Healthy Eating

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Healthy Eating – Informative Purposes

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy in the diet and are found in the greatest abundance in grains, fruits, legumes, and vegetables. In terms of deriving a health benefit, whole grains are preferred over processed grains, the latter having been stripped of germ and bran during the milling process, resulting in lower amounts of fiber and micronutrients. Studies have linked increased whole-grain intake to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, as well as to the decreased risk of mortality due to any cause, cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease, diabetes, and infectious disease. Fresh fruits and vegetables supply energy as well as dietary fiber, which promotes the feeling of satiety and has positive effects on gastrointestinal function, cholesterol levels, and glycemic control. In addition, fresh fruits and vegetables are key sources of phytochemicals (e.g., polyphenols, phytosterols, carotenoids), which are bioactive compounds believed to confer many of the health benefits associated with fruit and vegetable consumption. For example, flavonoids have been shown to increase insulin secretion and reduce insulin resistance, suggesting that these phytochemicals provide some benefits in obesity and diabetes. Fruit and vegetable intake has been shown to a direct correlation with the risk of NCDs, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and metabolic syndrome.

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