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What is a healthy, well-balanced diet?


Posted by Be Well

What is a healthy, well-balanced diet?
 
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A well-balanced diet includes food from the five main food groups. These are:

  • bread, cereal (including breakfast cereals) and potatoes (starchy foods),
  • fruit (including fresh fruit juice) and vegetables,
  • meat and fish,
  • milk and dairy foods, and
  • fat and sugar.

Most people should be eating three main meals a day. Most people need to eat more starchy foods and more fruit and vegetables, as well as reduce their fat intake, drink less alcohol and eat less salt. Look for labels that say food is low in fat (particularly saturated fat), low in salt and sugar-free.

Fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, low in calories and high in fiber. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables keeps the heart and body healthy. They are also an ideal alternative to eating chips and chocolate as snacks between meals.

Actually, fat is an essential component in maintaining a healthy diet. Low fat foods often contain thickeners and added sugars, so be sure to really read the labels. Healthy fats, like avocadoes and almonds are necessary for regulation of body fat and maintaining a healthy weight, and they also keep you fuller longer. Just make sure you are eating healthy, natural fats- not saturated and trans fats (those wreak havoc on your health!).

Eating FIVE SMALL meals a day is best, because this keeps your metabolisim running, which not only maintains health but also a healthy weight.

Protien is an essential component to a healthy, well-balanced diet, and it will keep you full longer as well as help you maintain a healthy weight. It will keep you strong!

Fruits filled with water, like melons, are excellent, and vegetables with vibrant colors generally contain more vitimins and minerals. Although they are EXCELLENT for your diet, be careful with excessive fruit consumption, because (some more than others) fruit does contain natural sugars, and fruits are generally considered carbohydrates.

When you are eating carbohydrates, make sure you truly read the labels. Although there are "whole grain stamps" don't be mislead, there are actually TWO different stamps. The one you want to look for is the one that says "100%" on it, meaning that it is a TRUE whole grain. The ingredients should also NOT contain the words "bleached" or "enriched" because those words mean your not eating true whole grains. Look for the words "Stone Ground" or "Cracked wheat"... those are keywords for whole grains.

Salt and Sugar can be diet killers, and can cause a myriad of health problems, so limit your intake of them. You DO need salt in your diet though, in small amounts.

 DRINK A TON OF WATER. Water is ESSENTIAL to the body. Our body and muscles are composed mostly of water! Water also helps to flush out toxins and keep things moving regularly, as keeps you hydrated. Sometimes we actually mistake our dehydration for hunger and in turn end up over-eating, so staying hydrated will keep you from excess consumption as well. There are TONS of benefits to water, so drink up!

 

If you want, I write an article for a local newspaper, and some of them pertain to this question exactly. You can find them and other helpful diet & exercise info as well as videos on my website! Good Luck!! :)

A healthy well balanced eating plan includes not only the right amount of calories, but also the quality of those calories, the nutrient timing and the right balance of nutrients. Getting the right amount of calories for your needs is all about calories in and calories out, in other words, how much you eat vs. how much you burn. The quality of those calories count! Eating high quality, natural, unprocessed foods not only makes you healthier, but also leaner since the right kind of calories interacts with your metabolism in a positive way, they 'cost' more energy to be be metabolized. I always tell my clients, if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it! Eating a plant based diet of unprocessed foods, with lean protein, low fat dairy and the right kinds of fats (coming from avacado,nuts, olive oil, flax etc). Another thing to consider (an important one) is nutrient timing. It's ideal to strive to eat every 3-4 hours to maintain stable blood sugar and take advantage of the thermic effect of food (each time we eat, our basal metabolic rate increases in order to digest and breakdown the food). The thermic effect of food is higher in whole foods rather than fast, processed foods, giving us another reason to make healthier choices! Add in regular physical activity and you have a good plan for good body composition (lean mass to fat mass ratio), but you will also have more energy, better overall health and will live a longer more vital life. It's all simple, but not easy to implement!
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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