- High-quality nutrition, such as a diet high in fiber from fruits and vegetables, can reduce risks of health issues like stroke and support heart health.
- Unhealthy food items such as potato chips, processed and unprocessed red meat, and sugar-infused beverages should be avoided.
- Increasing intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, while reducing consumption of sweetened drinks and saturated fats can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes by nearly 20 percent.
- The most beneficial dietary regimes consist of a surprisingly small array of wholesome foods, challenging the ‘everything in moderation’ concept.
- Healthier food choices begin at the supermarket, focusing more on the outer sections stocked with fresh produce, low-fat dairy, seafood, and poultry and less on the aisles with packaged and processed foods.
Continued discoveries in nutritional science emphasize the critical nature of focusing on food quality for prevention of weight gain and extension of lifespan.
The Power of Quality Nutrition
Several dietary approaches could be beneficial. For instance, a diet high in fiber, particularly from fruits and vegetables, has shown potential in reducing the risk of stroke. The DASH-style diet, abundant in whole grains and minimizing red meat, supports heart health by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. Similarly, the Mediterranean-style diet, which primarily includes olive oil as a main fat source and emphasizes plant-based foods, has been praised for its potential to extend lifespan.
The principles from each of these diets can be amalgamated for improving the overall quality of your diet and aiding in achieving health goals. In fact, a study conducted at Harvard University suggests that increasing intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, along with reducing consumption of sweetened drinks and saturated fats can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes by nearly 20 percent.
What to Avoid
It’s equally important to be aware of unhealthy food items that should be avoided. Another study at Harvard University identified specific culprits that dive obesity – potato chips, processed and unprocessed red meat, and sugar-infused beverages. Starches, refined grains, fats, and sugars all instigate weight gain. On the other hand, an increased intake of high-quality foods can help decrease overall caloric intake as these food items tend to be more satiating.
Interestingly, the dietary regimes that have proven to be the most beneficial consist of a surprisingly small array of wholesome foods. The long-believed concept of ‘everything in moderation’ may not be as effective as once thought.
Embracing a Healthier Diet
Improving your diet begins right when you’re shopping for groceries. It’s advisable to focus more on the outer sections of the supermarket where you’re more likely to find fresh produce, low-fat dairy, seafood and poultry, rather than the aisles stocked with packaged and processed foods.
Discover the benefits of the DASH diet from the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.