Examples of carbohydrates include grains, peas, corn, and starchy vegetables. You can also get carbohydrates from fruits, milk, and other sweets.

It's recommended that you get at least 45 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates. You should limit your intake of sweets, such as candy. Instead, try to get most of your carbohydrates from whole grains, beans, fruits, and milk.

Another part of a healthy diet is protein. Your body already has a lot of protein. It's found in your skin, bones, muscles, and tissues. Your blood, enzymes, and hormones also contain protein. Your body needs a steady supply of protein to keep everything working like it should. Good sources of protein are meat, seafood, diary, beans, and nuts. At least 10 percent of your daily calories should come from protein.

Believe it or not, a healthy diet should also include a bit of fat. Fat is more important than most people realize. Fat is necessary because it aids your body in absorbing vitamins, it helps protect your immune system, and it helps your cell membranes function properly. The catch is that you can't get too much fat. Too much fat will quickly turn a healthy diet bad. Too much fat in your diet will cause weight gain, and increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart attack.

You shouldn't get more than 35 percent of your daily calories from fat. And the fat you do get should be healthy fat, such as nuts, olive oil, or canola oil. If you must eat anything that contains saturated fat, it shouldn't be more than 10 percent of your daily calorie intake. Another type of fat is trans fat. This type of fat is commonly found in commercial baked goods and fried foods. This type of fat is really bad for you, and should be avoided whenever possible.

Cholesterol is also an important part of a healthy diet, but just like fat, too much cholesterol can be bad. Your body creates its own cholesterol to aid in proper cell function. But when you foods high in cholesterol your body gets too much. It's best to limit your intake of meat, eggs, and dairy products because they are high in cholesterol.

You should also include fiber and sodium in your healthy diet. Fiber helps prevent constipation, and can help lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Good sources of fiber include vegetables, whole grains, apples, and oranges. Sodium is commonly known as salt. It helps your body maintain the proper balance of fluids. However, too much sodium can cause high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke. Sodium occurs naturally in food, and really shouldn't be added.

If you practice portion control, pay attention to food labels, and get regular exercise, your health and weight will benefit from following a healthy diet.

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