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Importance of Diet & Nutrition

by Nancy Clarke

About Nancy Clarke

Nancy Clarke began writing in 1988 after achieving her Bachelor of Arts in English and has edited books on medicine, diet, senior care and other health topics. Her related affiliations include work for the American Medical Association and Oregon Health Plan.

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Your diet provides the nutrition you need at every life stage for body function and day-to-day health. You can eat healthy foods that fulfill these criteria, or you can indulge in not-so healthy foods. Your choice may determine how often you get sick, how your children will develop, how much you weigh and even how long your life will be. A poor diet raises your risk for potentially fatal illnesses, such as heart disease.

Your Everyday Health

If you want to avoid colds, flus, dental problems, bone fractures, breathing trouble and many more health issues, pay attention to the nutrition that you get from your diet every day. Vitamin C and other antioxidants ward off infectious disease. Adequate calcium and limited sugar reduce bone and tooth problems. At the same time, these and other nutrients facilitate dozens of body processes that keep your blood flowing and enriched with oxygen. Supporting your metabolism with a balanced diet supplies energy for an active life.

Family Health

Nutrition is especially important for pregnant women and growing children. Women need additional calcium, iron and vitamin B-9, or folate, for instance, for a normal pregnancy and less likelihood of birth defects. Children need adequate calcium, potassium and other minerals and vitamins in order to develop properly. Seniors may require extra calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-12 as the body’s absorption capacity diminishes. Adjusting the foods in your diet will accommodate you or your family members’ changing nutritional demands.

Weight Control

Along with calorie-burning exercise, a nutritious diet serves to control your weight without cycles of fasting or food deprivation. This allows you an uninterrupted stream of the nutrients that you need, unlike unsafe diets that drastically alter your nutrient intake with calorie cuts. A consistent eating plan draws wide-ranging nutrition from all the food groups, within calorie limits. When you expend the calories that you consume, you remain at a healthy weight without dieting.

Long-Term Disease Prevention

Rates of chronic disease development have risen, along with the average weight of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This makes following a sensible diet a critical public health issue, as well as a means for reducing your personal risk for disease. Maintaining an appropriate body weight makes you less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, colon and kidney cancers and heart disease. Eating less saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium also lowers your risk for heart disease. These serious health problems arise over the long term, but can suddenly end your life prematurely.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.