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November 30, 2023

Importance of Balanced Diet in a Healthy Lifestyle

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A balanced diet is essential to maintaining healthy body weight, preventing disease, boosting energy levels and promoting good mental health. It should contain a variety of nutrient-dense foods including fruit, vegetables, whole grains (preferably unprocessed), low-fat dairy, nuts and beans.

Eating well also means limiting empty calories, added sugars and unhealthy fats, especially those found in fried foods and cakes.

Proteins

A well-balanced diet supplies the body with essential nutrients and energy. The right foods can prevent and treat diseases, boost energy levels, manage weight and improve mental health.

Choose foods low in saturated fats, sugar and salt. Try to include a variety of foods from each group daily. Eat extra fibre from wholegrains, fruit and vegetables. Avoid processed foods like cakes, biscuits and takeaway meals which are often high in fat, sugar and salt.

A healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise and a balanced diet. Keeping active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week can help reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and can also increase your energy levels. You can find healthy recipes and meal plans to suit your preferences, and most supermarkets now have traffic light food labels which show the amount of fat, saturated fat, sodium (salt) and sugar per serving.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy for the body and should make up 50-60 percent of your diet. They are found in a wide variety of foods, including starches (bread, rice, oatmeal), beans, peas and lentils, and vegetables. Both simple and complex carbohydrates are turned to glucose in the blood and used for energy. Glucose is also stored in the cells of the body and in the brain. The body needs both types of carbohydrate to function well.

Choose healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains and naturally occurring sugars in fruits and milk. Avoid added sugars, which are found in many snack foods and can add up to too many calories. Look at the Nutrition Facts label to find out how much added sugar a food has. Then, select foods with less added sugar and more fiber. Drink water and low-fat or fat-free milk instead of soda and juice drinks, which often have lots of added sugar.

Vegetables

A diet rich in vegetables and other plant-based foods is a key to a healthy lifestyle. They are a source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. They also help with weight control, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Although it is important to include a variety of foods from all groups in your diet, it is also important to make sure that you are eating enough of each food group. Using smaller plates, avoiding second helpings, and choosing lean meat, fish, seafood, beans, nuts, eggs, whole grains, and limiting processed and refined sugars can all help you reach this goal.

It is also a good idea to limit fruit juice, as it may not provide the same nutrients as fresh fruits. It is also a good idea to try new vegetables and fruits, as they can add flavour to your meals.

Fruits

It is important to eat a variety of fruits because they are low in calories and contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fibre. It is a good idea to choose locally grown or seasonal fruit when possible because they have more nutrients.

Fruits are high in potassium, which helps control blood pressure and prevent hypertension. They also have antioxidants that help protect the body against free radical damage. Fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, which promotes a healthy immune system. They are a good choice for pregnant women because they are rich in folic acid, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.

The best way to eat a balanced diet is to eat foods from all the different food groups. However, it is important to avoid foods that are high in fat, salt, and added sugars because they can lead to weight gain and may increase your risk of heart disease.

Dairy

Getting the right balance of foods is a day-to-day choice. Without it, people can suffer from poor growth and development, fatigue and low performance. They are also more prone to disease and may develop unhealthy eating habits that can be difficult to break.

Eating a balanced diet can help protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. It also helps maintain a healthy weight. But what does a balanced diet look like?

A balanced diet includes foods from all groups, in the recommended amounts. Taking a variety of foods from each group will give you the energy, protein and vitamins you need to stay healthy.

Fats

A healthy, balanced diet provides the body with all of the nutrients that it needs to function normally. It also helps to prevent vitamin, mineral and dietary deficiencies, promotes normal growth and development, regulates energy levels and boosts immunity.

While fat got a bad rep in the carb-crazy ‘90s, it’s actually an important part of a healthy diet. It’s important to choose unsaturated fats (found in olive, canola and vegetable oils) over saturated fats (found in butter, lard and cream) as well as industrially-produced trans-fats and ruminant trans-fats (found in meat and dairy foods from ruminant animals).

For a healthier, balanced diet, Taylor recommends getting about 30% of your calories from healthy, unsaturated fats. However, be careful not to eat too much fat because it can add up quickly. To help keep your portions in check, try using a food traffic light system (Green = healthy, Amber = moderate and Red = unhealthy) or checking the food label.

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