In this module, you will learn:
- Understand the importance of a balanced diet
- The different diseases associated with an unhealthy diet.
Resources to help you:
- Textbook: page 63, 64, 65 and 66
- Notebook: page 17
Eating only french fries does not give you all the nutrients that your body needs.
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What is a balanced diet?
We all have our favourite foods. However, if we only eat only our favourite foods, it may not be enough and can lead to health problems.
To make sure we stay healthy, we need to eat different types of food to ensure we get all the nutrients our body needs.
A balanced diet is a diet that contains the correct proportion of all the different groups of food such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water.
There are two ways you can try to have a balanced diet:
- Healthy Plate portion
- Food Pyramid
The healthy plate is a simple concept to follow.
Simply divide your plate in half and fill it with fruits and vegetables.
Then for the other half, divide it into quarters and fill it with one portion of proteins and the other with one portion of carbohydrates.
An example of a healthy plate portion
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The food pyramid
Another way to eat a balanced diet is to look at a food pyramid.
In the food pyramid, food are arranged from smallest portion to the largest portion in the shape of a pyramid. You eat less of food that are at the top and more of the food that are at the bottom.
However it is important to remember that different people have different needs. For example, a farmer working in the fields all day will need more energy than a student that is sitting and doing their work at home.
An unbalanced diet is a diet that contains too much or too little of a particular food group. This means the person is not getting the correct amount of nutrients that the body needs. This leads to malnutrition and can develop health problems such as:
- coronary heart diseases
Food like fried chicken and french fries contains lots of fats
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If we eat too much carbohydrates and fats, we can become overweight, if we do not do enough exercise. Eventually, it will lead to obesity (extreme overweight).
Obesity can lead to some health problems such as heart diseases e.g. heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
Avoid eating foods that are high in carbohydrates and fats such as fried foods as well as sugary food such as sweetened chocolates and candies, and do more exercise.
It is a disease that is caused by having a high level of sugar in the blood.
It can result in people losing their kidney functions and going blind.
Diabetes can happen to people of all ages including children.
Avoid an unbalanced diet of food that has too much sugar such as candies, cakes and sweetened chocolate.
Sugary food like doughnuts
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When a person does not eat enough that what the body requires on a daily basis, the person will start losing weight.
However, if the person lose too much weight and is below the expected weight of a healthy individual, the person is said to be underweight.
Being underweight can lead to a person having low physical stamina as well as a weaker immune system making them open to falling sick easier.
It is important to maintain a healthy weight to make sure that your body will perform the necessary functions to stay healthy.
Coronary heart diseases
Coronary heart diseases, one of the cardiovascular diseases, are the number one (#1) cause of death around the world. [Source: WHO]
One of the contributing factors are diets that consists of food that are high in fats or processed foods.
Coronary heart diseases can lead to heart attacks and strokes which can be deadly.
Avoid foods that are high in fats or oil such as fried chicken or french fries.
Heart attacks can happen anytime and lead to death
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Ready for the next module?
In the next module, we will look at the process of digestion and how enzymes help.