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How to Achieve a Balanced Diet

A Guide to Growing Healthy Food at Home

Since March is National Nutrition Month, it is the perfect time to check-in on our New Year resolution progress and evaluate our healthy eating habits. Registered dietitian, Susan Bowerman, offers seven must-haves for a well-balanced diet to promote a lifetime of wellness:

  1. Protein– Your body is constantly assembling, breaking down and using protein, so it’s important to try to get up to 30% of your calorie intake throughout the day from lean plant or animal protein to replace what you’ve used and to maintain muscle tissue.
  2. Carbohydrates—Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for the body. You should get about 40% of your daily calories from whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits—not the sugary, starchy carbs you find in baked goods, soda, and candy.
  3. Fat– The typical American diet supplies more total fat and saturated fat than we need, and not enough healthy fats, such as fats from fish, nuts, olive oil and avocados. Try to limit your fats to 30% or less of your daily calorie intake.
  4. Vitamins and Minerals– A well-balanced diet helps to supply the vitamins and minerals your body needs. A daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement can help ensure that you get enough of these important nutrients.
  5. Phytonutrients—Plant foods produce a wide range of natural compounds called phytonutrients, which have a number of benefits such as supporting immunity and helping to repair DNA damage. To get the health-promoting benefits of phytonutrients, make sure you keep your plate full of colorful veggies.
  6. Fiber—Eating at least 25 grams of fiber from foods such as whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans will provide you the optimal fiber intake to support a healthy digestive system.
  7. Water—While we all know how important it is to drink water to stay hydrated, but water also helps regulate body temperature, lubricates joints, and is vital for nutrient absorption. Try to drink eight 8-oz glasses a day, and if you need a little flavor, iced tea or coffee also work toward your daily fluid needs.
Related  Foods You Think Are Healthy but Aren’t

For more tips from Susan, visit www.IAMHerbalife.com.

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Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training, Herbalife Nutrition

Susan Bowerman is the director of nutrition training at Herbalife Nutrition , where she is responsible for the development of nutrition education and training materials, and is one of the primary authors of the Herbalife sponsored blog, Discover Good Nutrition. She is a registered dietitian, a board certified specialist in sports dietetics and a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Susan graduated with distinction in biology from the University of Colorado, and received her master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Colorado State University. She then completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas. Susan has taught extensively and developed educational programs targeted to individuals, groups and industry in her areas of expertise, including health promotion, weight management and sports nutrition. Prior to her role at Herbalife, she was the assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, and has held appointments as adjunct professor in nutrition at Pepperdine University and as lecturer in nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Susan was a consultant to the (then) Los Angeles Raiders for six seasons, and was a contributing columnist for the Los Angeles Times Health Section for two years. She is a co-author of 23 research papers, 14 book chapters, and was a co-author of two books for the public: “What Color is Your Diet?” and “The L.A. Shape Diet” by Dr. David Heber, published by Harper Collins in 2001 and 2004, respectively.

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