why do we need a healthy balanced diet
You've likely been told by a health professional to eat a balanced diet. Despite how common this recommendation is, you may wonder what constitutes a balanced diet and how healthy food choices benefit you. A balanced diet means eating a wide range of nutrient-dense foods in the right amounts, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and small amounts of essential fat. Eating a healthy, balanced diet plays a crucial role in maintaining radiant health. Your body needs a wide range of nutrients in the right amounts to grow, develop and maintain itself. Your body needs a wide range of nutrients in the right amounts to grow, develop and maintain itself. Too much, or not enough, of any nutrient can lead to problems. A balanced diet lowers your risk of developing a range of chronic diseases and keeps your body functioning optimally. Increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption promotes healthy blood pressure and may lower your risk for certain types of cancer. Lowering your saturated fat intake may help protect your heart. Eating enough fiber-rich foods helps lower cholesterol.
Controlling your sugar intake reduces your risk of type-2 diabetes, and eating the right number of calories keeps your weight under control.
At the core of a balanced diet are that are low in unnecessary fats and sugars and high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The following food groups are essential parts of a balanced diet. Besides being a great source of nutrition, fruits make tasty snacks. Choose fruits that are in season in your area. Theyвre fresher and provide the most nutrients. Fruits are. This sugar is natural, though, so fruit can still be a better choice for you than other foods with added sugar. If youвre watching your sugar intake or have a condition such as diabetes, you may want to opt for low-sugar fruits. People who are watching their may reach for fruits such as melons and avocadoes. are primary sources of essential vitamins and minerals. generally contain the most nutrition and can be eaten at every meal. Eating a of vegetables will help you obtain the bountiful nutrients that all vegetables provide. According to the, Americans consume refined white flour more than any other grain. has poor nutritional value because the hull of the grain, or outer shell, is removed during the refining process.
The hull is where the majority of the grainвs nutrition lies. Whole grains, however, are prepared using the entire grain, including the hull. They provide much more nutrition. Try switching from white breads and pastas to whole-grain products. Meats and are primary sources of protein, a nutrient that is essential for proper muscle and brain development. Lean, low-fat meats such as chicken, and certain cuts of pork and beef are the best options. Removing the skin and trimming off any visible fat are easy ways to reduce the amount of and in meats. The health and diet of the animal are important and influence the fatty acid profile of the meat, so grass-fed choices are ideal. Nuts and beans are good sources of protein and contain many other health benefits, as well as fiber and other nutrients. Try to eat:, and other soy-based products are excellent sources of protein and are. Dairy products provide, and other essential nutrients. However, theyвre also major sources of fat, so it may be best to choose small portions of full-fat cheeses, and reduced-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt. , such as those made from, almonds, or soy are typically fortified with and other nutrients, making them excellent alternatives to dairy from cows.
Oils should be used sparingly. Opt for low-fat and low-sugar versions of products that contain oil, such as salad dressing and mayonnaise. Good oils, such as, can replace fattier vegetable oil in your diet. Avoid deep-fried foods because they contain many empty calories. The USDA has an that can help you determine how much of each food group you should consume daily. Besides adding certain foods to your diet, you should also reduce your consumption of certain substances to maintain a balanced diet and healthy weight. These include: If you have questions about your diet or feel that you need to lose weight or change your eating habits, schedule an appointment with your doctor or a dietitian. They can suggest dietary changes that will help you get the nutrition you need while promoting your overall health.
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