Eating a healthy, balanced diet full of nutrient-dense foods can make all the difference. Some examples of nutrient-dense foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, beans, limited amounts of healthy fats, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Nutrition is an especially important aspect of ensuring children grow and develop properly.
In a fast-paced world that is often focused on what's most convenient, neglecting valuable nutrients in your diet can be easy. If maintaining a nutritious diet feels daunting or impossible, you are not alone in that.
Benefits of Balanced Nutrition
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There are countless benefits to fueling your body with the right foods and drinks it needs. According to the CDC, a few of those benefits include:
- Supporting muscles and strengthening bones.
- Lowering the risk of many serious, chronic diseases.
- Aiding in proper digestion.
- Helping maintain and achieve ideal body weight.
- Helping children grow and supporting youth brain development.
- Boosting immunity.
Figuring out what it actually means to eat healthy is a feat in today’s culture. Learn more about food groups, having a balanced diet, and what guidelines to use.
Use your plate as a guide to help you eat in a healthy way! Fill half your plate with vegetables, fill the other half of your plate with a grain/starch and a protein, and add a side of fruit.
To best fuel your body, the best food items are those that are dense with nutrients like lean protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and more.
Check out a step-by-step guide on how to save time and money on meal planning for the week with visuals and six illustrated steps.
South Dakotans as a whole do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Learn the pros and cons of implementing fresh, frozen, and canned produce into your diet.
Healthy habits are the building blocks of lifelong well-being for children and teens. Healthy eating and physical activity are important for growth and development and to prevent chronic health conditions. (Source: CDC.gov)
Possible Consequences Poor Nutrition
Fueling your body with the perfect combination of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats can improve your physical and mental health. On the other hand, neglecting a balanced diet or relying too heavily on processed foods, added sugars and saturated fats can lead to consequences that may reduce your quality of life. According to the CDC, relying on a diet without necessary nutrients can:
- Reduce your energy levels.
- Lead to poor mental health.
- Lead to being overweight or obese.
- Increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Increased risk of some cancers.