1Malaysia

Aspek utama ialah sikap saling hormat menghormati dan bersikap menerima di antara satu sama lain.Masyarakat majmuk di Malaysia perlu disatukan melalui '1Malaysia'. Hubungan kaum dipereratkan bagi jangka masa panjang.[2] Tiada perbezaan antara bandar, luar bandar dan kumpulan etnik sekiranya mereka mempunyai potensi berhak mendapat bantuan kerajaan berbanding anak-anak golongan berada yang sudah tentu mempunyai peluang pendidikan yang terbaik. Kerajaan menawarkan akses pemula dengan menyediakan datar permainan yang adil tetapi kita sebagai kerajaan tidak berkemampuan memastikan penghasilan yang sama. Prinsip utama yang mendasari 1Malaysia adalah kebersamaan dan kekitaan dalam satu keluarga besar.[3] Logo 1Malaysia adalah logo melambangkan visi negara iaitu untuk mewujudkan satu masyarakat yang berpadu dan mempunyai semangat cintakan negara berpandukan Perlembagaan Negara dan Rukun Negara. Ia juga mencerminkan rakyat Malaysia yang saling bekerjasama, bermuafakat, berdikari, berfikir dan menghayati satu visi untuk membina satu Negara Bangsa 1. PENGENALAN Rakyat Malaysia terdiri daripada pelbagai kaum dan agama perlu menganggap diri mereka sebagai bangsa Malaysia yang berfikir dan bertindak ke arah mencapai satu matlamat. Sejajar dengan ini, perpaduan yang sedia terjalin antara kaum di negara ini perlu diperkukuhkan lagi bagi mewujudkan suasana negara yang lebih aman, maju, selamat dan makmur. Konsep 1 Malaysia yang diperkenalkan oleh YAB Dato Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Perdana Menteri, adalah langkah yang bertepatan dengan suasana dan cita rasa rakyat. Konsep ini selari dengan apa yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan Prinsip-Prinsip Rukun Negara 1 Malaysia membawa aspirasi untuk memperbaiki hubungan kaum bagi memastikan rakyat Malaysia dapat menjalin perpaduan yang lebih erat. Perkara asas yang perlu diwujudkan dalam semangat perpaduan adalah perasaan hormat menghormati, keikhlasan dan sikap saling mempercayai antara kaum. ‘1 Malaysia’ juga akan mewujudkan sebuah kerajaan yang mengutamakan pencapaian berpaksikan keutamaan rakyat sebagai mana slogan YAB Perdana Menteri iaitu ‘Rakyat didahulukan, Pencapaian diutamakan’. ‘1 Malaysia’ memerlukan kepimpinan dan rakyat yang berintegriti tinggi. Sifat jujur, berkebolehan, bercakap benar, telus, ikhlas dan amanah amat penting untuk melaksanakan tanggungjawab kepada negara. 1 Malaysia memerlukan pemimpin yang bijak mentafsir dan memahami tugasan yang diberi. Pemimpin cemerlang dan komited sewajarnya memiliki kebolehan yang tinggi dalam merancang, mengatur strategi, menilai prestasi dan menepati masa dalam memberi perkhidmatan yang terbaik kepada rakyat. Kesungguhan dan komitmen terhadap tugas dan tanggungjawab menjadi asas atau senjata paling ampuh dalam mencapai sesuatu kejayaan. Negara memerlukan rakyat yang berdedikasi dan komited untuk melaksanakan tugas dan tanggungjawab dengan penuh iltizam, azam dan tekad demi kepentingan dan kemajuan negara.

