What Is a Balanced Diet?


A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. In order to get the proper nutrition from your diet, you should obtain the majority of your daily calories from:
• fresh fruits
• fresh vegetables
• whole grains
• legumes
• nuts
• lean proteins


What Are Calories?
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: 1,000 to 1,400
calories
• active women ages 14 to 30: 2,400
calories
• sedentary women ages 14 to 30:
1,800 to 2,000 calories
• active men ages 14 to 30: 2,800 to
3,000 calories
• sedentary men ages 14 to 30: 2,000
to 2,600 calories
• active men and women over 30:
2,200 to 3,000 calories
• sedentary men and women over 30:
1,800 to 2,200 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,” or 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:
• bacon
• sausages
• cakes
• cheese
• cookies
• doughnuts
• energy drinks
• fruit drinks
• ice cream
• pizza
• sports drinks and sodas

 
A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. In order to get the proper nutrition from your diet, you should obtain the majority of your daily calories from:
• fresh fruits
• fresh vegetables
• whole grains
• legumes
• nuts
• lean proteins


What Are Calories?
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: 1,000 to 1,400
calories
• active women ages 14 to 30: 2,400
calories
• sedentary women ages 14 to 30:
1,800 to 2,000 calories
• active men ages 14 to 30: 2,800 to
3,000 calories
• sedentary men ages 14 to 30: 2,000
to 2,600 calories
• active men and women over 30:
2,200 to 3,000 calories
• sedentary men and women over 30:
1,800 to 2,200 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,” or 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:
• bacon
• sausages
• cakes
• cheese
• cookies
• doughnuts
• energy drinks
• fruit drinks
• ice cream
• pizza
• sports drinks and sodas

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