In this article, we will discuss how to maintain a healthy diet so that you can enjoy a healthy body well into your old age.
What Is A Healthy Body?
What is a healthy body? To me, it is a body that has the following characteristics:
- A body that can move with ease and is pain-free.
- All organs, joints, and muscles perform well on a daily basis.
- A healthy body feels light and energetic and does not tire easily.
- A healthy person has a certain glow.
- A healthy body doesn’t succumb to weather conditions or catch bugs easily.
- A healthy body can protect and prevent itself from the onset of diseases.
When people ask themselves what is a healthy body, they often confuse health with fitness.
Health and fitness are two very different aspects of well being, and just because a person is fit, does not mean that he or she automatically has a healthy body. Obviously, it is ideal to try and aim for a balance in both these departments.
It is far easier to get a fit body than it is to get a healthy body. Most people are so focused on the external that they lose sight of what they should be putting into their bodies for the ultimate health.
There is so much information out there it is easy to get lost and confused. We either get stunned with information overload and don’t do anything. Or we follow trends without proper understanding. Either way, we have lost that connection to our human body and don’t know how to help it.
In trying to reconnect with ourselves, let’s get down to basics and put into context the meaning of a healthy body. Not what you think it means.
Oxforddictionaries.com defines ‘Health’ as:
- The state of being free from illness or injury.
- A person’s mental or physical condition.
- The absence of disease or infirmity.
Our Amazing Human Body
According to Wikipedia, “The human body is the entire structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organs and systems. They ensure homeostasis and the viability of the human body.”
The human body is basically a collection of cells.
As the Buddha said, “To keep the body in good health is our duty, otherwise we will not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” The mind resides in the body after all.
Before we talk about how to maintain a healthy diet, let’s go back to the basics of what a healthy body needs. This all boils down to how to maintain a healthy diet.
The first important basic is to allow the body to have enough rest.
Throughout the night, our body is working to repair and maintain body parts that are not functioning well. Therefore, depriving ourselves of sleep will cause us to feel weak and eventually feel fatigued. On the other hand, when we are fully rested our body can easily repair cells and gain enough strength and energy for the next day.
When we keep our body consistently healthy we can handle stress easily and we will become more resilient to any infection. In addition, a well-maintained body can effectively fight back chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many more. More than that, these diseases can be prevented when we are maintaining a healthy body through exercise and proper
The next basic is exercise.
It is a well-known fact that we can keep our body healthy when we feed it with the proper nutrition and at the same time do regular exercise. Physical exercise is known to be very effective in keeping our body working properly. This is because a good exercise routine can strengthen the immune system which is responsible for defending our body against any diseases. Furthermore, it can also improve our body’s digestion, blood circulation, and musculoskeletal function.
The more time we spend exercising the more calories we burn. Based
on studies, when we exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, our food
intake will be reduced from high to average. This also means that our
calorie intake will be balanced, which in turn will help us to control our weight.
How To Maintain A Healthy Diet Without Dieting
When it comes to the subject of weight loss, the first thing that comes to mind is dieting.
However, it is not actually dieting that will help us maintain a healthy weight but it is eating the right foods. Common sense would tell us that when we eat less nutritional food, we are not feeding our body with enough nutrients that it needs to function properly.
Therefore, when our body is not properly nourished, there is a tendency to get sick because our body parts cannot function well.
If you eat healthily, you won’t need to diet.
Again, the answer to weight problems is not short-term dietary programs that give out fast results. The key is feeding our body with the right food, having healthy lifestyles and engaging ourselves in regular physical exercise. In short, we don’t need to get quick results, we need to get lasting results the natural way.
The good thing about losing weight the right way is that it does not only give us long-lasting effects, it will also help us to stay healthy and look younger as we age. Here’s some advice on how to maintain a healthy diet.
Choose a healthy lifestyle over a short-term diet. Apparently, when it comes to staying fit and healthy there is no such thing as a quick fix. It should be done gradually to get permanent results.
