Why It’s Important to Eat a Balanced Diet
Food is any material eaten to provide nutrition to an organism. Basically, food is food eaten by a living being to nourish and promote growth. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and has necessary nutrients, including protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats. All living organisms need food to survive and prosper. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and water to store energy while animals secrete hormones to excrete food.
The human body requires a variety of different food sources to meet its energy requirements. These food sources include carbohydrates (the sugars and starch), fats, vegetables, fruits, grains, and proteins. Some of these foods are more prevalent in diets than others and each of these food types provides different benefits. Some of the more popular food types are:
This is the first publication in a series on nutrition and the food cycle. In this study session 2 nutrients were introduced into four groups of subjects. One group ate a diet low in fat; another ate a diet high in fat and protein; a third ate a mixed diet that was a blend of these two; and the fourth group ate a diet of starchy carbohydrates and fat. The nutrient effects of each of these four food types were investigated. The study showed that all four groups had similar nutrient requirements.
Meat was one of the most common food sources for most people. However, very few people can and should eat meat because it contains harmful chemicals that lead to cancer, heart disease, and certain forms of diabetes. Cows, chickens, fish, and other animals are a healthier alternative to red meat. Lean meats from cows, sheep, goat, and poultry are particularly helpful for maintaining a healthy heart and have very little fat and are excellent sources of protein.
Low-fat dairy products, eggs, yogurt, poultry products, and lean meats are beneficial to our health. The benefits of dairy products are particularly important for children who should begin consuming yogurt at a young age to help them gain calcium needed for strong bones. Lean meats can be provided by choices such as skinless chicken, turkey, fish, and low-fat dairy products. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, spinach, and garlic provide vitamins and minerals your body needs for proper cell growth and healthy bones. Whole grains such as whole-wheat bread and brown rice provide an abundant supply of nutrients and energy.
A good diet should contain a variety of foods from each food group. Foods that are an important part of a balanced diet include: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, meats, and fats. Animal sources of protein include eggs, dairy products, and other foods that are animal-based. Be sure to eat a well balanced diet and choose the appropriate portions to ensure a balanced and nutritious meal.