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A healthy diet provides sufficient energy and nutrients for the body and contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber and adequate moisture. Nutrition determines our health to a high degree. A healthy diet reduces the risk of diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, and one feels fitter.
There are about 50 known nutrients, which are necessary for all life processes. These are divided into two categories:
- Inorganic nutrients: minerals and water. Trace elements are minerals that are necessary, but in (very) small quantities.
- Organic nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins.
These nutrients play an important role in numerous physiological functions that are necessary for the life processes of the human being, such as development and repair of the body, energy supply and control of everything that takes place in the body.
Healthy food also includes antioxidants (for protection from harmful substances) and fiber (for digestion). Superfoods are foods with a high content of good nutrients.
Much has been written on healthy nutrition. In any case, it is made up of the following guidelines:
- Unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat (be careful with saturated fats).
- Little salt.
- Many vegetables, fruits and whole wheat bread.
- Sufficient fibers.
- Fish for several times a week.
- Few products made of white flour, such as white bread, cookies, biscuits and snacks.
- Few red or processed meat, such as sausage.
- Few sweet drinks containing sugar, such as factory juice and soft drinks.
Nutrition has major influence on physical and mental health. Some facts:
- Food contains essential vitamins and minerals to uphold the resistance against colds, flu and other diseases.
- A large amount of (saturated) fat and excessive use of salt lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Unhealthy diet has a major impact on our well-being and can lead to depression and lability.
- Alcohol and fat have a negative effect on the functioning of the liver. The liver is an essential organ for the uptake of important substances from the food.
- Too much fat, sugar and salt can lead to overweight. This increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and leads to physical fatigue (and often a negative self-image).
- Healthy nutrition is preventive for many cancers.
- Healthy nutrition provides vitality and zest for life. Especially for athletes, good nutrition is the basis for top performance.
- Vary the meal.
- Don’t eat too much.
- Handle food hygienic and safe.
- Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are called macronutrients. Vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients.