The Ingredients of a Healthy Balanced Diet (And Why Nutrition Matters)
After the long winter we all just experienced, springtime is the right time to return to healthy routines, like eating a balanced diet. This March, recognized as National Nutrition Month, spring into wellness with Harmony Healthcare Long Island by recommitting to eating right.
What Does it Mean to Have a Balanced Diet?
Every family has its own theory about how to eat right. Whether it’s including lots of green vegetables, cooking less pasta or another creative strategy, there’s a good chance your meal plan doesn’t include all the ingredients of a balanced diet.
“A healthy eating pattern is one that provides enough of each essential nutrient from nutrient-dense foods, contains a variety of foods from all of the basic food groups, and focuses on balancing calories consumed with calories expended to help you achieve and sustain a healthy weight. This eating pattern limits intake of solid fats, sugar, salt (sodium) and alcohol.”
The 5 Pieces of a Healthy Balanced Diet
How to Build Healthy Plates for Your Family
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, more than 85 percent of the calories you eat every day should be from nutrient-rich foods that help you meet food group recommendations. Lean protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy products contain vital nutrients without overloading your body with calories.
4 Healthy Eating Ideas
- Make plates of food with 50 percent fruits and/or vegetables
- Eat whole grains at least half the time you consume grains
- Drink skim or one percent milk
- Eat seafood as your protein at least twice a week
Types of Food to Avoid
When developing healthy eating habits, learning to avoid unhealthy foods is just as important as eating nutritious foods. For example, limiting foods high in solid fats, added sugars and sodium reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
Why Nutrition Matters
A healthy balanced diet will reduce your risk of developing obesity and can provide other vital health benefits, including:
- A healthier heart
- Lower risk of developing cancer
- Improved gut health
- Elevated mood
- Stronger bones and teeth
Let Us Help You Develop Healthier Eating Habits
Whether your weakness is fast food or sweet treats, it’s never easy to stick to healthy eating habits. Harmony Healthcare Long Island’s nutritionists can help you reach your healthy living goals. We design personalized plans that aid in illness prevention and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.