Why Healthy Eating is Important for You and Your Family

Eating well is something that many people find hard, probably due to the many unhealthy foods that tempt us daily. We often hear about which foods not to eat, such as cake, cookies, sugary beverages, and foods that have high levels of oil or fat. In this article, we will discuss which foods we should eat daily to be our healthiest and feel our best.

Health professionals often separate food into groups: fruits and vegetables, milk products, grain products, meat and meat alternatives. These groups are made based on where the foods come from and what they do for our body. Because each group serves a different purpose in keeping us healthy, it is important to eat from a variety of the groups every day.

Fruits and vegetables are the group that you should have the most servings of each day. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function properly throughout the day. A tip to see if you have a good variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet: look at the colour of what you’re eating! Natural fruits and vegetables come in all of the bold colours of the rainbow, so try to make your daily intake as colourful as you can!

Grain products also provide us with vitamins and minerals, but are very good sources of fiber, which helps to keep our digestion flowing. It is better to eat brown grain products than white ones — for example, brown bread and brown rice are healthier than white bread and white rice. This is because white grain products contain high, unhealthy sugar levels. Grain products provide us with a lot of energy, and eating white grain products can cause our energy to quickly rise and drop, leaving us feeling drained.

While animal products such as milk and meat are great sources of protein, some people choose not to eat animal products for personal reasons. Since everyone deserves to be strong and healthy no matter what their personal choices are, there are other options, called “alternative” foods to milk and meat that provide us with the nutrients animal products normally give us. For example, milk from cows and goats is an excellent source of calcium, which gives us strong bones. People who are allergic to milk and milk products, or who choose not to consume it, can eat dark green leafy vegetables in order to get their calcium. Similarly, meats such as chicken, beef, pork, and fish are great sources of protein, which allows us to build strong muscles. For people who choose not to eat meat, and to give meat-eaters more options, foods such as eggs and nuts can be high in protein as well.

The last part of a basic healthy diet is not a food, but is a very important beverage: water! Fun fact – humans are made mostly of water! So it only makes sense that we need to drink a lot of it to stay alive and well. Throughout the day, our body needs a lot of water to nourish all of its parts and keep us going. By replacing the water that we lose, we stay hydrated. Staying hydrated gives you clearer skin, a healthier heart, healthy digestive system, and so much more. A useful fact about staying hydrated: if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! This is why it is recommended to drink 8-12 glasses of water a day. Keep clean water available to drink as often as you can. Drink throughout the day and drink to avoid feeling thirsty, not because you feel thirsty.

 
 
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KRISTEN CAIN

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