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The Impact of Nutrition on Your Health

Top Ten Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

Top Ten Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States: about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death. These include heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. By making smart food choices, you can help protect yourself from these health problems.

The risk factors for adult chronic diseases, like hypertension and type 2 diabetes, are increasingly seen in younger ages, often a result of unhealthy eating habits and increased weight gain. Dietary habits established in childhood often carry into adulthood, so teaching children how to eat healthy at a young age will help them stay healthy throughout their life.

The link between good nutrition and healthy weight, reduced chronic disease risk, and overall health is too important to ignore. By taking steps to eat healthy, you'll be on your way to getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, active, and strong. As with physical activity, making small changes in your diet can go a long way, and it's easier than you think!

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Top Ten Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

Top Ten Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

Top Ten Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

Regular physical improves cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness:

  1. Physical activity helps you live longer and prevent many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipid (cholesterol and triglyceride) profile, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and colon and  breast cancers. 
  2. Physical activity improves cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness
  3. Physical activity raises your metabolism and helps you lose weight more easily (or eat more without gaining weight).  
  4. Physical activity helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and improve your mood. .  
  5. Physical activity helps maintain brain function in older adults.
  6. Physical activity helps with digestion and promotes regular bowel movements.
  7. Physical activity increases bone density.
  8. Physical activity helps you age more gracefully by maintaining your looks and your agility.
  9. Physical activity improves sleep quality.
  10. Physical activity improves your overall quality of life.

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The Processed Food Epidemic

Top Ten Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

The Processed Food Epidemic

People who followed a diet of ultra-processed foods ate about 500 more calories a day compared to when they ate a whole foods diet.

 

In recent years, many nutrition experts have linked the obesity epidemic to the spread of ultra-processed foods that are engineered to have a long shelf life and irresistible combinations of salt, sugar, fat and other additives.

These foods tend to make people overeat because they are full of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and fat that appeal to the human palate, experts say. Most of these foods, however, tend to lack fiber, protein, vitamins and other important nutrients.

Now a small but rigorous new study provides strong evidence that these foods not only tend to make people eat more. They may result in dramatic and relatively rapid weight gain and have other detrimental health effects.  

Research found that people ate significantly more calories and gained more weight when they were fed a diet that was high in ultra-processed foods like breakfast cereals, muffins, white bread, sugary yogurts, low-fat potato chips, canned foods, processed meats, fruit juices and diet beverages. These foods caused a rise in hunger hormones compared to a diet that contained mostly minimally processed foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, grilled chicken, fish and beef, and whole grains, nuts and seeds.