Updated: May 14
A healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet and fitness can help you live a long and healthy life. Many people are surprised to learn that the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle can extend beyond just living longer. By maintaining a healthy diet and fitness, you can improve your overall quality of life. You’ll start to enjoy better health and live longer because you’ll be able to perform better in all areas, including at work and in your relationships.
With the obesity crisis at an all-time high in the US—nearly 70% of Americans are overweight or obese—many people could benefit from losing weight. However, weight loss is difficult for a variety of reasons. Also, certain people are tempted to choose a different diet every month or a strategy they've read online or learned about from friends and relatives. Unfortunately, these diets are also not the most nutritious, and even with any weight reduction, they do not ultimately boost overall wellbeing.
The Positive Effects of a Healthy Diet
Is there any benefit from improving the quality of one's diet without weight loss? The answer is YES.
Healthy diets can defend the human body against diseases, particularly non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, coronary diseases, some types of cancer, and skeletal conditions. Healthy diets can also lead to optimal body weight.
One research looked at the DASH (Dietary Interventions to Avoid Hypertension) diet on blood pressure. Researchers recruited 460 overweight and obese individuals with borderline high blood pressure.
They gave food to participants in compliance with the DASH diet recommendations.
The DASH diet is characterized as low in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol; high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fibre; high in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products; including fish, poultry, nuts, and seeds; and reducing red meat, candy, and sugary drinks.
At the end of the 11-week study, the participant's blood pressure was significantly reduced compared to their baseline blood pressure.
A second study looked at the already very healthy DASH diet and then added sodium limits.