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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help to promote weight loss and longevity and to maintain overall good health. Healthy living can be achieved through good diet and regular exercise. Limiting cigarettes and alcohol can also help to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is one of the main factors in a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet can influence the amount of energy one has during the day and aids the body’s ability to ward off infection. Eating a healthy diet can also help in maintaining a healthy body weight, which is important in preventing many health problems, ranging from arthritis to cancer. A healthy diet consists of a variety of different foods that can provide a range of vitamins and nutrients with nothing in excess.
It is suggested that at least five servings of fruits and vegetables should be consumed daily. Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and antioxidants and should be the main foundation of any diet. Grain is also an important category of food, and it is suggested that grains such as pasta, bread and cereals should make up one third of one’s food consumption. The amount of protein one needs per day generally falls around 0.8 grams per .45 pound (0.8 grams per kilogram) of body weight; good sources of protein include lean meats, eggs, and soy.
Dairy is also important to a balanced diet, as it is rich in nutrients, especially calcium. Yet dairy products can be rich in saturated fats, and one must be sure to always choose low fat dairy products. Fats and sugars such as are found in desserts can be eaten in moderation, but should not be a large source of calories in the diet.
There are often misconceptions about the role of fat in a healthy lifestyle. Saturated fats can be dangerous to one's health, as they may cause high cholesterol and increase one’s risk of heart disease. Yet unsaturated fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, can be very beneficial to health. These fats are found in oily fish, nuts and olive oil.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle diet, one should limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day for healthy people or 1,500 milligrams per day for individuals with high blood pressure. High sodium intake can raise blood pressure and one’s risk for heart disease and stroke. Processed foods are often very high in sodium.
Daily exercise is another factor in a healthy lifestyle, and can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and even some cancers. Regular exercise also improves mood and lowers one’s risk for osteoporosis. It is suggested that adults perform at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity weekly, although more activity produces more health benefits. Strength training is also recommended at least two days a week.
One important way to live a healthy lifestyle is to stop smoking and to drink alcohol only in moderation. Smoking is linked to many health problems, such as lung cancer, emphysema, and increased risk of heart attack, and excessive alcohol consumption is connected to liver problems and cancer. Alcohol consumption should not exceed two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.