Unlike diets, which are often restrictive and intended for short-term weight loss, a balanced diet is diverse and adequate for activity level. In other words, you simply need to eat from all the food groups and treat food as fuel for a fit, active lifestyle. A balanced diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, seeds, nuts and healthy oils. While your intake of fats, salt and sweets should be limited, there is room in a balanced diet for the occasional treat. The benefits of a balanced diet are enormous. You'll feel better, look better and have a longer, healthier life.
Low-fat milk, cheese and even a bit of frozen yogurt are excellent sources of a mineral called calcium. Calcium is essential for maintaining a strong, stable skeletal system that minimizes your risk of fractures and enables you to live an active lifestyle. If you are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy, then consume seeds, nuts and soy as other sources of calcium.
Long Life and Prosperity
Eating well won't guarantee prosperity, but it can certainly prolong your lifespan. A balanced diet reduces your risk of a multitude of medical problems including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and some types of cancer. Additionally, a healthy diet bolsters your immune system's ability to fend off illness and disease.
Conquering the Scale
Combined with regular exercise, a balanced diet can help you lose weight if you are overweight or obese, or it can simply help you maintain a healthy weight for life. Not only is weight loss and maintenance good for your health, it may help you feel better about yourself and contribute to an overall sense of well-being.
In addition to a positive body image, a balanced diet may help prevent mental illness. According to the President's Challenge, good nutrition combined with an active lifestyle may reduce stress, anxiety and depression and increase your energy levels.