A balanced diet is no doubt the foundation of good health. But, what exactly is a balanced diet?
Generally speaking, a balanced diet is a diet comprised of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, fat, protein, water, and the essential 13 vitamins and 20 minerals.
More specifically, a balanced diet is a diet built around a variety of:
- whole grains
10 Super Foods
To keep your diet balanced, simply keep these 10 Super Foods handy for daily meals and snacks. If you have diabetes, your body still needs balanced nutrition, so modify these food amounts for your personal blood sugar levels.
#1: Sweet Potatoes – These potatoes are some of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat. Sweet potatoes are loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. And sweet potatoes can be cooked in many fun ways.
#2: Whole-Grain Bread – Properly fermented and processed grains are higher in fiber and contain about a dozen more vitamins and minerals than refined white or “wheat flour.” Gluten-free is a recent health concern that may require buying higher quality grains or gluten-free grains. Just make sure that you are eating grains that are as purely processed as possible. Good grains don’t have to be expensive – just true grain.
#3: Broccoli – Broccoli is loaded with lots of vitamin C, carotenoids, and folic acid (B9). But, buy organic broccoli because conventional broccoli retains the chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides used to grow them in mass.
#4: Watermelon – This juicy melon is an excellent source of vitamin C and carotenoids. Make sure to buy watermelon with the seeds, however, because seeded watermelons will be the non-GMO, original melons.
#5: Beans – Beans are inexpensive, low in fat, and rich in protein, iron, folic acid, and fiber. Choose from garbanzo, pinto, black, Navy, kidney, or lentils.
#6: Cantaloupe – Just a quarter of this delicious melon supplies almost as much vitamin A and C as most people need in an entire day.
#7: Spinach and Kale – Loaded with vitamin C, carotenoids, calcium, iron, the B-vitamins, and fiber, spinach and kale are both true Super Foods.
#8: Oranges – A great-tasting fruit that is rich in vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber, quality oranges can satisfy a “sweet tooth.” Like any fresh fruit and vegetable, only buy the ones with their seeds – seeds are there for a reason!
#9: Oatmeal – Plain, old-fashioned whole-grain oatmeal is inexpensive and has no added sugar or fat.
#10: Organic dairy – Dairy has been demonized for a half a century, but organic dairy is an excellent source of calcium, vitamins, and protein with little or no artery-clogging fat or cholesterol. Purely processed cottage cheese, yogurt, dry cheeses, milk, and eggs are more Super Foods to keep in the fridge, especially if growing children or the elderly are around.
No doubt about it: there are upcoming risks to eating many of the food products on the market today, from the diet sweeteners to GMOs. But we live in a world of farmers, and if we eat smart, which is eating a balanced diet of whole foods, we are not only eating for our health, but we can enjoy it, too!
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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.