Fitnessology balanced diet plan
What is a balanced diet?
A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. To get the proper nutrition from your diet, you should consume the majority of your daily calories in:
• fresh fruits
• fresh vegetables
• whole grains
• lean proteins
The number of calories in a food is a measurement of the amount of energy stored in that food. Your body uses calories from food for walking, thinking, breathing, and other important functions.
The average person needs to eat about 2,000 calories every day to maintain their weight. However, a person’s specific daily calorie intake can vary depending on their age, gender, and physical activity level. Men generally need more calories than women, and people who exercise need more calories than people who don’t.
The following examples of daily calorie intake are based on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines:
• children ages 2 to 8 years: 1,000 to 1,400 calories
• girls ages 9 to 13 years: 1,400 to 1,600 calories
• boys ages 9 to 13 years: 1,600 to 2,000 calories
• active women ages 14 to 30 years: 2,400 calories
• sedentary women ages 14 to 30 years: 1,800 to 2,000 calories
• active men ages 14 to 30 years: 2,800 to 3,200 calories
• sedentary men ages 14 to 30 years: 2,000 to 2,600 calories
• active men and women over 30 years: 2,000 to 3,000 calories
• sedentary men and women over 30 years: 1,600 to 2,400 calories
The source of your daily calories is just as important as the number of calories you consume. You should limit your consumption of empty calories, meaning those that provide little or no nutritional value. The USDA defines empty calories as calories that come from sugars and solid fats, such as butter and shortening.
According to the USDA, Americans consume empty calories most often in:
• energy drinks
• fruit drinks
• ice cream
• sports drinks and sodas
Why a balanced diet is important
A balanced diet is important because your organs and tissues need proper nutrition to work effectively. Without good nutrition, your body is more prone to disease, infection, fatigue, and poor performance. Children with a poor diet run the risk of growth and developmental problems and poor academic performance, and bad eating habits can persist for the rest of their lives. Learn more about healthy meal plans for kids.
Rising levels of obesity and diabetes in America are prime examples of the effects of a poor diet and a lack of exercise. The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that 4 of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States are directly influenced by diet. These are:
• heart disease