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Good Balance: Why it is Important to Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet

Healthy DietIf you want to live a healthier life and feel better then look closely at your diet. Are you eating a balanced diet with the right mix of vitamins and nutrients to help your health? A balanced diet is important if you want to prevent illness and keep to a healthy weight. But how do you eat a balanced diet – how do you know if your diet is up to scratch? Here we talk about the components of a balanced diet and why it is important to eat well.

Balanced Diet: A Definition

A balanced diet essentially means eating a variety of healthy foods from the different food groups, and limiting your consumption of less-healthy choices. The major food groups are: fruit and vegetables; carbohydrates; protein; and dairy. You should be cutting down on foods with added sugar, salt and fat in order to benefit from a healthy balanced diet.

The Importance of the Four Food Groups

  1. Fruit and vegetables: The importance of eating a good supply of fruit and vegetables is connected to their high levels of vitamins and minerals, and their low fat content. Fruit and vegetables provide a low-calorie way to get a variety of nutrients that are essential for healthy bodies. You should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and choose a variety of different colors of fruit and veggies so you can be sure you are getting the right spread of vitamins and minerals.
  2. Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are important because eating them gives you energy. Carbohydrates also contain fiber which is essential for a healthy digestive system. Base your meals around carbs – each meal should be around one-third carbohydrate. Choose wholegrain options where possible like brown rice, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal bread, lentils, nuts, and legumes.
  3. Protein: Protein is a building block – protein helps your cells grow and keeps them healthy. If you don’t get enough protein you could suffer from muscle deterioration, growth problems, heart problems, arthritis, and hair loss. Get your protein by choosing foods like meat, chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, seeds, eggs, nuts, and soy.
  4. Dairy: You get calcium from dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. Calcium is essential for building strong and healthy bones and to avoid diseases like osteoporosis. It is best to choose low-fat dairy products and to eat around three portions a day.