Malaysia juga memerlukan pemimpin yang mesra rakyat dan sanggup berkorban masa, tenaga dan kewangan serta mengetepikan kepentingan peribadi demi negara Malaysia. Pemimpin yang bekerja dengan penuh dedikasi dan hati yang ikhlas akan mendapat sokongan dan dihormati oleh semua lapisan masyarakat. Semua kaum perlu mengutamakan kesetiaan dan kepentingan kepada negara mengatasi kesetiaan kepada kaum dan kelompok sendiri. Negara ini adalah negara untuk semua rakyat, tanpa mengira kaum, agama, budaya serta fahaman politik. Semua kaum perlu menganggap bahawa mereka adalah bangsa Malaysia di mana segalanya perlu dinikmati secara bersama. Malaysia adalah negara kita di mana tidak ada masyarakat atau kaum yang akan dipinggirkan daripada menikmati pembangunan dan pembelaan daripada kerajaan. 1 Malaysia adalah pemangkin kepada pengwujudan negara bangsa yang dapat membina Malaysia sebagai negara yang mempunyai sikap kesamaan dan kekitaan di kalangan rakyat. Keupayaan membina negara bangsa bergantung kepada perkongsian nilai integriti, kebolehan, dedikasi dan kesetiaan. Pemimpin dan rakyat perlu memahami dan menghayati lapan nilai 1Malaysia, iaitu budaya kecemerlangan, ketabahan, rendah hati, penerimaan, kesetiaan, meritokrasi, pendidikan dan integiti. 2. DEFINISI Konsep 1 Malaysia menurut penjelasan YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak: “Kita berdiri, kita berfikir dan bertindak sebagai bangsa Malaysia. One People. Dan kita mengambil tindakan-tindakan berdasarkan kehendak semua kumpulan etnik dalam negara kita; Ini bukan bererti kita mengetepikan dasar afirmatif, dasar untuk menolong kaum Bumiputera asalkan dasar itu dilaksanakan dengan cara yang adil dan memberi pertimbangan kepada golongan Bumiputera yang layak mendapat sesuatu pertimbangan daripada kerajaan. Kita keluar daripada cara bertindak dalam tembok etnik yang kita amalkan sejak sekian lama”. 2.1 Huraian Berdasarkan penjelasan di atas, dapat dirumuskan kesimpulan berikut : 2.1.1 Konsep 1 Malaysia menuntut setiap warganegara dan pemimpin memainkan peranan masing. Ayat yang menyebut “Kita berdiri, berfikir dan bertindak sebagai bangsa Malaysia. One People” menuntut rakyat daripada pelbagai kaum dan agama berfikir melepasi sempadan kaum masing-masing. Mereka juga di tuntut melahirkan tindakan yang melepasi tembok kepentingan etnik dan kaum. Justeru, bangsa Melayu sebagai contoh, diminta tidak hanya berfikir dalam skop bangsa mereka sahaja. Mereka juga diminta tidak hanya membataskan tindakan mereka kepada perkara-perkara yang menjadi kepentingan mereka sahaja. Demikianlah juga dengan kaum-kaum yang lain, mereka dituntut melakukan perkara yang sama.