Although prevalent diets can help you get a good start on your weight loss objective, it’s definitely not the type of package that will give you lasting benefits.
Make good changes slowly but consistently. Remember, it is not a race, just making good choices and being consistent.
You need to make yourself achievable and effective goals in order for you stay motivated. When temptation attacks, focus more on the long-term benefits that you will receive rather than the temporary ones.
You may need to experiment in order to find just the right sort of diet for you.
Over the last few years, diet programs have evolved. A few of the most popular diets are the Atkins Diet, Zone Diet, Vegetarian Diet, South Beach Diet, Mediterranean Diet, and Raw Food Diet.
Most of these types of diets are not good for you long term, but let’s look at the Raw Diet, as I see a lot of benefits in this one as it helps tremendously when working out how to maintain a healthy diet.
How To Maintain A Healthy Diet Using Raw Food
The way raw diet enthusiasts describe this regime is “it’s like a magical potion handed to you in a salad plate”.
A raw diet is distinguished by food that has been heated to a certain level, normally around 104 to 115 degrees. The reason for this is that when the food is heated too much, the enzymes will be destroyed and when they’re destroyed, we will not be able to get all the essential benefits from them.
However, there are disputes to this claim. While it is true that cooking destroys the enzymes, eating raw food will not give much of more benefit. This is because as soon as the food reaches the acidic nature of the stomach, the enzymes will also be destroyed.
Thus, the same thing occurs in whichever process you prepare the food.
Having said that, the real reason why the raw diet is perceived as an effective method of maintaining a healthy weight and body is that it’s a plant-based diet which is known in helping us to move in a healthier path.
Most of the raw diet enthusiasts are vegan because it is 70 to 80 percent plant-based diet. Basically, when you go for a raw diet, you should be ready to eat fresh fruits and vegetables all the time as well as other raw products such as unpasteurized milk, raw meat and the like.
On the subject of losing weight, raw diets can deliver great results as long as the rules are being followed. The general rule is to eat a smaller amount of calories in order to weigh less. But the final question is, while this has several benefits, will there be a health risk that goes with the raw diet? The answer is yes! When you are practicing the raw diet, you have to avoid food poisoning as it is common when food is uncooked.
There is no doubt that eating vegetables will make you healthy. The question is, will drinking vegetable juices give out equally healthy benefits?
How To Maintain A Healthy Diet Juicing
Juicing will allow you to consume more vitamins and antioxidants for an obvious reason; you can consume more vegetables when it is in liquid form compared to when you eat vegetables in solid form.
Studies show that drinking the juice of raw vegetables help fight back chronic diseases such as immune disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers, skin diseases and many others.
Furthermore, drinking raw vegetable juices is very good for your digestion because your digestive system uses less energy to digest and liquefy food.
Then again, we need to understand that juices are not created the same except when done freshly. For bottled juices, make sure to read the labels because highly concentrated fruit juices can significantly increase blood sugar levels, aside from the fact that they have less nutritional value, as they have been standing and been treated to avoid spoiling.
To conclude, it is best to prepare fruit and vegetable juices yourself to ensure optimum benefits. To enjoy it more, you can try combining a few types of fruits and veggies while you experiment until you find your favorites.
There are also popular mixes such as blending leafy vegetable like spinach and
cucumber, mixed with apple or carrot to add some sweetness.
Natural Or Organic?
Over the years there has been a lot of confusion concerning natural and organic foods when working out how to maintain a healthy diet.
Many people cannot differentiate natural foods from organic food, maybe because of how it is labeled and marketed. However, if we study deeper, there is, in fact, a major distinction between the two.
Organic food is defined as all foods that are grown in the absence of pesticides, fertilizers, irradiation, growth hormones, antibiotics and genetic engineering. Furthermore, it is the product of organic farming where the system used in growing foods enhances biodiversity, soil biological activity, and biological cycles.
