A balanced diet is essential for our physical and mental health. Beyond weight management, eating healthful foods rich in nutrients gives us energy and can prevent diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Our moods and feelings can be dependent on the nutrients in our diet, including essential fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and water.
Food choices depend on history, culture, and environment, as well as on energy and nutrient needs. People also eat foods for enjoyment. Family, friends, and beliefs play a major role in the way we select foods and plan meals.
Some of the guidelines for Americans include:
- Eat a variety of foods
- Balance the food you eat with physical activity
- Maintain or improve your percentage of body fat
- Choose a diet:
- with plenty of whole grain products, vegetables, and fruits
- low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
- moderate in sugars, salt and sodium
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation
According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, taking small steps like drinking water instead of soda, and eating more fruits and vegetables can make a big difference in your health. Encourage your loved ones by starting a healthy-eating conversation, and incorporate nutrition awareness into your daily lives. Doing grocery shopping together for healthy foods, and cooking healthy meals together a few times a week are a few ways to create healthy habits.
Community Wellness Programs and Support Groups
To learn more about nutrition, we encourage you to find a program or wellness group for more tips, ideas, and information. Click the link below to learn other helpful resources.