People tend to think of healthy eating as a strict diet of unsubstantial meals. They imagine eating meals consisting of boring salads and food with no taste. The reality of the matter is that healthy eating should be looked at as a way of consuming a well-balanced diet with a variety of colorful and delicious foods that will be beneficial to the body. The human body requires an assortment of nutrients that include, but are not limited to fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Eating the right types of food is not the only step to healthy eating. Portion control is an important step of the healthy eating process that people tend to often overlook. Although healthy eating is a significant way to promote a healthy lifestyle, combining it with exercise will provide the body with energy, assist in weight loss, and lower the risk of disease. After all, we are what we eat. Not many people understand what it means to have a well-balanced diet. A popular belief is to eat vegetables and fruits and stay away from sugars and fatty foods. Although these are good examples of healthy eating, there is more to having a well-balanced diet. A well-balanced diet means to provide the body with the right kind of foods and liquids that will maintain the body in a healthy state for supporting normal growth and development. According to “Nutrition for Life” (2012), “As we age, our nutrient needs change with our bodies.” People require different nutrients throughout the different stages of their lives. For example, infants and toddlers need nutrients for normal growth and development. Teaching them at an early age impacts their health and weight later in life. It’s never too early to implement healthy eating habits. Well-balanced meals fuel children and give them energy for school and playtime. For women, nutrition plays an important role in fertility and pregnancy. The “Pregnancy: Staying Healthy and Safe” (2010) website states that an expecting mother needs more nutrients than before her pregnancy. In order to stay healthy, the human body needs a combination of nutrients. Unfortunately, there is not one single food that can provide everything that the body needs in order to function. According to "Let the Pyramid Guide Your Food Choices" (n.d.), “oranges provide vitamin C and folate but no vitamin B12; cheese provides calcium and vitamin B12; but no vitamin C.” Varieties of diets exist and make it difficult for a person to choose one. It is up to an individual to pick the right diet for them. Some foods to consider in a well-balanced diet include protein, dairy, and grains. There should also be fruits and vegetables mixed in the diet. It is recommended to include each food group in a meal to get the necessary nutrients for good health. Fats and oils should also be a part of a healthy diet, but they can impact health in a negative manner. Diets should limit saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. Added sugars should also be limited because although they provide some calories, they contain little to no vitamins and minerals. One last food that should be limited in order to have a well-balanced diet is sodium, also known as salt. Awareness of what a person eats is important for healthy eating, but another factor to consider is the portion. Portion control can be difficult to manage. The key is to eat enough of every food group without eating too much of them. Recommended serving sizes can be found in the Food Guide Pyramid, which is an outline based on dietary guidelines created by the United States Department of Agriculture. Many restaurants are serving more food than a person needs. When eating out, a good strategy to use is to eat half of the meal and take the other half home for another time. Another good idea is to share meals with someone else. To control portions at home a person should read the labels on packages. People can be tricked by what they believe to be a single serving,...
References: Dickinson, A., Bonci, L., Boyon, N., & Franco, J. (2012). Dietitians use and recommend dietary supplements: report of a survey. Nutrition Journal 11. 14.
Nutrition for Life. (2012). Retrieved from
Portion control for the treatment of obesity in the primary care setting. (2011, January). BMC Research Notes, 4(1), 346-350. doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-346
Pregnancy: Staying Healthy and Safe
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