“I eat what I want and I feel just fine.” Does this sound familiar? When you are young, your body is quite resilient and you are able to eat fatty and sugary foods with no real health consequences.

But this changes very quickly as you get older. If, as an adult, your diet consists of more sugars, saturated fat, trans fats and sodium than vegetables, fruits, and dietary fiber, you are at risk of malnutrition and diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, strokes and cancer. A healthy diet can help prevent these diseases but that is not the only benefit. Here are three more reasons to adopt a healthy diet:

Helps you maintain your appropriate weight

Our body shapes are all unique, hence there being no ideal weight for a man, woman or child. However, with the right diet and guidance from a dietitian, you can calculate your ideal weight and learn about the nutrition to help you reach it.

Increases your mental capacity

Nutritious foods, sometimes aided by supplements, can help increase your productivity. Who doesn’t want to work smarter? Clarity and focus is not just a state of mind, it’s about what you feed your brain. There’s always room for improvement, so let a dietitian show you how to get the most from your diet.

Improves your mood

Stable blood sugar levels are vital to your overall mood. Regular, proper nutrition that is rich in vitamins and minerals can help you achieve and maintain this. Fresh fruits and vegetables and sprouted grains have been linked to a lower risk of depression. Other foods to consider are meals that are rich in omega-3 fats, like fatty fish (e.g. salmon) and nuts.

Bonus benefit!

Did you know: Certain life insurance policies and medical aid contractors also offer substantial discounts on premiums for maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. Saving money while feeling great sounds pretty awesome, right?

Finding a sustainable diet that suits your budget, health requirements and lifestyle can be challenging. Tracy Ugarchund & Associates are specialists in nutrition and have many years of experience in finding solutions for individual clients and patients. They are based in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town but are also conveniently available for online consultations. Tracy can be reached on 082 657 0700 or via email at tracydiet1@gmail.com, or via the contact form on www.tracyugarchund.co.za