Sementara ayat “dan kita mengambil tindakan-tindakan berdasarkan kehendak semua kumpulan etnik dalam negara kita” lebih menjurus dan bersangkutan dengan kepimpinan negara. Perenggan ini bermakna kepimpinan negara akan melayani dan memenuhi segala keperluan dan hak semua kaum dan etnik di Malaysia. 2.1.2 Nilai tambah dan pembaharuan dalam Konsep 1 Malaysia “Mengambil tindakan-tindakan berdasarkan kehendak semua kumpulan etnik dalam negara kita” telah dilaksanakan kerajaan semenjak kemerdekaan negara lagi. Perkara ini berjalan dalam bentuknya yang tersendiri iaitu pihak kepimpinan negara melayani kehendak dan keperluan setiap etnik melalui wakil kaum masing-masing. Melalui konsep 1 Malaysia, YAB Perdana Menteri mahukan setiap wakil rakyat bertindak melepasi sempadan kaum masing-masing dan melebarkan khidmat mereka kepada kaum-kaum lain. 3. PERBEZAAN ANTARA KONSEP 1 MALAYSIA DENGAN KONSEP MALAYSIAN MALAYSIA Berpandukan definisi konsep 1 Malaysia yang dinyatakan di atas, konsep 1 Malaysia memiliki kelainan seperti berikut: 3.1. “Konsep Malaysian Malaysia adalah satu dasar yang mahu menggagalkan terus asas binaan kemasyarakatan yang wujud buat sekian lama. Keadilannya diambil secara membuta tuli dengan mengambil konsep kesamarataan versi total. Tetapi konsep 1 Malaysia lebih kepada untuk mengharmonikan rakyat dalam ruang lingkup yang berbeza”. 3.2. Di samping menjaga kepentingan semua kaum, konsep 1 Malaysia juga menekankan soal integrasi dan pengwujudan bangsa Malaysia. Berbeza dengan Malaysian Malaysia yang hanya terbatas kepada kesamarataan hak tanpa mengambil kira realiti dan sejarah negara Malaysia. 4. KEDUDUKAN KONSEP 1 MALAYSIA Konsep 1 Malaysia bukanlah satu wawasan atau gagasan pemikiran baru. Sebaliknya Konsep 1 Malaysia ‘Rakyat didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan’ lebih merupakan satu konsep dalam bidang pentadbiran yang menyarankan pemimpin-pemimpin Kerajaan menjalankan tugas dengan lebih cekap, amanah dan bertanggungjawab demi kepentingan rakyat. 5. HUBUNGAN KONSEP 1 MALAYSIA DENGAN DASAR-DASAR KERAJAAN TERDAHULU Perkaitan antara konsep 1 Malaysia dan dasar-dasar megara terdahulu dinyatakan sendiri oleh YAB Perdana Menteri. Beliau menegaskan “konsep 1 Malaysia, Rakyat Didahulukan. Pencapaian Diutamakan, adalah kesinambungan daripada dua konsep yang diperkenalkan oleh Perdana Menteri terdahulu. Konsep ini bukanlah suatu perkara baru. Sebaliknya “1 Malaysia, Rakyat Didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan, merupakan satu usaha yang telah lama

diamalkan. Usaha-usaha memelihara dan menjaga kepentingan rakyat serta negara sudah dilaksanakan sejak zaman Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. Usaha-usaha membangunkan rakyat dan negara telah disambung oleh PerdanaPerdana Menteri seterusnya. Setiap Perdana Menteri mempunyai gagasan tersendiri, namun matlamatnya tetap sama iaitu untuk rakyat dan negara. 6. MATLAMAT ‘1 Malaysia’ bermatlamat untuk mengekalkan dan meningkatkan perpaduan dalam kepelbagaian yang selama ini menjadi kekuatan Malaysia serta rakyatnya dan kelebihan ini akan dipelihara sebagai bekalan terbaik kita untuk menghadapi sebarang cabaran. ‘1 Malaysia’ juga akan mewujudkan sebuah kerajaan yang mengutamakan pencapaian berpaksikan keutamaan rakyat seperti yang terpamer melalui slogan YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak iaitu ‘Rakyat didahulukan, Pencapaian diutamakan’. 7. NILAI-NILAI 1 MALAYSIA Terdapat lapan nilai yang diterapkan oleh YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak dalam konsep ‘1 Malaysia’. Nilai-nilai murni ini diharap dapat menyatu padukan rakyat Malaysia dengan fikiran dan tindakan yang menjurus kepada satu matlamat iaitu untuk negara. Lapan nilai-nilai tersebut adalah: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Budaya kecemerlangan Ketabahan Rendah hati Penerimaan Kesetiaan Meritokrasi Pendidikan Integriti

7.1. BUDAYA KECEMERLANGAN Pengamalan budaya cemerlang akan membawa Malaysia ke tahap kejayaan serta pencapaian yang lebih tinggi. Kejayaan dan pencapaian masyarakat dan negara bergantung setakat mana budaya kecemerlangan diamalkan oleh rakyatnya. 7.1.1 Budaya cemerlang perlu dilaksanakan secara berterusan dengan mementingkan prestasi sebagai pengukuran tahap pencapaian atau kemajuan. 7.1.2 Prinsip ketepatan menjadi elemen dalam menentukan kecemerlangan. Ketepatan menguruskan masa amat penting dalam menentukan kemajuan dan penerimaan orang lain terutama apabila berurusan dengan pihak-pihak luar negara. 7.1.3 Ketepatan pengukuran, jadual penyampaian dan kualiti amat berhubung rapat bagi menentukan kecemerlangan dan kejayaan.

