Basics Print 10 Reasons Why You Need to Eat a Better Diet By Shereen Lehman, MS Updated November 05, 2018 Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician More in Basics Hot Topics Food Safety 1 A Healthy Balanced Diet Hinterhaus Productions / Getty Images Eating a healthy balanced diet isn't all that complicated. Just choose a variety of foods from all the major food groups including fruits and vegetables, meats or protein sources, dairy or calcium, grains and cereals, and healthy oils and fats. It also helps if you also want to consume the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight and cut back on all the unhealthy junk foods. Sometimes the question isn't about what makes up a healthy diet; it's about why should a person eat a healthy diet. So, in case you're wondering, here are my top ten reasons why you should eat a healthy diet. 2 Makes Losing Weight Easier Sawayasu Tsuji / Getty Images Oh sure, you can lose weight by eating low-calorie junk food or by following the latest ridiculously restrictive fad diet, but it's just not the best way to lose weight and be healthy. Eating a healthy diet that includes lots of fresh low-calorie nutrient-dense fruits and veggies, high-fiber whole grains and legumes will help you lose the excess adipose and supply you with all the nutrients you need. 3 Also Makes Gaining Weight Easier Cultura RM / Stephen Lux / Getty Images While there's much more interest in losing weight, there are a number of people who need to gain weight due to illness or other reasons. Choosing healthful energy-dense foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit can help you gain weight without resorting to junk foods that aren't nutritious. 4 Reduces Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Glow Wellness / Getty Images Having a history of poor eating habits and being obese are two major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Increasing your intake of healthful foods and losing weight if you're obese or overweight may help reduce the risk. 5 It's Good for Your Heart Steve McAllister / Getty Images A diet rich in fish, nuts, fruits, veggies and other healthy foods (like a Mediterranean-type diet) provides you with omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats that are good for your heart. It also makes it easier to avoid most trans-fats that are associated with cardiovascular disease. 6 Reduces Your Risk of Some Types of Cancer Dan Dalton / Getty Images Eating a poor diet, drinking too much alcohol, gaining too much weight, and heavy consumption of red and processed meats are associated with a higher risk of some forms of cancer. And although it's difficult to say that any particular foods prevent cancer, eating a healthy diet overall may decrease your cancer risk. 7 Sets a Good Example for Your Kids Roy Mehta / Getty Images If you're a parent or grandparent struggling with a picky eater, you might find the situation easier to handle if you set a good example for your child. How can you expect your kids to eat broccoli while you're sitting there eating potato chips? Also, getting kids and picky eaters into the kitchen is one great way to get them motivated to try new foods. 8 No Need to Waste Money on Supplements Glow Wellness / Getty Images Eating a healthful, balanced diet will provide you will all the essential vitamins and minerals you need every day. I mean, I know there's nothing wrong with taking a multi-vitamin to ensure an adequate intake, but research indicates there are more health benefits associated with eating a variety of healthful foods, and in some cases, taking supplements can be risky. Please note, however, if your healthcare provider has you taking supplements for some reason, you shouldn't stop taking them without speaking to him or her first. 9 Helps You Feel More Energetiic Cultura RM Exclusive / Edwin Jimenez / Getty Images Eating a healthy diet provides you with the carbohydrates you need for energy, along with enough B-complex vitamins to help the process along. Don't forget to start with a healthy breakfast because it helps keep you alert all morning and sets the stage for a day of healthy eating. 10 It's Good for Your Skin and Hair Paper Boat Creative / Getty Images Eating a healthy diet helps you look your best by supplying the nutrients your skin needs to stay supple and smooth and maybe stave off those wrinkles. And your hair needs good nutrition, including plenty of protein, to be soft, shiny and healthy. 11 Helps Keep Your Digestive System Healthy Adam Gault / Getty Images According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, most Americans eat far less dietary fiber than they should. needs. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system and to help maintain normal cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Eat right and includes lots fiber sources such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Looking to lose weight? Our nutrition guide can help you get on the right track. Sign up and get it free! Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Health Implications of Dietary Fiber." The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Am I at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes? Taking Steps to Lower Your Risk of Getting Diabetes." United States Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. "Dietary Guidelines for Americana 2015-2020."