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Learn How Good Nutrition Positively Affects Your Health

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Learn How Good Nutrition Positively Affects Your Health

Nutrition is an integral part of health. Numerous studies have shown that poor nutrition can increase your risk of long-term, chronic health conditions. That’s why nutrition is one of our eight healthy steps to Get Cooperized.

Cooper Clinic Preventive Medicine Physician Carolyn Terry, MD, discusses the role that good nutrition plays in achieving good health and preventing chronic diseases and illnesses.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
One of the most important nutrition principles is to maintain a caloric balance in your body. You want to make sure that over time your caloric intake is balanced by your “caloric burn” or energy expenditure.  This is the key to maintaining a healthy weight.

Numerous medical studies reveal the dangers associated with an unhealthy body weight.  As the U.S. experiences a rapid increase in obesity among adults and children, physicians are seeing increased numbers of patients with related illnesses including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.  Maintaining a healthy body weight should be a top health goal.  Proper nutrition is a vital part of this process.  

Physicians frequently diagnose chronic diseases that are directly impacted by the diet. For example, if you have high blood pressure, you may have too much sodium in your diet. It is vital for you to understand how much sodium you are taking in daily. When you are a diabetic, it is extremely important to restrict the amount of excess carbohydrates in your diet because too many can negatively impact blood sugar levels.

Based on your life experience, you may subjectively think you know what is right to eat, but often you may not know the true facts about what defines a healthy diet. For example, do you know what percentage of a daily diet should be comprised of protein? Do you understand the difference between “good fats” and “bad fats?” Many people have questions about different diets and the use of over-the-counter supplements.  It can be hard to know which supplements one should or should not be taking. A registered dietitian can help.  They can also help you determine whether or not a certain diet is a fit for your nutritional needs.

The Key to Good Nutrition
Patients are often looking for a magical new diet that will help accomplish their weight loss goals. Stay away from following those fad diets. One may accomplish a short-term weight loss with a fad diet, but the weight comes right back on when old and bad eating habits resume.  Instead, think about how you can reasonably alter your current diet to accomplish weight loss. In doing so, you will be much more likely to maintain a leaner body weight.  

Follow these steps to take control of your nutrition plan:

  • Aim to have a proper balance to the amount of carbohydrates, protein and fats in your diet.
  • Match your caloric intake to your “caloric burn.”
  • Maintain a lean body composition and healthy body weight.
  • Try to get all of your nutrients from diet. Use supplements when needed.
  • Incorporate a diet rich with fruits and vegetables.
  • Consume at least half of all grains as wholegrains.  Limit refined grains (i.e. white bread)
  • Follow a diet that is low in saturated fat and higher in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.
  • Try to eat at least one to two servings of fish per week to accomplish omega-3 intake.  
  • Limit your sugary drinks and alcohol consumption.

Remember, the story is not over when it comes to nutrition knowledge. There will continue to be studies published looking at the proper balance of macronutrients and micronutrients in the human diet. Work with your physician and a registered dietitian to create a personalized diet plan to maintain your individual health goals.  

For more information about Cooper Clinic, click here or call 972.560.2667.

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.