7.1.4. Negara luar akan mengiktiraf Malaysia sebagai negara yang mementingkan kualiti dan ketepatan dalam segala bidang terutama dalam sistem perdagangan dunia yang berteraskan eksport. 7.2. KETABAHAN Setiap perjuangan atau pelaksanaan kerja memerlukan ketabahan dan ketekunan mereka. Perjuangan untuk mencapai kemajuan dan kecemerlangan negara amat memerlukan pemimpin dan rakyatnya tabah menghadapi segala rintangan dan dugaan. 7.2.1 Rakyat Malaysia perlu tabah menghadapi dugaan dan cabaran untuk kejayaan diri dan Negara. 7.2.2 Penggemblengan semangat bekerja keras, dedikasi serta tabah menghadapi segala rintangan dan dugaan adalah ramuan yang terbaik mencapai sesuatu matlamat. 7.2.3. Ketabahan dalam menghadapi perubahan peribadi wajar dijadikan wadah bagi memperbetulkan kesilapan atau kegagalan perkara-perkara yang terdahulu. 7.2.4. Kejatuhan atau kemerosotan yang dialami perlu dikaji kelemahankelemahan yang ada dan perlu memperbaikinya secara positif. 7.2.5 Sikap mudah mengalah, kecewa dan menyerahkan kepada takdir perlu dikikis jika ingin maju dan berjaya 7.2.6 Dalam menangani kegagalan, pendekatan yang berbeza dan kreatif perlu diambil bagi menghasilkan perubahan yang lebih besar dan menakjubkan 7.5.7 Semangat juang yang tinggi dan berpendirian teguh perlu ada bagi mencapai kejayaan diri, masyarakat dan negara. 7.3 RENDAH HATI Rasa rendah hati adalah satu sifat yang penting untuk dimiliki. Dalam Islam, rendah hati dikatakan Tawaduk’. Sifat merendah diri amat digalakkan dalam ajaran Islam begitu juga dengan budaya dan sifat masyarakat Melayu yang menghormati orang yang merendah diri. 7.3.1 Merendah diri yang dimaksudkan tidak bererti kita tunduk atau mengalah dengan orang lain. 7.3.2 Segala kemampuan dan kebolehan yang dimiliki tidak perlu ditunjuk dan dibanggakan dengan cara yang tidak digemari masyarakat Malaysia. 7.3.3 Masyarakat Malaysia amat menghormati serta menyukai sifat merendah diri tetapi mempunyai kekuatan dalaman dan pendirian yang teguh terhadap sesuatu prinsip. 7.3.4 Sikap merendah diri ini perlu bersesuaian dengan masa, keadaan dan tempat di mana kita berada.

