Importance of a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Written by pat krueger
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A healthy individual is strong physically, mentally, and emotionally. Being fit and energetic depends on being physically active and maintaining a healthy diet based on provisions from all the major food groups consisting of grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and meat or meat alternatives. The importance of a healthy diet cannot be overstated.

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Natural Foods

At one time, the food an individual consumed was grown on a family or neighbouring farm. The home-grown provisions were rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fats and natural sugars. Today’s diets usually consist of prepackaged foods, soda, fast-foods, sugar, caffeine, chips, fried foods, frozen pizzas and other frozen entrées. Most processed foods contain little, if any, nutrients, but include artificial ingredients such as preservatives and flavourings. Natural food is minimally processed and includes fruits; vegetables; ocean-raised fish; lean, organic range-fed poultry, beef and other meats; whole grains; and raw nuts and seeds.

Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is about creating healthy eating habits and maintaining that lifestyle over a period of time. It brings about an equilibrium between the five food groups and gives the body the right amount of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and mineral nutrients it needs for overall good health. An individual will not be able to lead a long healthy life while eating whatever foods may be desired rather than what is healthy and wholesome.

Health Risks

Maintaining a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease or cancer. An individual who is overweight due to poor eating habits also may develop diabetes, joint problems, high cholesterol, heart disease or a stroke.

Healthy Diet/Exercise

Good health heavily depends on what an individual eats and how active his or her lifestyle may be. Exercise and a healthy diet are the foundations to a healthy way of life. Fitness and health have no quick fix. One needs to stay on and commit to a diet plan for the long term. A healthy diet is an essential part of healthy weight.

Considerations

Watch food portions and serving sizes. Eat whole grains, pastas, fish, lean meats and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also, drink lots of water. As a rule, people generally eat three large meals during the day and snack in between meals. This dietary habit usually contains high amounts of fats and chemical preservatives. To have a balanced, healthy diet, an individual should eat five to six moderate meals every day. A wide variety of foods need to be consumed to provide adequate intakes of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, which are important for overall health and well-being.

To help stay on a healthy diet plan, one should choose foods that he or she already likes and readily enjoys. One should never feel guilty overindulging in an occasional treat. Completely staying away from a cookie, candy or some other indulgent food can bring out insatiable cravings that can tear down personal resolve to eating healthy.

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