The Importance of Balanced Nutrition

The food we eat has a profound impact on our health. Good nutrition fosters healthy growth and development, increases energy levels and reduces risk of diet-related non-communicable diseases.

A balanced diet includes a variety of foods from all groups and provides important nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fats, 밀키트 vitamins and minerals. It should also contain limited amounts of empty calories and unhealthy fats.

Fruits

Eating a variety of fruits is important to get the nutrients you need. Most fruits are low in fat and sodium. Fruits can help provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your diet.

Aim for five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day. One portion is 80g, which is about the size of a large grapefruit or two satsumas.

A balanced diet includes foods from all the main food groups. It should contain a quarter of proteins, a quarter of carbohydrates and a third of vegetables and starchy foods each day. It should also be low in salt, sugar and unhealthy fats. Getting the right balance of different foods will help to keep you healthy and feel energised. A balanced diet helps to decrease your risk of many diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Vegetables

Many health professionals encourage people to eat plenty of vegetables, with a guideline of five portions or more a day. Vegetables are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.

The botanical difference between fruit and vegetables is a thorny issue – for example, tomatoes are fruits by definition but are also a vegetable in common usage. The nutritional differences are much clearer, though – for instance, potatoes count as vegetables but not as fruit.

Vegetables provide nutrients essential to human health, including dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. They are also low in fat and calories, making them satiating and useful for maintaining a healthy weight. They are important for a strong immune system, helping the body to fight infections and diseases.

Dairy

The dairy food group provides an essential package of nutrients including calcium, protein and vitamin D. Dairy foods are recommended in international dietary guidelines for their nutrient-rich content and role in healthy eating patterns.

A recent international study in the PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology) cohort found that higher milk and dairy intake is associated with lower mortality and cardiovascular disease compared to low-dairy diets.

NMPF supports legislative efforts to expand school milk choices and give kids access to healthy, nutrient-rich dairy options. Dairy foods can be consumed on their own as a snack or added to meals, such as soups, sauces and salad dressings. They also provide an excellent source of energy, especially from fat, and are a key ingredient in many popular dishes.

Meat

Although meat has been given a negative image, responsible consumption of meat brings a wide range of benefits. It is very nutrient-dense, providing protein, zinc, iron and vitamin B12 which are not available in plant based foods. It also has a low glycemic load, meaning it does not have a negative impact on blood sugar levels.

Meat is an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. Adequate protein intake is necessary for normal brain function, stronger muscles and better bone health, especially in older adults. Long-term meat-abstainers can have a high risk of nutrient deficiencies, which is why eating meat in moderation is important. It also helps with maintaining a healthy weight.

Other Foods

While the conversation around diet is constantly shifting – new fads and superfoods seem to pop up every day – one constant is that balance matters. A balanced diet helps manage weight, prevents disease, promotes a healthy body, boosts immunity and regulates growth functions.

A balanced diet consists of fruits and vegetables, dairy products or their alternatives, grains, lean meats and fish. It also includes small amounts of healthy fats such as those from olive oil, and hydration through water or unsweetened beverages.

Avoid foods that provide empty calories, which are high in sugar and/or salt but low in nutritional value (like soda and energy drinks, cookies and cakes, chips and fries). Also limit the amount of processed meats. Eat regularly, aiming for three meals and snacks per day.