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What is a balanced diet and how is it achieved?

What is a balanced diet and how is it achieved?
Eating a balanced diet is an important part of maintaining health.  A balanced diet gives your body the nutrients it needs so that it can function correctly. To get the proper nutrition from your diet, you should consume most of your daily calories in:
  • fresh fruits
  • fresh vegetables
  • whole grains
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • lean proteins

A balanced diet

The 5 food groups are simple guidelines created by qualified experts rendering making it easier to make healthy choices and eat a balanced diet filled with nutritious and healthy food.

The 5 food groups

You can choose a variety of foods from each of the 5 food groups every day:
  • vegetables and legumes (beans) 5 servings per day
  • fruit 1-3 servings per day
  • grains and cereals
  • lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes (such as chickpeas, lentils, beans) tofu, nuts, seeds
  • milk, cheese, yoghurt or alternatives
Each food group has important nutrients and it is good for your health to eat in the seasons.  This way you are ensuring your body will receive all the nutrients it needs consistently.
Eating your vegetables raw is certainly sometimes the healthier option. However; there are also

Optional choices

Foods that are not included in the 5 food groups are called ‘discretionary choices’ or ‘extras’. Sometimes these foods are called junk foods and should be avoided or limited.
These include:
  • biscuits
  • cookies
  • cakes
  • ice cream
  • ice blocks
  • soft drinks
  • cordials, sports, fruit and energy drinks
  • lollies and chocolates
  • processed meats
  • potato crisps
  • savoury snack foods
  • commercial burgers
  • hot chips
  • fried foods
  • alcohol
These foods and drinks often provide excessive amounts of energy, saturated fat, sugar or salt. They are often described as ‘energy-rich but nutrient-poor foods’.
They also often replace healthier foods in the diet.
It is important to always check the ingredients and nutrition labels before making choices on which foods to buy.  These labels will give you a good indication of how much sugar, salt or unhealthy fats are contained in the food

Topic: Nutrition

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