Living a healthy and Balanced life

What is a healthy diet? (source:berkeleywellness.com)

Consume a variety of foods: eating an assortment of foods will ensure that you get all the disease fighting and nutrients those foods have to offer

  • Keep an eye on portions: When you eat higher calorie foods make sure to keep the portion size under control. When you’re out out to eat don’t order any “supersized” meals and make sure to check nutrition labels for the amount of servings you should be eating for certain foods

Eat plenty of produce: Try to eat a good amount of fruits and vegetables everyday since they provide nutrients, fiber and other compounds that help fight off diseases and certain types of cancers

  • Eat more whole grains: Whole grains contain a lot of the nutrients and fiber that your diet needs so make sure to make at least half the grains you eat whole grains

Limit refined grains, added sugar: These sugars have no dietary fiber and have been stripped of many nutrients so essentially they are no good for you

  • Enjoy more fish and nuts: Fish and nuts as well as vegetable oil supply healthy unsaturated fats and even though these foods are high in calories they do not make you gain weight

Cut down on animal fat: A lot of the fats from red and processed meat boost bad cholesterol so you should eat lean meats instead like skinless poultry and nonfat or low-fat dairy products

  • Shun trans fats: Foods with trans fat raise bad cholesterol and reduce good cholesterol, therefore increasing your risk of heart disease
  • Watch your Calcium and Vitamin D: These nutrients are essential for bone health so if you aren’t able to get enough in a day from your foods try taking supplements for them

Beware of liquid calories: Lots of drinks like soda and sports drinks are filled with sugar or sweeteners making the calorie count skyrocket so try to drink water, milk, or 100% fruit juice as an alternative as that’s much lower in calorie count

Why is a healthy diet important? (Source:fitness.gov)

A healthy diet along with physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, etc.)

  • About 33.8% of adults, 17% of children, and adolescents ages 2-19 are obese in the United States
  • Having a poor diet, even for people with a healthy weight can lead to major health risks, illnesses, and even death (Ex: heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers)

Making smart and healthy food choices can protect you from future health problems

  • Unhealthy eating habits and increased weight gain raise the risk factor for adult chronic diseases that are increasingly seen in younger ages as a result

Teaching good dietary habits in one’s childhood carries on throughout their adult lives, so teaching children to be healthy while their young benefits them

  • Eating healthy gives your body the nutrients you need, as well as reduced chronic disease risk, and maintaining a healthy weight so you keep your overall health in tact

What does the MyPlate graphic look like?

Serving size recommendations for a 2,000 calorie diet (Sources: heart.gov)

Grains: 6-8 servings per day

Examples:

  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 oz dry cereal (check nutrition label for measurement sizes)
  • ½ cup cooked rice or pasta

Vegetables: 4-5 servings per day

Examples:

  • 1 cup leafy vegetables
  • ½ cup of cut-up raw or cooked vegetables
  • ½ vegetable juice

Fruits: 4-5 servings per day

Examples:

  • 1 medium fruit (orange, apple, etc.)
  • ¼ cup dried fruit
  • ½ cup fresh, frozen, or canned, fruit
  • ½ cup fruit juice

Dairy: 2-3 servings per day

Examples:

  • 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
  • 1 cup fat-free or low-fat yogurt
  • 1 and ½ oz fat-free or low-fat cheese

Protein: Less than 6 oz per day

Examples:

  • 3 oz cooked meat
  • 3 oz grilled fish

How can eating a healthy diet affect my ability to live a healthy and balanced life?

Eating healthy can affect my ability to live a healthy and balanced life in more ways than one. It can decrease my chance of becoming a full fledged diabetic, as of right now I’m only pre-diabetic but not eating healthy keeps pushing me further to the point of diabetes. If I were to get to the point of finally becoming a diabetic it would just be a hassle as a teenager having to deal with that everyday of my life, just because I decided not to make the easy choice of eating healthy. Another pro to eating healthy for me, is that it would decrease my risk of heart disease since that runs in my family which would throw my life out of balance if I were to get that. Eating healthy wouldn’t be a pro or con to what I’d like to do as a career in the future which is to be an artist of some sort, but for many other aspects of my future eating healthy will improve it. For example, I want to get married but if I were to not eat healthy I wouldn’t be capable of living a long happy life with my future partner. Also, I’d like to adopt kids in the future but if I were to not eat healthy and be unfit, I wouldn’t be able to play with my kids or keep up with their energy because I would be too tired and unhealthy to do so. So in conclusion, eating healthy will affect my ability to live a healthy and balanced life by preventing me from getting diabetes and heart disease, as well as let me live a longer, happy life with my future partner that I marry and it will give me the energy to keep up with my future kids too.

Created By
Emily Wilson
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Created with images by ashley.maceli - "Healthy"

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