Natural food, on the other hand, is foods that are prepared with little or no preservatives as well as chemical additives that are usually present in other processed products.
While it is true that organic foods will lessen the chemicals and pesticides that you get from chemically processed foods, it doesn’t mean that you get more health benefits out of it because even non-organic foods are still within the safety levels and therefore organic foods are not necessarily more nutritious. The reason why other people choose organic foods over traditional is that they taste better, but in terms of health, there is not much of a difference.
What About Carbs In The Quest Of How To Maintain A Healthy Diet
Dietary carbohydrates, also known as saccharine have actual sugars and starches that are responsible for providing energy to humans, animals, and even plants.
Carbs in a real sense have advantages and disadvantages, especially since right now food production has dramatically changed as well as how food is consumed. Carbs have two types, monosaccharides, and polysaccharides.
Monosaccharides can be easily digested and absorbed by the body. They are found in fruits and specific dairy products. Other sources of simple carbohydrates are pasta, white bread, and white sugar.
Polysaccharides, on the other hand, take a longer period of time to be digested and absorbed by the body. They are normally found in vegetables, legumes, whole grain bread, brown rice and the like. Basically, unrefined grains are good sources of complex carbs compared to refined grains, this is because the filtering process generally removes the fiber and nutrients present in grains.
Therefore, eating unrefined grain products will give you longer lasting energy. Getting the right amount of good carbs is key when working out how to maintain a healthy diet.
While carbs are essential in the body, we must make sure that we are eating the right ones. To do that, we need to understand carbs even better and know how to use them to our advantage. The catch is, we need to eat the right carbs that our body needs in order for us to sustain the right energy.
It is recommended by the experts that for an adult’s dietary energy, 40 to 65% percent of it must come from carbs and around 10% of it should be simple carbs. Too many cravings of high-glycemic foods will not only make us fat but also increases the risk of acquiring diabetes. Talking about diabetes and weight problems, cutting all carbs in your diet is definitely not the solution.
Carbohydrates are very important in providing our body with enough nutrients, vitamins and soluble fiber that is good for maintaining healthy sugar and cholesterol levels.
So how do we choose the right carbs?
Switch from low- glycemic foods and reduce calorie intake to at most 250-500 calories per day. Moreover, allow yourself to consume 20g to 35g of fiber in a day. One of the best sources of fiber is whole grain foods. Protein is known to be very low in carbs. Consume foods that are lean in protein such as nonfat dairy products, skinless poultry, tofu, legumes, and fish.
Avoid foods that are high in saturated fats like pork, high-fat dairy products, and beef.
How To Maintain A Healthy Diet By Choosing The Right Fats
We are perfectly created, therefore even fats have an important role to
Having said this, what is a fat and what is it used for?
Fat stores energy while it shields our vital organs. It is also known as the passage system of fat-soluble vitamins. Basically, we need fats in our body but only in moderation.
Eating fat in large amounts will make us grow heavier and will increase the chances of obesity.
To stay in the health scope, we must only consume at most 55 to 60 grams of fats per day.
There are several types of fat and they are categorized into two broad categories which are, “The bad fats” and “The good fats”. Each type has different effects on your health when it comes to how to maintain a healthy diet.
The bad fats are identified as Trans fat and Saturated fat. When vegetable oil undergoes a certain process called hydrogenation, trans fat is formed. This process causes the oil to harden; as a result, hard fats are produced.
Moreover, trans fat increases bad cholesterol and decreases good cholesterol levels, this condition increases the risk of having heart disease. The most common
sources of bad fats in our daily diet are fried food, cakes, pastries, cookies and the like.
Saturated fat works in the same way with trans fat. It increases bad cholesterol levels that cause heart diseases. Some of the identified sources of saturated fat are fatty meat, margarine, dairy products that contain high fat and other food prepared
with coconut milk and palm-based vegetable oil.
On the other hand, the two good fats are polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. These two reduce the bad cholesterol in the body which in effect will keep the body healthy and away from chronic diseases.
