A balanced diet is a daily choice that can benefit your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. It prevents diseases, infections and weariness while helping you lose weight, manage diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and manage diabetes management.
Diets that provide proper balance among carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins and liquids often reduce unhealthy food options that provide extra calories without providing essential nourishment.
Protein, along with carbohydrates and fats, is one of the three key sources of energy (calories). Our bodies cannot produce all the unique proteins required for survival; therefore they must come from our diet. Foods derived from animals (eggs, milk and meat) that contain high quality animal-based proteins provide essential amino acids needed for growth and proper functioning in our bodies.
Eating a balanced diet – also referred to as a healthy eating pattern – helps meet your nutritional requirements and can prevent illness. A well-rounded eating pattern includes foods from all food groups and may help manage weight, build muscle mass and decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases and chronic illnesses.
Fruits are essential components of a balanced diet and provide essential vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients such as folate, potassium, vitamin C and fiber. Incorporating more fruit into one’s daily meal helps maintain a healthy weight while also decreasing heart disease risks and helping protect against certain cancers.
A nutritious diet includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Eating enough of each food group may lower your risk of obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Strive to consume at least five portions of various fruits and vegetables every day, whether fresh, frozen, canned or dried. When selecting canned fruits be sure they contain water or juice instead of syrup as this can provide greater nutrition.
Certain vegetables stand out for providing essential nutrition in a balanced diet, particularly leafy green vegetables like spinach that boast vitamin A and calcium content, while dark green ones provide folate and magnesium.
Starchy vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes provide energy-rich carbohydrates, while also providing essential fibre to support digestive health and prevent constipation issues.
Vegetables are herbaceous annual horticultural crops that can be eaten both cooked and raw for consumption. Vegetables provide the body with essential fiber, vitamins, minerals and non-nutrient compounds such as phytochemicals and phenolics which protect it against disease as well as helping manage healthy weight management, reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure reduction and managing diabetes management.
Fat is essential in the human diet as a source of energy storage, providing vitamins (A, D and E) and helping the body function correctly. Unfortunately, too much dietary fat may increase cholesterol levels and lead to heart disease.
Stick with fish, low-fat milk and unsaturated fats such as olive, canola or vegetable oils, nuts and avocado for your omega 3 needs.
Empty calories from sugar and unhealthy fats can quickly add pounds, leading to chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. To maintain a healthy body weight and prevent chronic illnesses such as these it is recommended that we consume foods from all five food groups; for those who are living with an existing medical condition it may be important to speak to their physician regarding special dietary recommendations.
Fiber is essential to proper digestive functioning, maintaining cardiovascular health and normalizing blood pressure levels, as well as helping lower the risks of diabetes, cancer and obesity. A well-rounded diet should contain fiber for its many benefits for health.
There are two forms of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and can ease constipation; it can be found in whole grains, wheat bran, beans and vegetables such as cauliflower, potatoes and green beans.
Include vegetables, fruits and starchy foods like beans in your diet every day – for instance by creating nachos with refried beans and lots of fresh vegetables alongside whole-wheat tortilla chips! Avoid processed foods such as soda, energy drinks and cookies which provide empty calories instead opt for snacking on some unsalted nuts or seeds as an occasional treat instead.