Nutrition plays a vital role in helping children and adults maintain good health and reduce the risk for diseases. Poor nutrition can lead to a number of conditions and/or diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, osteoporosis and even some types of cancer.
A healthy balanced diet consists of the six basic food groups:
- 3-6 ounces of grains (whole grain bread, cereal, rice, pasta, etc.)
- 2 cups of fruits (fresh, frozen or canned)
- 2 ½ cups of vegetables (dark green and orange vegetables are highly recommended)
- Meat and beans (lean meats, beans, peas, nuts, etc.)
- 3 cups of dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.)
- Fats (most should come from the fish, beans and vegetable oils; limit solid fats like butter, shortening, etc.)
Drinking plenty of water is also important in maintaining a proper diet. Try to limit the intake of high-sugar beverages and fruit juices, as well as alcoholic beverages as they can quickly dehydrate your body.
Staying active is just as important as eating a well-balanced diet. Try to participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day. Also try to practice strength-building exercises, balance exercises and stretching exercises to maintain your ability to perform many daily functions.
Speak with your doctor about the level of exercise you should participate in. While almost anyone can exercise, certain factors like age and health conditions may affect how much you should exercise.