HOW TO EAT A WELL BALANCED DIET
HOW TO EAT A WELL BALANCED DIET. With so many different weight loss plans floating around, it’s easy to lose track of what actually constitutes a well-balanced diet.
A well-balanced diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. As far as fats are considered, monounsaturated fats like those found in olive oil and almond butter and polyunsaturated fats like those found in salmon and walnuts are preferable to saturated fats from red meat and trans fats from processed baked goods.
Sodium and sugar are big problems in the typical American diet. The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume no more than one teaspoon of sodium per day. Sugar consumption should be limited to no more than six teaspoons per day for women. Limiting your intake of processed foods and reading nutrition labels carefully is the best way to accomplish this goal.
Adult women need between 2,000 and 2,400 calories per day to maintain their body weight, depending upon their activity level. If you want to lose weight, you can cut 500 to 1,000 calories per day. Cutting below this point can cause nutritional deficiencies and is not recommended.
If you hate the idea of counting calories or keeping a detailed food log, try to think of your meals in
terms of color and variety. Including as many colors of the rainbow on your plate as possible is a great way to make sure you’re getting plenty of nutrients from your food, as long as these colors aren’t coming from a pack of Skittles!
Simple swaps can also be made to help boost the nutrition of your favorite foods. Use whole-wheat pasta to make your spaghetti instead of filling up on white carbohydrates. Buy low-fat versions of your favorite cheeses. Make a sandwich from grilled skinless chicken instead of buying processed lunch meat that is high in sodium. Women’s Day has a list of 50 Healthy Food Swaps that provides additional ideas.
In a well-balanced diet, no foods are off-limits. You can eat healthfully and still have a scoop of ice cream or a slice of pie on occasion. For these treats, however, moderate portion size is key. If you’re ordering a special treat in a restaurant, the portions on the children’s menu tend to be more in line with a healthful splurge.