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Food for Thought: The Importance of Nutrition

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There is no question that good nutrition is the key to a long and healthy life. Smart nutrition choices not only improve your overall health, but they reduce your risk of developing several diseases in the future. Good nutrition means feeding your body the necessary nutrients it needs to fuel your body and brain. While it can be confusing with the abundance of information on what constitutes a good diet, it’s much simpler than you think.

When Harbin Clinic providers mention ‘healthy diets’, they are usually referring to a diet filled with fiber, vegetables, fruits, protein and healthy fats. The Mediterranean diet is often referred to as the best diet for healthy eating. Numerous studies show that it can cause weight loss and has many health benefits. The diet is high in fish, chicken, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, seafood and olive oil. Some foods you should try to avoid while on this diet are fried, highly processed foods, added sugars and red meat.

“Red meat and processed red meat increase the risk of diabetes,” says Dr. Amar Singh, an Internist at Harbin Clinic Singh Internal Medicine. “Studies indicate that eating just one 3-ounce serving of red meat daily increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20%. Eating just two slices of bacon increases the diabetes risk by 51%.”

Dr. Singh is also an obesity management physician and offers a comprehensive weight management program for patients. Within the weight management program, board-certified physicians provide a wide range of individualized and medically supervised treatments for people interested in safe and effective weight loss. The program focuses on creating healthier habits, reversing diseases and managing your weight while also reducing your risk of chronic health problems.

Dietary choices don’t just affect your weight, but they affect your heart health, as well. Harbin Clinic Cardiologists encourage their patients to keep their heart health in mind when it comes to their diet and emphasize that eating a heart-healthy diet is one of the most crucial things they can do. Eating a balanced diet can lower cholesterolblood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Cardiologists often refer to the Mediterranean diet as the best diet for heart health because it lowers the risk of having a stroke and coronary heart disease.

Along with increasing your heart health, a balanced diet also supports a well-built immune system. Food fuels your body, and the nutrients in your food are the building blocks for overall health. If you don’t have the right balance of nutrients in your diet, your risk of developing certain conditions and illnesses increases. A poor diet can affect everything, including the immune response. Malnutrition or lack of nutrients can lead to a weakened defense system against sickness.

Healthy lifestyle choices have an immense effect on our health, but how we nourish our bodies can also change our appearance. Supplying your body with an abundance of healthy nutrients helps maintain more youthful skin and delays the effects of aging. Because of sun exposure, aging and normal wear-and-tear, our skin puts up with a lot, which is why we need to consume foods containing healthy antioxidants and stay hydrated to protect it. “Healthy skin starts from within, which is why it’s so important to stay hydrated and feed your skin by consuming vital nutrients,” says Dermatologist Dr. Julia Girard of Harbin Clinic Dermatology. “Your skin is a barrier that protects you from the outside environment, so besides using sunscreen and sun protective clothing to shield it from the damaging rays of the sun, consuming a well-balanced diet high in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats  can help maintain your skin’s integrity, reduce risk of skin cancers, aid in wound healing, and give you a healthy youthful glow.”

What you eat affects everything in your body, from your appearance to your health. This is why sustaining your body with the right nutritional needs is crucial. Nutrition promotes the overall well-being of your body by providing it with the energy it needs to support growth, healing, and all body systems. A healthy diet has more impact than you might think; keeping your body healthy means keeping your body nourished! 

Published May 14, 2021

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