7.3.5 Apabila berada di luar negara serta berurusan dengan masyarakat luar, sikap merendah diri perlu dielakkan untuk mencerminkan kekuatan, keyakinan dan kemampuan kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia, tetapi bukan dengan cara kekasaran dan penindasan. 7.4. PENERIMAAN Konsep penerimaan dan toleransi adalah dua perkara yang berbeza sama ada daripada ungkapan mahupun pelaksanaan. Penerimaan akan memperlihatkan perlakuan yang positif menerima sepenuhnya sesuatu perkara dengan hati yang ikhlas tanpa ada unsur-unsur terpaksa. Manakala toleransi pula berlaku kerana tiada pilihan lain atau secara terpaksa. Perlakuan atau sikap toleransi berlaku apabila sesuatu pihak tiada pilihan lain dan ianya diterima dengan ketidakjujuran. 7.4.1 Malaysia memerlukan rakyat yang dapat menerima apa jua perkara baik dan mendapat persetujuan secara bersama. 7.4.2 Penerimaan semua kaum untuk mendapatkan yang terbaik amat diperlukan bagi membina sebuah negara bangsa. Perkara-perkara yang terbaik daripada kaum Melayu, Cina, India dan lain-lain perlu diterima pakai serta mendapat penerimaan daripada masyarakat negara ini. 7.4.3 Semua program dan peruntukan kewangan daripada kerajaan wajar diagihkan secara adil, menyeluruh dan saksama mengikut keperluan tanpa sekatan, lapisan masyarakat, kaum, etnik, agama dan fahaman politik. 7.4.4 Semua peluang seperti pendidikan, biasiswa, subsidi, bantuan kewangan dan agihan projek perlu adil mencerminkan keperluan ‘1 Malaysia’. 7.4.5. Pembangunan diri tanpa mengambil mengira jantina dan latar belakang etnik sebaliknya ditentukan oleh keupayaan peribadi dan bakat seseorang. 7.5 KESETIAAN Prinsip kesetiaan amat diperlukan dalam apa jua keadaan. Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara adalah prinsip kedua Rukun Negara wajib dipegang erat oleh setiap rakyat negara ini tanpa berbelah bahagi. Semua kaum perlu mengutamakan kesetiaan dan kepentingan kepada negara mengatasi kesetiaan kepada kaum dan kelompok sendiri. 7.5.1 Kesetiaan kepada pemimpin atau ketua di dalam sesuatu organisasi adalah teras kepada kewibawaan, keteguhan, kejayaan, kecemerlangan dan. 7.5.2 Pengikut perlu menunjukkan kesetiaan dan ketaatan kepada ketua kerana organisasi yang berpecah dan tidak setia kepada arahan ketua akan mengalami kehancuran. 7.5.3 Kesetiaan akan membina kepercayaan serta menjalin satu ikatan peribadi antara dua pihak. 7.5.4 Perhubungan dan ikatan yang kukuh melalui kesetiaan perlu dilakukan dengan jujur dan ikhlas terhadap perhubungan sama ada dengan kawan, keluarga atau pemimpin.

7.5.5 Kritikan dan pandangan yang membina perlu diterima dalam perhubungan bagi menterjemahkan kepada kejayaan. Mengkritik secara betul terhadap kesilapan atau kekurangan adalah lambang setia kawan. 7.5.6 Kritikan dalam usaha membina kekuatan perlu dilakukan dengan bijaksana dan dengan niat yang baik agar segala kelemahan dan kesilapan dapat dibaiki untuk kebaikan bersama. 7.5.7 Pemimpin atau ketua sesuatu organisasi perlu menghindari sikap sombong, tidak mahu ditegur atau dikritik. 7.5.8 Kesetiaan perlu disertai dengan keupayaan melaksanakan tugas dengan cemerlang. 7.5.9 Nilai atau ganjaran kepada kesetiaan perlu berasaskan kepada keupayaan, pencapaian dan kemajuan yang dilaksanakan dalam setiap perhubungan. 7.5.10.Kesetiaan atau perhubungan yang membuta tuli tanpa sebarang kemajuan adalah tidak bernilai. Perhubungan yang berasaskan kepada cara mengampu perlu dihindari agar tidak disalah gunakan oleh pihak yang sering mengambil kesempatan. 7.6 MERITOKRASI Meritokrasi merupakan satu hala tuju yang perlu diamalkan dalam negara demokrasi bagi memastikan mereka yang layak dan memenuhi kriteria diberi peluang untuk memacu pembangunan negara. 7.6.1 Dalam keadaan tertentu terdapat pihak yang kurang bernasib baik atau ketinggalan seperti masyarakat yang tinggal di kawasan pendalaman, estet-estet dan perkampungan baru adalah menjadi tanggungjawab Kerajaan untuk membantu golongan tersebut.. 7.6.2 Meritokrasi menekankan persaingan secara terbuka berasaskan kriteriakriteria yang ditetapkan dan sesiapa yang berjaya memenuhi kriteria-kriteria tersebut berhak dipilih. 7.6.3 Dalam melaksanakan prinsip meritokrasi, pemilihan berasaskan prestasi dan budaya cemerlang akan memaksimumkan potensi Malaysia dalam semua bidang. 7.6.4 Dalam aspek pemerolehan kerajaan, pemilihan syarikat untuk ditawarkan kontrak dibuat melalui tender terbuka dan syarikat yang berjaya hendaklah memenuhi kriteria-kriteria yang ditetapkan. 7.6.5 Dalam pemilihan syarikat, kontraktor, pemberi khidmat, perunding dan sebagainya wajar dilaksanakan melalui persaingan yang menitikberatkan kepada setiap pihak yang bersaing membuktikan potensi yang kecemerlangan masingmasing dan serta memberi tawaran terbaik merangkumi harga, produk, perkhidmatan dan hasil yang dijanjikan. 7.6.6 Prinsip meritokrasi membudayakan masyarakat Malaysia dalam menghadapi cabaran globalisasi/liberalisasi.

