Choosing Healthy Food to Eat

High school is tough enough without having to worry about what you’re going to eat every day. Even though it may be a hassle to make and eat healthy foods, it will be beneficial to your well-being.

Healthy eating habits will prevent disease through portion control and a diverse diet. Controlling your portion sizes helps you avoid overeating which can lead to consuming too many calories. According to a 2011 study on food portion patterns and trends in the Journal of Nutrition by researchers Carmen Piernas and Barry Popkin, consuming too many calories can lead to obesity which can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other diseases.

Different nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium and potassium affect your health. Not getting the right amounts and types of nutrients for your body can increase the risk of disease.

There is compelling evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. The largest and longest study to date done as part of Harvard-based nurses health study and health professionals follow-up study included almost 110,000 men and women whose health and dietary habits were followed for 14 years.

Healthy eating improves your satisfaction of life. An Australian health economics research fellow, named Dr. Redzo Mujcic, published a study in 2014 that took data from more than 12,000 people for 2 years. The researchers asked the people if they normally ate fruits and vegetables, and how much they ate. They also asked the participants how satisfied they were with their lives on a scale from 0 to 10.  Results showed that in the people who ate more fruit and vegetables per day, their levels of life satisfaction increased at the end of the study.

Healthy eating can improve your grades. Food energy and nutrients serve mental as well as physical body functions. A report from 2005 studying eating habits and academic performance concluded that eating breakfast regularly before school may affect the brain’s short-term blood sugar requirements and long-term nutritional support. This improves the memory, problem solving and concentration skills that are crucial to learning and will help you get better grades.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, published by the Center for Disease Control, consider the following factors in meal planning:

  • Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Select foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
  • Stay within your daily calorie needs

A good tip is to prepare meals for yourself for the week. Get some partitioned containers and divide your meals into those containers for each day of the week. This helps to avoid that last minute panic of needing food and making a bad choice because you are too lazy to do the work to eat right. Even if it requires putting in a little more effort to your daily meal preparations, eating healthy will help you in the long run.