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Safe, healthy diets must meet all daily nutritional requirements

There is much confusion these days as to what constitutes the characteristics of healthy diets low in carbohydrates. A safe, effective diet must provide a variety of foods to supply you with the necessary nutrients needed daily for good health. Such diets also help to prevent diseases for which obesity is a risk factor, for example, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. A healthy diet is essential to any legitimate weight loss program.

To maintain a healthy weight, it is absolutely necessary that one establishes a healthy eating pattern. Low carbohydrate diets are effective because they substitute carbohydrate rich foods for healthy low energy- low calorie foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Safe, healthy diets do not use subsitutes for food, but offer a variety of wholesome, nutritious foods.

Vitamins are substances that your body needs but cannot make. Vitamins facilitate chemical reactions in body cells and help you process the food you eat.

Minerals help regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, nerve impulses, and are essential to the healthy developmnet of bones and teeth.

There is much evidence in the medical literature that people who have a high intake of vitamin and mineral-rich foods are healthier than those who do not. Although there are numerous vitamin supplements on the market, medical experts and nutritionists recommend eating natural foods as your main source of vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional, healthy diets are also rich in antioxidants that fight against free radical damage. Free radicals are produced from various cellular oxidative processes that occur in the body. A build-up of these free radicals can be deadly to cells and can cause severe injury to body tissues. In some cases, these free radicals are the direct cause of a particular disease state. Antioxidants are substances found in foods that have the capacity to fight these free radicals and stop their harmful actions.

Vitamins A, C, and E have been classified as antioxidant vitamins. Vitamin A is derived from beta carotene. Beta carotene, which is found in deep yellow fruits and vegetables is converted into vitamin A in the body. Medical science has shown that people who eat healthy diets rich in antioxidant vitamins and beta carotene have lower rates of cancer and atherosclerosis.

Healthy, body slimming diets are low in fat. Fats are energy dense, meaning they contain many calories per serving. You want a diet low in fat because of its high calorie content per gram of fat. However, healthy low fat diets do not eliminate all fats but contain an adequate amount of fat to assure the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Also, there must be enough fat in the diet to supply the essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own.

Healthy diets are also high in proteins. Proteins supply amino acids, which build, repair and maintain body tissues that are vital to every day functions. The body needs a constant supply of protein to repair body cells as they wear out and to help regulate body processes. A high protein diet helps to tone and firm the skin, thereby minimizing sagging of the skin with excessive weight loss. Also, a healthy diet high in protein helps to build extra muscle to replace the lost fat. The muscle building process is quite effective when one combines the diet with exercise.

With all of the fad diets, weight loss shakes and pills that are on the market today, there is much misinformation as to what constitutes the characteristics of a healthy diet. Before you start any weight loss program, be sure to check our guidelines above to make sure that you are engaging in a safe, nutritious and healthy diet.

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