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'Balanced' is Your Middle Name

As a balanced eater, you already have a healthy relationship with food. Good nutrition still requires attention. Getting the right mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats is critical to maintaining overall health, managing your weight, and reducing the risk of conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Just as important, is taking in the right balance of sodium, vitamins and fats. To ensure that you are maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, be sure to:

1. Watch or reduce your sodium intake. Salt can add up quickly, especially if you are dining out or eating a lot of prepared foods. When cooking at home, prepare foods with little or no salt, and only add enough to heighten the flavor of the foods you eat. You may find that laying off the salt for a week allows you to experience the true taste of vegetables, meats and grains -- and you may end up enjoying them more without the added sodium!

2. Eat across the rainbow. You may be eating good amounts of fruits and veggies, but if you limit your diet to the same choices for every breakfast, lunch and dinner (think, banana for breakfast, lettuce salad for lunch, and steamed broccoli for dinner), you may be missing out on some of the vitamins present in other plant foods. The more ‘colors’ you eat, the better job you will do of ensuring that you are getting enough vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, and other important nutrients. Try adding more leafy greens, citrus, melon, berries and deeply colored veggies like asparagus and beets to your rainbow!

3. Fats are your friend. Heart-healthy fats are a critical component to any healthy diet. Be sure that you are incorporating moderate amounts of healthy fats, such as olive oil, canola oil, and fats from fish, walnuts and other tree nuts into you diet to take good care of your heart.

Even balanced eaters need to be reminded of the health benefits of overall good nutrition. Lucky for you, you are already on the way!