Okay now this one can be pretty tough sometimes! We all love the occasional domino’s pizza or Nando’s! However try and not make fast food a habit. Remember healthy eating is not about cutting out food, but eating a balance. By doing this you can maintain a healthy weight and reduce health risks such as high cholesterol. It has also been shown to improve memory and alertness! Below are the benefits of a healthy diet, and tips on how to eat healthily 1. Maintaining a healthy weight An unbalanced diet can increase the incidence of obesity which is associated with chronic conditions such as cancer or heart disease A balanced diet free from processed foods contains a lot of plant-based products, usually rich in fibre. Fibre is known to help keep you fuller for longer. This is supported by a 2018 study that showed that a balanced diet containing fibre and protein leads to weight loss without using a calorie counter 2. Decreased risk of heart disease and stroke There is a long-standing association between coronary heart disease and trans fats. Trans fats is known to affect the balance between the two types of cholesterol in our bodies: Low-density lipoprotein: This is often categorised as “bad”, and can built up in your artery walls High-density lipoprotein: Known as “good” fat, picks up excess cholesterol, and returns it to the liver. Fat deposits in the arteries can rupture and cause a blood clot, potentially leading to cardiac arrest. Research has shown up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented by increasing levels of physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. 3. Reduced cancer risk Obesity is the cause of 13 types of cancer, so maintaining a healthy lifestyle through a balanced diet and exercise is very important. A study in 2014 found that diets rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber lowered the risk of colorectal and liver cancer. Phytochemicals in fruits, vegetables and nuts can act as anti-oxidants, which can protect cells from cancer-induced damage 4. Stronger bones and teeth Most of our bone growth occurs in childhood and adolescence. Therefore it is important to maintain our bone density during and minimise bone loss during adulthood. A healthy diet containing the correct amounts of calcium and magnesium is important in strengthening our bones and teeth, preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis later on in life.