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Balancing the Basics

Timeless Nutrition Tip

A well-balanced diet is defined as follows.

The intake of appropriate types and adequate amounts of foods and drinks to supply nutrition and energy for maintenance of body cells, tissues, and organs, and to support normal growth and development.

Balancing the Basics with Healthy Snacks

Balanced simply means that a diet adequately meets your nutritional needs while not providing any nutrients in excess. A balanced diet provides optimal protein and complex carbohydrates while containing only moderate amounts of sodium , fats, and simple sugars.

An unbalanced diet can cause problems with maintenance of body tissues, growth and development, brain and nervous system function, as well as problems with bone and muscle systems.

Bone Loss and Bone Strength

Osteporosis medications prevent bone loss as we age, but it's also important to consume plenty of bone-building calcium - the recommended daily intake for adults is 1,200 milligrams. Good food sources include dairy foods, fortified cereals, canned oily fish such as salmon (especially if you eat the soft bones), and spinach. Top up with a supplement that also contains vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium.

Improve Skeletal Health

Vitamin D and calcium may not be your only protection against bone loss. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables also can improve skeletal health. Research shows that a diet high in protein and cereal grains produces an excess of acid in the body, which is believed to increase calcium excretion and weaken bones. But fruits and vegetables add bicabonate, an alkaline compound, to the body, which can significantly reduce calcium excretion.

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