We’ve all heard that it’s important to eat healthy foods but the reason why is often not so clear. It’s very common to think that eating healthily is important to prevent weight gain which can be damaging to health. Although this is true, it may be surprising to learn that eating a bad diet, even when at a healthy weight, can still cause ill health. Among many others, unhealthy diets are associated with heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Diseases such as these can be difficult to live with and can often prevent the sufferer from being active. In addition, these diseases are often degenerative meaning that they will get worse with age.
How exactly unhealthy foods are related to diseases is typically a result of a process that is specific to the person and the condition itself, meaning that defining a clear cut connection between certain foods and certain health issues is almost impossible. However, it has been repeatedly shown that people that maintain a healthy balanced diet have better health and lower rates of disease.
At least one reason for this is related to how our bodies use and store energy. The food that we eat is broken down into glucose molecules that are used by muscles or cells, or stored to be used later on. Food also contains nutrients that are used by cells. When we eat unhealthy foods such as sugar that contain a lot of calories but few nutrients we provide little that can be stored by our cells for later use. On the other hand, healthy foods such as grains provide a better balance of nutrients which can sustain the function of our cells over a longer period of time. In the short term, eating healthy foods such as these help us to feel less tired but in the long term can also contribute to a healthier body that is less prone to disease.