Healthy Eating — A Detailed Guide for Beginners

The foods you eat have big effects on your health and quality of life.

Although eating healthy can be fairly simple, the rise in popular “diets” and dieting trends has caused confusion.

In fact, these trends often distract from the basic nutrition principles that are most important.

This is a detailed beginner’s guide to healthy eating, based on the latest in nutrition science.

Why Should You Eat Healthy?

Research continues to link serious diseases to a poor diet (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source).

For example, eating healthy can drastically reduce your chances of developing heart disease and cancer, the world’s leading killers (3Trusted Source4Trusted Source5Trusted Source).

A good diet can improve all aspects of life, from brain function to physical performance. In fact, food affects all your cells and organs (6Trusted Source7Trusted Source8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

If you participate in exercise or sports, there is no doubt that a healthy diet will help you perform better (10Trusted Source).

BOTTOM LINE:From disease risk to brain function and physical performance, a healthy diet is vital for every aspect of life.

Calories and Energy Balance Explained

In recent years, the importance of calories has been pushed aside.

While calorie counting isn’t always necessary, total calorie intake still plays a key role in weight control and health (1112Trusted Source).

If you put in more calories than you burn, you will store them as new muscle or body fat. If you consume fewer calories than you burn every day, you will lose weight.

If you want to lose weight, you must create some form of calorie deficit (13Trusted Source).

In contrast, if you are trying to gain weight and increase muscle mass, then you need to eat more than your body burns.

BOTTOM LINE:Calories and energy balance are important, regardless of the composition of your diet.

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