Polyunsaturated fat reduces the dangers of blood clotting and decreases the risk of heart problems. Its major sources are the food rich in omega-3 like sardines, mackerel, salmon and longtail shad. Other sources are canola oil, walnuts, sunflower oil, soybean oil and the like. Monounsaturated fat also reduces
bad cholesterol in the body. The foods that are rich in monounsaturated fat are peanut oils, nuts, canola oil and olive oil.
Apparently, it is easier to exceed fats consumption than to stay on average. But now that you already know the types of fats and their benefits, always choose the good over the bad.
Also, strive to consume fats in moderation as even good fats when taken excessively can be harmful to your health.
Is It Healthy To Be A Vegetarian?
A vegetarian is a person who prefers eating vegetables and no meat at all.
However, it does not mean that they don’t eat foods other than vegetables, they still eat other food but strictly no meat. Many people try to go vegetarian because of health and weight loss benefits.
Know The Facts
A lot of people are lured to vegetarianism for many different reasons. Some want to live healthier and longer lives, others would love to preserve animals and there are some who just want to shed some pounds through eating pure vegetables.
Vegetarian diets will protect you against most types of diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
In addition, vegetarians get more fiber than meat eaters. This is because veggies are rich in fiber and at the same time they are high in antioxidants that will keep you healthy and younger looking.
Being vegetarian is also effective in losing weight because it is plant-based. What is good about it is that you lose weight without even measuring the calories that you have consumed and best of all you don’t feel hungry as you can eat whenever you want to.
The more vegetables you eat the more fiber you get that can help you regulate your bowels which is also a good prevention for colon cancer.
However, eating balanced meals and snacks requires some extra effort when you are a vegetarian.
Because vegetarians take out certain foods from their diets, they often need to work to add in foods that will provide the same nutrients found in animal products. By eating a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, soy products, and whole grains, vegetarians can get adequate nutrients from non–meat sources.
Vegetarians, especially vegans, need to pay attention when it comes to how to maintain a healthy diet, as they need to make sure they are getting enough protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and omega–3 fatty acids.
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Trusting that this has helped you see how to maintain a healthy diet. Please comment below if you have any questions.
I am in the process of trying to eat healthfully and trying to maintain a healthy diet, I cant say it is easy and this is why i have been searching for ideas.
I certainly wouldn’t say i have a healthy body:(
I am not to keen on eating raw food it doesn’t really appeal to me.
Juicing sounds right up my street so i will deffo be doing that:)
Thanks for the info on choosing the right carbs and choosing the right fats this is a big help to me.
With bread should i cut that out altogether as it does seem to bloat me?
I would only cut out bread if you have an allergy to gluten. There are many healthier bread options on the market today, so we need never deprive ourselves of what we love to eat.
Your article is very resourceful and thorough. I didn’t know cookies are unhealthy as I take them almost everyday. May I know if chicken is healthier option compared to pork? I also wonder about the margarine I have which says that it is without cholesterol and with Onega 3&6. In your article, margarine is not healthy. In the case of the margarine that I have, is it a healthier option?
I prefer chicken to pork, although I can’t say which is healthier. I suppose if you cut the fat off of both, they should be fine.
I am a firm believer that butter is a healthier option than margarine, even if there are additives that supposedly make margarine healthier. The more natural the better, and most margarine is basically plastic. Obviously don’t go overboard with the butter though.
Thanks for the article it is very interesting and there is so much information in it. I completely agree with you about how most of us focus on the external factors and end up dieting. When if we maintained a healthier lifestyle overall we wouldn’t have to!
A few years ago I changed to not eating any processed foods, cut out dairy, sugar and gluten – i felt better and a lot of common aches and pains I get went away. Now I am back to eating all food groups but little processed food – my aches and pains are back…mysterious but telling.
Thanks for all the info!
Makes you think hey. I really believe that how you feel is directly related to what you put into your body.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing those words of wisdom.