Characteristics of a Nutritious Diet – Part 2 of 3

To describe balance lets go back to our iron example. Many times, in food you will not find a good source of iron and calcium together. They’re usually found in food independent of each other. What I mean by this is that when one food is high in iron is usually lower calcium and vice versa. For example, dairy products are very good sources of calcium but poor sources of iron.

Okay so now that you know this, how does it factor into balance? It factors in because you want to eat food that contain both nutrients and that you don’t exclusively eat one or the other. In a sense, you want to have a balance of the food that you are eating. This does not just apply to these two nutrients it applies to all the nutrients in the body.


Foods that are high in fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt are all things you should limit. In fact, the basic guidelines are to keep fat intake at less than 30% of your total calories in a day. As a general rule you should limit the three S’s; salt, sugar, and saturated fat.

This doesn’t mean that you can never eat these foods. It means that you should limit the amount you eat of foods that contain these nutrients. Having one or two pieces of pizza is much better than not having any pizza or the whole pizza pie itself. In fact, not eating any of these foods is a good way to fail a diet because after a while you will end up binging on the food. Having one decadent meal week is perfectly acceptable. It’s when you have more than one per day that problems arise.

Moderation is not limited to junk food or unhealthy food. Foods that you should be eating every day are also included in moderation. Take fiber for example. If you eat too much fiber you set yourself up for nutrient losses. If you don’t eat enough fiber in a day then you will have digestive problems, constipation being one of them. Another example is too much vitamin C. In a normal diet you should get more than enough vitamin C. However, if you eat more vitamin C than your body can use, there will be a few side effects such as; diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and kidney stones just to name a few.

So the moral of the story is that moderation is key for not only limiting nutrients that aren’t very beneficial, but it is important for nutrients that are beneficial for your well-being.

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