Long-Term Benefits of Eating Healthy

by Nancy Clarke

About Nancy Clarke

Nancy Clarke began writing in 1988 after achieving her Bachelor of Arts in English and has edited books on medicine, diet, senior care and other health topics. Her related affiliations include work for the American Medical Association and Oregon Health Plan.

X

Overview

If you already eat healthy, you may look forward to a longer and more productive life than those who favor processed and fast foods. Following a nutritious diet helps you maintain healthy weight. This practice reduces your chances of dying prematurely from any cause compared to those who are overweight or obese. If you often trade long-term health benefits for immediate gratification in the foods you eat, a poor diet may catch up with you both sooner and later. The Surgeon General relates that short-term weight gain can lead to obesity and lifelong diseases.

Weight Control

The simple equation of weight maintenance--expending as many calories as you take in--begins with a healthy diet. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans consider nutrient-dense foods, which limit calories and maximize nutrition, natural weight moderators. Foods typical of a nutritious diet, such as cooked spinach, provide significant dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E. With little fat and only 50 calories per 1-cup serving, you can eat it without gaining weight. The health benefits of weight control include optimum energy and exercise-tolerance levels that enable you to live an active life.

Lower Risk for Chronic Disease

Carrying extra pounds makes your body work harder, subjecting you to cardiovascular and respiratory breakdowns. If you reduce nutrient and increase calorie intake with unhealthy food choices, your chances of developing heart disease, asthma, some cancers, type 2 diabetes and arthritis rise. A healthy diet, on the other hand, provides the nutrition needed for physical function. When you eat healthy, you’re less likely to develop high blood pressure or blood sugar irregularities. The long-term health benefits include reduced risk of disease and less chance of premature death from heart attack and stroke.

Optimum Fitness

Your body depends on efficient cardiovascular and respiratory function in order to transport oxygen and other nutrients to all the body’s cells. These metabolic needs increase along with your activity level. A healthy diet supplies the iron, protein and B vitamins needed to support healthy red blood cell formation as well as nutrients for other metabolic needs. People who are overweight because of poor diets may be less able to exercise safely thereby increasing their weight and making their weight-related health problems worse. As the USDA Dietary Guidelines point out, those who eat healthy enjoy cyclical health benefits instead. Avoiding weight gain prevents nutritional disorders and heart problems. Full absorption of nutrients and cardiovascular strength promote optimum fitness and allows you to remain physically active.

Photo Credits:

  • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.