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3 ways a healthy diet can help meet your health goals

When it comes to diets, there is an abundance of information about the proposed benefits that each may offer. Navigating this information can often be tricky and time-consuming making it difficult to know whether to adopt a specific diet and for what purpose. Nourishing our bodies with healthy, whole foods can help with everything from weight loss, to improved mood, and can help manage conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes and contribute to better heart health. We’ve broken down some of the ways diets can be beneficial and which ones can help for specific purposes.

 

Vegan diets can help with weight loss

There’s no question that maintaining a healthy weight is good for you. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of numerous health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, mental illness, and cancer. Research shows that vegetarian diets allowing dairy products and eggs and vegan diets can help you lose weight in the short-term. Vegan diets, and vegetarian diets paired with lower caloric intake produce the greatest weight loss.

 

A healthy diet can impact mood

Given the established benefits of adopting a healthy diet on physical health—such as achieving weight loss, avoiding weight gain, and reducing the risk of chronic disease—and emerging evidence around potential benefits to mental well-being, paying attention to our diet is a good practice. 

 

Certain diets can benefit heart health

Heart disease is an umbrella term for diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels. These diseases most often result from the narrowing and blockage of arteries by plaque deposits, and this is often caused by high cholesterol. Luckily, healthy lifestyle choices—like diet modifications—are a good way to combat heart disease. In combination with a National Cholesterol Education Program Step II diet, the Portfolio diet can reduce “bad cholesterol” and other types of fat found in the blood, as well as reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and of developing coronary heart disease within the next ten years.

 

Modifying diet can help manage blood pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, increases the risk of developing many diseases and can lead to early death. Plant-based diets that consist of a limited amount of animal products, such as the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH diet), the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, the healthy Nordic diet, and the Mediterranean diet, may help to reduce one or more aspects of blood pressure.

 

Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is an important part of healthy aging. Before making any dietary changes, it’s a good idea to discuss your diet plan with a healthcare professional (for example, your primary-care provider or dietician), particularly if you have a chronic disease or other medical condition that can be affected by your diet. To learn more about diets and how they impact different aspects of your health, read through our resources below.


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DISCLAIMER: Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website

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