Healthy Eating Plan Comparison Essay

Healthy Eating Plan Comparison Heather Underwood Axia College of University of Phoenix All people need to have a healthy eating plan in order to stay physically fit and to give the body proper nutrition. Exercise also plays an important part in a healthy eating plan. In this paper I am going to compare my old eating habits to my new eating habits. I am also going to share what I have learned about food and how to make healthier choices when buying food by reading labels. I will also demonstrate why what is healthy to others may not work for others because they may have different needs due to disease.

Everyone knows that eating healthy is very beneficial for the body. Healthy eating requires a mixture of nutrients which includes protein, vitamins, liquids, minerals, anti-oxidants, fats, and some form of carbohydrate, predominately whole grain is best. There are many different things to consider when you are on a healthy diet. Not only do you need to watch what you eat, but exercising regularly is very important as well (Healthy Eating Benefits 2008). Healthy eating habits provide the right kind of energy to fuel the body.

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Healthy eating habits also help maintain a healthy body weight, nutritional requirements, and helps prevent disease (heart disease, diabetes, and cancer). Eating the recommended servings from each part of the food pyramid can serve as a guide for healthy eating. This is true in most cases but sometimes these recommendations change. For example, I am a diabetic and I have to follow different recommended servings from the food pyramid. There are three types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s own immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels that is first recognized during pregnancy. This is caused by hormonal changes that occur in pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk. In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.

Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes complications (American diabetes Association 2010). Some type 2 diabetic complications involve problems with sight, skin disease, circulation problem, heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. I suffer from type 2 diabetes.

I control my diabetes by taking insulin shots, exercise, and following a diabetic diet. Because I have diabetes I follow a different eating plan than people without the disease. This is because my body requires a special mixture of carbohydrates, fats, sugars, and protein in order to keep my diabetes under control. According to the USDA Food pyramid the average person should consume 2 to 3 servings of the milk group, 2 to 3 servings of the meat and beans group, 3 to 5 servings of the vegetable group, 2 to 4 servings of the fruit group, 6 to 11servings of the grain group, and use fats and oils sparingly.

I on the other hand am on an 1800 calorie diabetic diet plan. I am required to eat 6 servings of grains, three to five servings of vegetables, 2 to 4 servings of fruit, 2 to 3 servings of dairy, and 2 to 3 servings of protein. I also am required to drink 8 cups of water or unsweetened tea a day and to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. This has been my diet for two years now. My eating habits before developing diabetes were not very good. I did not eat from all food groups and never exercised.

I never ate whole grains or very many vegetables and fruits. I ate lots of fried foods, dairy products, and foods loaded with sugar and fat. Because of my unhealthy eating habits I was obese and this caused me to developed diabetes. I found out I was diabetic because I was expecting my first child. Getting pregnant helped save my life. My doctor said that according to my hemoglobin A1C I had been suffering from diabetes for a while and I did not even know it. I was very scared and had no idea of how my life was about to change.

At first it was very hard to change my eating habits and to exercise, but my motivation was having a healthy baby. I had to eat vegetables, reduced or fat free food items, and incorporate healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, into my diet. After awhile this type of diet has become a part of a major lifestyle change. I now enjoy the foods that I refused to eat in the past and enjoy exercising. I now know how to read the food labels in order to make healthier choices on the foods that I buy. The carbohydrates that I consume are good carbohydrates that are made with whole grain.

I am now more aware of how certain foods affect my body and when I am allowed to eat, in moderation, some of the old foods that I used to enjoy. In conclusion, being a diabetic has greatly affected my lifestyle and eating habits. I made a change from eating foods high in fat, bad carbohydrates, and sugars to eating a diet low in fat, full of vegetables, natural fruits, and whole grains. I may not follow the daily food recommendations set by the USDA, but I do eat from each food group but in servings that are beneficial to my body.

Everyone’s bodies are different and have different nutritional and exercise needs. If a person eats from each of the food groups, in moderation, and as long has the food from that food group is a healthy choice, then they are making a good start to eating healthy. References American Diabetes Association. 2010. Types of Diabetes. Retrieved June 11, 2010 from: http://www. diabetes. org Healthy Eating Benefits. 2008. Healthy Eating Sample Daily Meal Plans. Retrieved June 12, 2010 from: http://healthyeatingbenefits. com


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