A healthy work-life balance depends on more than just smart time management. A healthy lifestyle and balanced diet provide higher energy levels and defend against illness, which helps promote productivity.
In fact, diet can improve long-term health outcomes, eliminate health risks, and reduce contributing factors to many illnesses. An improved diet has been proven to: reduce high blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, help fight off illness, speed recovery times from illness or injury, and increase energy levels.
What is good nutrition?
Good nutrition will improve overall health and fight many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and depression.
Unfortunately, the CDC reports that fewer than 1 in 10 children and adults get their recommended daily nutrients and less than half of adults get the physical activity they need to reduce and prevent chronic diseases. Poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles have contributed to obesity in more than 100 million Americans.
According to the USDA, the key ingredients of a heart-healthy diet are to:
Eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and fewer processed foods. Vegetables and fruits are one of the best natural sources of vitamins and minerals, are low in calories, and rich in dietary fiber.
Limit unhealthy fats. The American Heart Association recommends a diet where saturated fats account for about 6% of total daily calories.
Choose low-fat protein sources. Choose lower fat options, such as skinless chicken breasts rather than fried chicken patties.
How can the average person improve their health?
A good way to start is to choose recipes with plenty of vegetables and fruit. Dieticians recommend half of every meal should be fruits and vegetables.
Eat regularly. Nutrition experts recommend eating three moderately sized meals a day with healthy snacks in between if you are hungry. “Play the long game,” says Laurie Mitchell, RDN, assistant vice president of Health and Wellbeing at Unum. “Set yourself up for long-term success and lifelong healthy eating by making realistic and small changes over time that align with your lifestyle and food preferences. If you need support or have special nutritional needs or a chronic health condition, find a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to help you get on the right track.”
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