The obvious benefits of a well balanced diet are associated with the benefits to our health. It is important to eat a wide variety of different foods within the five main food groups and also to know why eating these foods will be of such benefit to your health. Before we look at the benefits of your diet lets look at the foods you should be eating.
The five main food groups are:-
Carbohydrates – bread, cereals, potatoes etc – these are low in fat and should make up around one third of your diet. However, try and avoid the white version of these foods and go for the wholemeal or wholegrain.
Proteins – meat, poultry, fish etc – eating these foods in smaller portions will provide your body with the necessary proteins your body requires. Also, make sure you trim any fat off meat before you cook it and watch your method of cooking these foods. Grilling, poaching or steaming is much more healthy than frying.
Dairy products – eating dairy products will give your body calcium which is important for your bones. Try using low fat products such as skimmed milk and low fat yoghurts.
Fruit and vegetables – these are full of vitamins and nutrients and are high in fiber but low in fat and calories. You should look to eat at least five portions of these per day.
Fats and sugars – Eating these foods in limited amounts can be good for boosting energy but be careful about your intake especially with cakes, fizzy juice and sweets.
Other things to consider in your balanced diet should be to drink less alcohol as this has many calories and no health benefits, reduce your salt intake as most foods contain salt before any is added during cooking and drink between 6-8 glasses of water per day.
It is also important to read the labels and packaging on foods and understand the terms used. This makes it easier to determine and learn about portion sizes and the nutrients you are eating. Now you have established what you should be eating you can start to enjoy the benefits of a well balanced diet.
You will reduce the development of long term illnesses
The risk of heart disease can be reduced.
Your body immune system will improve.
You will keep your body weight to an acceptable level.
You will become fitter and more active.
You could prevent the onset of certain types of cancer.
You can control your blood sugars more easily
You can help lower blood pressure.
Your life expectancy will increase.
As you can see you can start to enjoy the benefits of a well balanced diet as soon as you can put this diet into practice and by making changes to your lifestyle you will start feeling healthier and reduce your chances of developing medical problems. It will also help to stabilise any current medical problems eg high blood pressure or diabetes and may prevent further problems from developing. You will feel fitter and more confident and you will be able to look forward to a happier, healthier lifestyle.
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