A Balanced Diet Is the First Step to a Healthy Life

by Esmeralda Ramirez, age 12

We need to take care of our bodies by eating the right foods. In order to keep healthy, we need to make sure that we are eating the right amount and portions of food. There are three primary sources of food: carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Carbohydrates are foods like sugars and starches. They can be found in rice, bread, potatoes and sweet things. They are the main source of energy along with fats, which are greasy and can’t dissolve in water. Fats are not only a source of energy but also a source of vitamin D and E. Some fats are solid, such as those found in meat and cheese. But others, like corn oil, are liquid.

Our body needs 20 different “amino acids.” Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. From them the body can create proteins, necessary to make, repair and manage cells. Our bodies can make twelve amino acids; the other eight must come from protein in food. Proteins in meat and fish have all the amino acids we need. Vegetables and fruit only have some of them, so it is important for vegetarians to choose the right combination of fruits and vegetables.

There are many protein sources. Depending on what they are, some have less protein and others that have more. Rice is 6 percent of protein; bread has 8 percent; and raw fish is 15 percent. Raw meat has 23 percent; cheese has 25 percent; peanuts have 28 percent; and soybean flour has 40 percent. The most protein-rich foods are beans and nuts.

The human body is really good at taking care of itself, but we still need to eat the right proportions of foods. If we eat too much fat, we can become overweight and can increase our risk of heart disease. That’s why eating the right amount of protein, fats and carbohydrates is so important. A balanced diet and regular exercise are necessary in order for the body to stay healthy.

[Source: The Big Book of Knowledge ]

This is a really good article! I'm glad you mentioned exercise, because sometimes people forget just how important it is to stay active. – Ben , Madison (2014-05-31 12:40)