Balanced Diet

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Eating a balanced diet means choosing a wide variety of foods and drinks from all the food groups. It also means eating certain things in moderation, namely saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, refined sugar, salt and alcohol. The goal is to take in nutrients you need for health at the recommended levels. Two examples of a balanced eating pattern are the USDA Food Guide at MyPyramid.gov and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH Diet). Both eating patterns emphasize fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as low or no-fat dairy products, and lean animal proteins. Fish is recommended at least two times per week, beans, nuts and seeds are encouraged, and unsaturated fats are always the fats of choice - like olive oil. Your balanced diet must be planned at your own calorie level, and portion size is key. You want to get the most nutrients for the calories by choosing food with a high-nutrient density. Nutrient-dense foods provide substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals and relatively few calories, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat and fish, and whole grains and beans. Low-nutrient dense foods have few vitamins but lots of calories, such as candy bars, soda, donuts and onion rings. Diet that can be followed for a long period of time and that will keep the body healthy. In simple terms a balanced diet includes carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, water, minerals, and dietary fibre (roughage) in appropriate quantities. What is appropriate varies according to a person's age, sex, and level of activity. Although there can be considerable variations between the diets of different people, they can still appear to result in good health. More research is needed to find out precisely what level of each nutrient is appropriate.

Recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for essential vitamins and minerals were first drawn up in the USA during World War II to ensure that rations given to US soldiers would prevent severe nutritional deficiencies. Many food and drink products now list the proportion of RDAs present in their constituent nutrients. However, although building a balanced diet around recognized RDAs would prevent severe nutritional deficiency, such a diet would not necessarily guarantee perfect health, as RDAs do not reflect a person's individual and changing needs.  American Heart Association / World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research The American Heart Association, World Cancer Research Fund, and American Institute for Cancer Research recommends a diet that consists mostly of unprocessed plant foods, with emphasis a wide range of whole grains, legumes, and non-starchy vegetables and fruits. This healthy diet is replete with a wide range of various non-starchy vegetables and fruits, that provide different colors including red, green, yellow, white, purple, and orange. They note that tomato cooked with oil, allium vegetables like garlic, and cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, provide some protection against cancer. This healthy diet is low in energy density, which may protect against weight gain and associated diseases. Finally, limiting consumption of sugary drinks, limiting energy rich foods, including “fast foods” and red meat, and avoiding processed meats improves health and longevity. Overall, researchers and medical policy conclude that this healthy diet can reduce the risk of chronic disease and cancer.[6][7] The Healthy Eating Pyramid is a simple, trustworthy guide to choosing a healthy diet. Its foundation is daily exercise andweight control, since these two related elements strongly influence your chances of staying healthy. The Healthy Eating Pyramid builds from there, showing that you should eat more foods from the bottom part of the pyramid (vegetables, whole grains) and less from the top (red meat, refined grains, potatoes, sugary drinks, and salt). 

Definition of key term
The two keys to a healthy balanced diet are:...
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