7.7 PENDIDIKAN Pendidikan dan pengetahuan adalah prasyarat penting untuk mana-mana negara mencapai kejayaan. Kekuatan dan ketahanan adalah berasaskan kepada masyarakat yang berpendidikan dan berpengetahuan mengatasi kekuatan ketenteraan. 7.7.1 Negara perlu memiliki masyarakat yang mengutamakan pendidikan dan pengetahuan dari segala-galanya. 7.7.2 Budaya membaca berupaya melahirkan rakyat Malaysia yang mempunyai minda yang sentiasa terbuka. 7.7.3 Sekolah aliran kebangsaan telah ditakrifkan semula untuk memasukkan sekolah vernakular. 7.7.4 Semua aliran, sama ada sekolah kebangsaan , sekolah Cina dan sekolah India hendaklah sentiasa mencari peluang berinteraksi dengan mengadakan aktiviti bersama. 7.7.5 Kurikulum yang dibangunkan untuk ketiga-tiga aliran hendaklah menekankan nilai-nilai bersama yang perlu dipupuk untuk membentuk satu Malaysia. 7.8 INTEGRITI Adalah penting bagi sesebuah kerajaan untuk mendapat kepercayaan dan keyakinan rakyat. Kepercayaan dan keyakinan diperoleh melalui nilai-nilai integriti. Nilai ini perlu diamalkan oleh semua pihak daripada pemimpin sehingga semua peringkat tanpa mengira kedudukan. 7.8.1 Bersikap jujur terhadap sesuatu tindakan dan percakapan. 7.8.2 Bercakap benar walaupun perkara yang disampaikan itu pahit dan sukar diterima. 7.8.3 Berusaha memperbaiki kesilapan. Setiap perkara atau tindakan yang gagal atau salah perlu diperbaiki bagi mendapatkan hasil yang sempurna. 7.8.4 Menepati janji dan masa adalah sifat mulai yang dituntut dalam agama Islam. Memungkiri janji boleh mengikis kepercayaan dan kesetiaan. 7.8.5 Menerima kritikan dan teguran dengan hati yang terbuka walaupun perkara ini sukar diterima oleh sesetengah pihak. Segala kritikan dan teguran perlu dijadikan iktibar dan panduan untuk membetulkan kesilapan dan kesalahan yang dilakukan 7.8.6 Kelayakan dan kemampuan perlu diberi keutamaan tanpa sebarang kepentingan atau melalui saluran tidak sah.

7.8.7 Mengetepikan kepentingan peribadi dalam segala tindakan dan perlakuan. Kepentingan negara perlu diletakkan mengatasi segala kepentingan lain. Sifat ingin mengutamakan diri, keluarga dan kelompok tertentu perlu dijauhi. 8. KESIMPULAN Konsep Satu Malaysia akan membawa aspirasi untuk memperkukuhkan hubungan kaum bagi memastikan rakyat Malaysia dapat menjalin perpaduan yang lebih erat sebagaimana kehendak prinsip Rukun Negara. Perkara yang perlu diwujudkan dalam semangat perpaduan adalah perasaan hormat menghormati dan sikap saling mempercayai antara kaum. Rakyat perlu memahami dan mengamalkan bahawa segala tindakan perlulah mengutamakan kepentingan negara. Semua kaum perlu menganggap bahawa mereka adalah bangsa Malaysia di mana segalanya perlu dinikmati secara bersama. Malaysia adalah negara kita di mana tidak ada masyarakat atau kaum yang akan dipinggirkan daripada menikmati pembangunan dan pembelaan daripada kerajaan. Nilai-nilai murni ini diharap dapat menyatu padukan rakyat Malaysia dengan fikiran dan tindakan yang menjurus kepada satu matlamat iaitu untuk negara. Melalui konsep ‘1 Malaysia’ ini tidak akan wujud perasaan tidak berpuas hati kepada mana-mana kaum kerana semua rakyat adalah Bangsa Malaysia dan Rakyat Malaysia yang mempunyai satu hala tuju dan cita rasa untuk bersama memajukan negara. Pembinaan negara bangsa bagi sebuah negara berbilang kaum seperti Malaysia adalah amat penting terutama dalam era globalisasi yang membenarkan pengaliran secara bebas dan pantas bukan sahaja maklumat, modal serta manusia tetapi juga sistem nilai, budaya dan kepercayaan dari pelbagai negara. Keupayaan membina negara bangsa bergantung kepada perkongsian nilai integriti, kebolehan, dedikasi dan kesetiaan. Sesungguhnya semua rakyat Malaysia perlu mendasari prinsip-prinsip utama 1 Malaysia iaitu kebersamaan (togetherness) dan kekitaan (sense of belonging) bagi menjayakan konsep ini.

