By: Kaliah Little
A balanced diet includes eating a variety of foods in moderation. Each day a person should eat a combination of grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat or beans. On average, you should aim for six ounces of grain, two and a half cups of vegetables, two cups of fruit, three cups of dairy, five and a half cups of meat or beans daily, and a minimal amour of oils and sugars–this is considered a balanced diet.
An easy way to derail your balanced diet would be eating processed foods. Processed foods are packaged foods that undergo specific processes like canning, freezing, refrigeration, and sterile processing. Processed foods tend to be high in sodium and fat to help preserve the food. Reading the nutrition facts on foods will help you determine the quality of the food that you are ingesting. Looking for the use of hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup are good indications that the food your looking at is processed. Because hydrogenated oils are used for preservation, they tend to make foods higher in fat and sodium. High fructose corn syrup is made of roughly 75% sugar, which will greatly unbalance your sugar intake.
When your diet contains the proper proportions of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water necessary to maintain good health, you will look and feel better. Falling into good, healthy eating habits will sustain your body and give it the energy to support your daily activities.