Balanced diet and exercise promote health

Every year people make the New Year’s resolution to lose weight, and dieting is a method that some people choose.

According to, a diet is defined as maintaining the amount of nutrients going in the body and taking in a minimum amount of salt, sugar, cholesterol and fat.

According to a survey by Weight Watchers, 45 percent of women in the United States make this resolution to gain a flat tummy and a toned body to look good for the coming summer.

Some people who diet do it for health reasons, while others seek the goals of their personal pleasures.

“I gotta look good in my two-piece bikini when I take my trip to the Bahamas, and you know the summer is coming up too, so I got to look ‘right,'” said Tasha Gordon, 20, a sophomore elementary education student from Fort Lauderdale.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, dieting is essential to good health.

Good dieting can prevent some of the most common problems and diseases such as headaches, heart disease and, a growing issue in the United States, obesity.

Dieting is healthy only if you do it the correct way. A diet can never go wrong if it is done naturally, that is without supplements such as pills. According to the East Central ISD food service,, eating a variety of foods is a component of healthy dieting.

This provides your body with the energy, along with other nutrients and fibers, which it needs.

Another component of a healthy diet is a balance between the food you eat and physical activity. Exercise is just as important as eating healthily.

Without exercise the body cannot perform at its best, even if it is just walking to and from class a couple times a day.

In an article posted on the American Diabetic Association Web site, Lynn Swann chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which oversees the President’s Challenge said “Young people need to understand what makes up a balanced diet, the importance of variety and moderation, and how necessary it is to incorporate much more physical activity into their daily routine.”

Experts at the ADA say that a healthy lifestyle consists of a well-balanced eating plan coupled with regular physical activity. A lifestyle of both diet and exercise reduces your chances of having high blood pressure, a stroke, cancer and diabetes.

There are many different methods of dieting. A new supplement called Miracleburn is said to control your appetite, increase your metabolism and burn fat, but exercise must be part of the process.

Some other diets are the Atkins Diet and the Zone Diet. People who are on the Atkins Diet are allowed to take in only 20 grams of carbohydrates a day.

The Zone Diet is said to create a balance in the basic food groups (40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fat, and 30 percent protein) daily.

Diet information provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says, when choosing a diet, be sure to choose one with the following characteristics: Plenty of grain products, fruits and vegetables (these reduce the risk of chronic diseases). Low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol (this maintains a healthy weight). Moderate in sugars (sugars have too many calories and not enough nutrients). Moderate in salt and sodium (which reduces the risk of high blood pressure).

While fulfilling your New Year’s resolution, keep in mind that exercising, eating food rich in nutrients and eating small portions is the natural way to lose weight successfully.

On the ADA Web site said, “If you’re striving for long-term weight control, include regular activity and healthy food choices in your daily routine.”

Healthy Food Choices

If you eat meat, eat it baked, grilled and broiled rather than fried. Take the skin off before eating chicken. Eat fish at least once a week.

Cut back on extra fat, such as butter or margarine on bread, sour cream on baked potatoes, and salad dressings.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with your meals and as snacks.

When eating away from home, watch out for “hidden” fats (such as that in salad dressing and desserts) and larger portion sizes.

Read the nutrition labels on foods before you buy them. If you need help reading the labels, ask your doctor or your nutritionist.

Drink no- or low-calorie beverages, such as water, unsweetened tea and diet soda.

Contact Tiffany Facey-Lim at