What is a balanced diet?
A balanced diet gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. To get the nutrition you need, most of your daily calories should come from:
- fresh fruit
- fresh vegetables
- whole grains
- lean proteins
The number of calories in a food refers to the amount of energy stored in that food. Your body uses calories from food for walking, thinking, breathing, and other important functions.
The average person needs about 2,000 calories every day to maintain their weight, but the amount will depend on their age, sex, and physical activity level.
Males tend to need more calories than females, and people who exercise need more calories than people who don’t.
Examples of foods that provide empty calories include:
|Sedentary children: 2–8 years
|Active children: 2–8 years
|Females: 9–13 years
|Males: 9–13 years
|Active females: 14–30 years
|Sedentary females: 14–30 years
|Active males: 14–30 years
|Sedentary males: 14–30 years
|Active people: 30 years and over
|Sedentary people: 30 years and over
- cakes, cookies, and donuts
- processed meats
- energy drinks and sodas
- fruit drinks with added sugar
- ice cream
- chips and fries