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If more people sat down and really thought about the reasons for eating healthy and the benefits of doing so, they’d be more inclined to change their eating habits.

So here’s a list of the Top 5 reasons for eating healthy:

1. You’ll probably live longer. A study published in the journal PLoS Medicine from the Public Library of Science found that people who don’t smoke; exercise; drink alcohol in moderation, and eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day live, on average, 14 years longer.

2. You’ll look better. It’s no secret that eating healthy can help you lose weight. One of the biggest benefits of weight loss is you look better. You’ll be much more likely to lose stubborn body fat, so you can look better in a bathing suit … or fit into that old pair of jeans you haven’t been able to wear in years.

3. You’ll feel better. When you eat healthy, you can get your weight down to a manageable level. When you have more control over your weight, you start to feel better about yourself. Your confidence and self-esteem go up, and this can lead to a chain reaction of good things happening in your life. And, you’ll have more energy and be less tired and fatigued, two things that overweight and obese people commonly suffer from.

feel better

4. You’ll be able to manage chronic conditions. This should be one of the biggest reasons for eating healthy for a lot of people, in my opinion. If you or someone you love suffers from hypertension, diabetes, allergies, digestive issues, etc, then eating the right foods can make a world of difference. Many diabetics, for example, can effectively manage their blood glucose levels with their diet … without medication.

5. It’s better for the environment. The more local and organic foods you eat, the better it is for the environment. 16 pounds of wheat and up to 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce just a single pound of grain-fed beef. And chemical fertilizers and pesticides in industrial agriculture result in air and water pollution and damage to many native plant and animal species. Buy local, organic foods whenever possible and you’ll be doing yourself and the environment a big favor.

None of these should be a revelation. Yet, obesity rates in the United States are climbing at an alarming rate.

The solution?

Take action!

Every day that passes is a moment lost in time. They add up quickly. Just like the calories.

List a realistic goal or two for eating healthier and ease into a routine that will get you there. Use a simple tool like My Fitness Pal to keep track of your progress. Understand that change is gradual.

Put your mind to it, respect yourself, and get to it!

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