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Esmara by Heidi Klum

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.

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Why Should You Eat Healthy?

Research continues to link serious diseases to a poor diet

For example, eating healthy can drastically reduce your chances of developing heart disease and cancer, the world’s leading killers

A good diet can improve all aspects of life, from brain function to physical performance. In fact, food affects all your cells and organs

If you participate in exercise or sports, there is no doubt that a healthy diet will help you perform better, leptoconnect can help you lose weight really easy.

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

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

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

Understanding Macronutrients

The three macronutrients are carbohydrates (carbs), fats and protein.

These nutrients are needed in relatively large amounts. They provide calories and have various functions in your body.

Here are some common foods within each macronutrient group:

  • Carbs: 4 calories per gram. All starchy foods like bread, pasta and potatoes. Also includes fruit, legumes, juice, sugar and some dairy products.
  • Protein: 4 calories per gram. Main sources include meat and fish, dairy, eggs, legumes and vegetarian alternatives like tofu.
  • Fats: 9 calories per gram. Main sources include nuts, seeds, oils, butter, cheese, oily fish and fatty meat.

How much of each macronutrient you should consume depends on your lifestyle and goals, as well as your personal preferences.

BOTTOM LINE:Macronutrients are the three main nutrients needed in large amounts: carbs, fats and protein.

Micronutrients are important vitamins and minerals that you require in smaller doses.

Some of the most common micronutrients you should know include:

  • Magnesium: Plays a role in over 600 cellular processes, including energy production, nervous system function and muscle contraction
  • Potassium: This mineral is important for blood pressure control, fluid balance and the function of your muscles and nerves
  • Iron: Primarily known for carrying oxygen in the blood, iron also has many other benefits, including improved immune and brain function .
  • Calcium: An important structural component of bones and teeth, and also a key mineral for your heart, muscles and nervous system
  • All vitamins: The vitamins, from vitamin A to K, play important roles in every organ and cell in your body.

All of the vitamins and minerals are “essential” nutrients, meaning that you must get them from the diet in order to survive.

The daily requirement of each micronutrient varies between individuals. If you eat a real food-based diet that includes plants and animals, then you should get all the micronutrients your body needs without taking a supplement.

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