What is the importance of a balanced diet?
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it is important because it makes us stay healthy.............
Balanced diet means a diet that has food items from all the major food groups. There are five major food groups which are grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and meat and meat alternatives. A balanced diet strikes a balance amongst these five food groups and gives the body the right amount of nutrients that it needs for overall good health. Eating a balanced diet is not about having one good

meal. It is about creating healthy eating habits and maintaining it over a period of time. It is not at all an easy thing to do. I mean, try and eat 6 to 11 servings of grains, 3 to 5 servings of vegetables, 2 to 4 servings of fruit, 2 to 3 servings of dairy products and 2 to 3 servings of meat or meat alternatives on a daily basis and you will know what difficulty is all about. Some diet tips Irregular eating habits can have small, mediocre to devastating side effects on the human body. The most common problem with western eating habits is that people eat three large meals in a day and a lot of snacks in between to end those hunger cravings. Now most of these snacks are processed food. These contain a high amount of fats and chemical preservatives used to preserve the food. It simple terms, it is unhealthy. People fail to recognize the effects of these mid meal snacks. They think that, I am having just three meals a day and I am still gaining weight. But eating less doesn't necessarily mean that you will lose weight. On the other hand, it is much better if you eat five to six moderate meals everyday. A balanced diet must contain carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, mineral salts and fibre. It must contain these things in the correct proportions.

Index
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Carbohydrates: these provide a source of energy. Proteins: these provide a source of materials for growth and repair. Fats: these provide a source of energy and contain fat soluble vitamins. Vitamins: these are required in very small quantities to keep you healthy. Mineral Salts: these are required for healthy teeth, bones, muscles etc.. Fibre: this is required to help your intestines function correctly; it is not digested. Balanced Diets: we must have the above items in the correct proportions.

Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy. They contain the elements Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. The first part of the name "carbo-" means that they contain Carbon. The second part of the name "-hydr-" means that they contain Hydrogen. The third part of the name "-ate-" means that they contain Oxygen. In all carbohydrates the ratio of Hydrogen atoms to Oxygen atoms is 2:1 just like water. We obtain most of our carbohydrate in the form of starch. This is found in potato, rice, spaghetti, yams, bread and cereals. Our digestive system turns all this starch into another carbohydrate called glucose. Glucose is carried around the body in the blood and is used by our tissues as a source of energy. (See my pages on respiration and balanced chemical equations.) Any glucose in our food is absorbed without the need for digestion. We also get some of our carbohydrate in the form of sucrose; this is the sugar which we put in our tea and coffee (three heaped spoonfuls for me!). Both sucrose and glucose are sugars, but sucrose molecules are too big to get into the blood, so the digestive system turns it into glucose. When we use glucose in tissue respiration we need Oxygen. This process produces Carbon Dioxide and water and releases energy for other processes. Now try my starch test in the

Virtual Laboratory

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Proteins Proteins are required for growth and repair. Proteins contain Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and sometimes Sulphur. Proteins are very large molecules, so they cannot get directly into our blood; they must be turned into amino-acids by the digestive system. There are over 20 different amino-acids. Our bodies can turn the amino-acids back into protein. When our cells do this they have to put the amino-acids together in the correct order. There are many millions of possible combinations or sequences of amino-acids; it is our DNA which contains the information about how to make proteins. Our cells get their amino-acids from the blood. Now try my Biuret test in the Virtual Laboratory Proteins can also be used as a source of energy. When excess amino-acids are removed from the body the Nitrogen is excreted as a chemical called urea. The liver makes urea and the kidney puts the urea into our urine.

