7 things you need to know to have a balanced diet
In the past few years, we have seen a significant change in health and lifestyle trends. With so many options available in the market to help you stay fit, a healthy lifestyle has never been more accessible.
While trendy gyms and fitness routines are all the rage, a healthy lifestyle must always be anchored on a balanced diet.
Making little changes to your diet can add up to big health benefits. To get you started on your journey to a healthier lifestyle, here is a list of things you need to know to have a balanced diet:
1. Eat vegetables and fruits
Significantly rich in minerals, antioxidants, plant protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins, these two food groups are essential in a balanced diet and should make up most of what you eat everyday. Studies suggest that people whose diets are based on vegetables and fruits are less prone to heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and a few types of cancer.
It is also important to eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits so you can get different combinations of nutrients, keeping your body healthy.
2. Eat starchy carbohydrates
This group is needed by the body because its members provide a number of benefits: Energy production, healthy bones and teeth, good red blood cell circulation, normal bowel movement, and cell and nerve formation.
So, what are considered starchy carbohydrates? This food group includes potatoes, bread, rice, whole grains, cereals, and root vegetables.
3. Eat good fats and oils
Dietary fats and unsaturated oils are still necessary in a balanced diet. A moderate amount will give you essential fatty acids that the body can’t naturally produce. It also helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E, and K, and protect cells from oxidative stress.
Fats and oils that are considered good for you include vegetable, olive, sunflower, corn, and rapeseed oils. To maintain a balanced diet, this requires cutting down on saturated and trans-fat to lessen the risk of heart diseases.
4. Eat proteins
Legumes, nuts, seafood, meat, and poultry play a key role in ensuring the growth and maintenance of muscles and healthy bones.
This food group also contains fiber, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial in the management of a healthy immune, circulatory, and nervous systems.
5. Eat dairy and dairy alternatives
Don’t be afraid to include dairy in your diet. This food group has plenty of necessary nutrients including calcium, protein, iodine, and vitamins B12 and B2.
Dairy is especially known and used for its calcium content, which primarily functions to develop and maintain strong, healthy bones. Meanwhile, the rest of the nutrients help release energy, keep healthy nerves, skin, and brain, and make sure the cells naturally grow and repair.
6. Eat a variety of food
The key to maintaining a balanced diet is to eat a variety of food from different food groups. This habit will help you obtain the right amount of nutrients in moderation.  This will also prevent you from getting tired of certain food right away.
7. Limit salt, sugar, and processed food
If you consume a lot of salt every day, you increase the risk of developing high blood pressure or hypertension. This may eventually lead to severe conditions such as stroke and heart disease. Meanwhile, sugary food and drinks, as well as processed food, contribute greatly to weight gain, which will make you prone to obesity and diabetes.
Cooking your own meals is also a great way to keep track of the nutrients you’re adding to your diet. Cooking your own food is not just healthier; it is more affordable, too!
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