Different people have different ideas of what makes a diet healthy. In my opinion, a healthy diet is any diet that mainly consists of naturally growing foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, grains (even grains might not be that great for you, according to paleo diets), etc. If it’s processed or man made, I try to stay the hell away from it. That’s the guideline I’ll be following when discussing the benefits of a healthy diet, and here are 4 such benefits:
The biggest reason people shift their diet to a healthier alternative is to lose weight, and it works. Eating a diet full of fruit and vegetables, eggs, meat, and nuts, is generally lower in calories than a diet comprised mainly of processed foods. I’ve also noticed that foods like chicken, tuna, and certain vegetables fill me up way faster than crappy processed shit, so they’ve got that going for them too. For exqample, compare two different versions of chicken; organic breast and deep fried, battered chicken. For the same sized portion, the chicken breast has half the calories, half the fat, and nearly double the protein! That’s just a single example, do your own comparisons and you’ll notice that bad food usually doesn’t fill you up much, despite having way higher calories.
That’s right, a balanced, healthy diet will make you happier. Now I’m no scientist, but this is my understanding of the link between diet and happiness: There’s a neurotransmitter in our bodies called Serotonin, and it’s partially responsible for our mood. Serotonin is created by Tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid found in the food we eat. When we eat a meal rich in carbohydrates (sugar filled soda, for example), there’s a massive release of insulin, which in turn causes there to be a higher ratio of Tryptophan present. Now as we know, this becomes serotonin, and for a brief period you might feel good, but then you’ll start coming back down. This process explains why people turn to food when they are feeling down, the problem is the food they are eating causes their serotonin levels to alternate between high and low, which can eventually lead to depression.
Consuming a healthier diet will also make you feel more awake, alive, alert, and full of energy. I’ve found that on a larger scale, a healthy lifestyle gave me more energy than just a healthy diet. Getting the right amount of sleep, drinking enough water, thinking positive and happy thoughts instead of focusing on negative shit, and then eating healthy foods, all contributed to giving me more energy. Oh, and exercising. Seems super counter-intuitive, but exercising makes you feel more energetic. I’ve always though that the more you exercise, the higher your “base-level” of energy is going to be. It makes sense. So if you want to feel more awake, alert, alive, and energetic, then sure, start eating healthier, but also change other factors of your lifestyle too.
It’s an obvious one, yet people rarely have this in mind when deciding whether to shake up their diet. There are so many illnesses and diseases that can be minimized, if not prevented, by eating a healthier diet. Some of these are diabetes, anemia, osteoporosis, obesity (duh), cancer, and a truckload more. Just do a Google search for “diet related illnesses” and you’ll come up with a list 50 pages long. Don’t worry too much though, most of the illnesses and diseases are caused by a bunch of reasons, with an unhealthy diet only being a part of it. That said, cutting out processed crap and eating a balanced diet full of vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, nuts, etc, will lower your risks immensely.
Hopefully I’ve scared, coerced, convinced, or persuaded you to change your diet for the better. Too many people eat a diet filled with disgusting garbage that, somehow, manages to pass for food. This makes me sad. I want to see a world full of healthy, fit, happy people. To get there you’re going to need to eat a healthy diet, perform regular exercise either daily, or at least multiple times a week. You’ll also need to stay motivated, because if you aren’t motivated you just won’t stick to anything. Finally, you should probably track your calories too. For more general weight loss tips, I’ve got like 100 posts. They’re free. Read them.