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Why is it important to eat a balanced diet?

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Quick Answer

According to The New York Times Health Guide, eating a balanced diet is important because it ensures that the body gets the nutrition and energy it needs to support normal growth and development and maintain its cells, tissues and organs. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition notes that a well-balanced diet also helps prevent obesity and disease and helps people feel good in general.

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Why is it important to eat a balanced diet?
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Full Answer

The President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition reports that approximately one-third of adults and 17 percent of 2-year-olds to 19-year-olds in the United States are obese. The Council points to unhealthy eating habits as the cause of this obesity epidemic. It also notes that eating a balanced diet is important for people at a healthy, normal weight, because it can prevent major health risks like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.

A balanced diet is a varied diet that includes foods from all of the basic food groups. The food groups, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate program are bread, cereal, rice and pasta; fruit; vegetables; milk, yogurt and cheese; meat, poultry and fish; and fats, oils and sweets. Although a balanced diet includes some fats and sweets, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation warns that sugary and high-fat foods should be eaten only in moderation.

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