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Fats Like carbohydrates, fats contain the elements Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. Fats are used as a source of energy: they are also stored beneath the skin helping to insulate us against the cold. Do not think that by avoiding fat in your diet you will stay thin and elegant! If you eat too much carbohydrate and protein, you will convert some of it into fat, so you will put on weight. You must balance the amount of energy containing foods with the amount of energy that you use when you take exercise. You must have some fat in your diet because it contains fat soluble vitamins.

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Vitamins Vitamins are only required in very small quantities. There is no chemical similarity between these chemicals; the similarity between them is entirely biological. Vitamin A: good for your eyes. Vitamin B: about 12 different chemicals. Vitamin C: needed for your body to repair itself. Vitamin D: can be made in your skin, needed for absorption of Calcium. Vitamin E: the nice one - reproduction?

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Mineral Salts These are also needed in small quantities, but we need more of these than we need of vitamins. Iron: required to make haemoglobin. Calcium: required for healthy teeth, bones and muscles. Sodium: all cells need this, especially nerve cells. Iodine: used to make a hormone called thyroxin.
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Fibre We do not // can not digest cellulose. This is a carbohydrate used by plants to make their cell walls. It is also called roughage. If you do not eat foods materials which contain fibre you might end up with problems of the colon and rectum. The muscles of you digestive system mix food with the digestive juices and push food along the intestines by peristalsis; if there is no fibre in your diet these movements cannot work properly.

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A Balanced Diet You must have carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals salts and fibre in the correct proportions. If there is not enough protein, you will not be able to grow properly and you will not be able to repair yourself i.e. wounds will not heal properly. If you do not have enough energy containing foods you will feel very tired, you will not have enough energy. If you have too much energy containing foods you will become overweight. If you think that you are overweight you might try taking more exercise to "burn off" some of the excess food which you ate at you last meal.

Balanced diet

Fish in diet Alternative Names Well-balanced diet

Food guide pyramid

Healthy diet

Recommendations The term "balanced" simply means that a diet meets your nutritional needs while not providing too much of any nutrients. To achieve a balanced diet, you must eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups. There are several guidelines available to help you plan your balanced diet. They include:

• •

The Food Guide Pyramid The U.S. Dietary Guidelines (RDA guidelines)

General Guidelines

• • •

Do not skip breakfast. Eat at least three meals each day. Eat foods from each of the food groups at every meal.

The most important step to eating a balanced diet is to educate yourself about what your body needs, and to read the nutrition label and ingredients of all the food you eat. New dietary guidelines from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) recommend fewer calories and smarter food choices. Some of the key recommendations:

Follow a balanced diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan. • Balance your calorie intake with exercise. Slowly decrease the amount of calories you take in while increasing exercise to prevent gradual weight gain over time. Exercise regularly and reduce activities in which you sit (such as watching TV). • Eat 2 cups (4 servings) of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables (5 servings) per day for an average 2,000-calorie per day diet. • Eat 3 or more ounces of whole-grain products per day. • Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. • Get fewer than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids. • Avoid trans fatty acids. • Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg/day. • Make total fat intake no more than 20 - 35% of calories. Choose "good" fats such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils containing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Lean, low-fat, or fatfree meats, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products are preferable. Total fat intake can approach 35% if most of the fats are "good" fats. • Stay away from added sugars. • Consume fewer than 2,300 mg (approximately one teaspoon of salt) of sodium daily, and limit added salt when you prepare food. • Do not consume more than 1 alcoholic drink per day for women, 2 per day for men. Certain people should not drink any alcohol.

Balanced diet

Fish in diet Alternative Names Well-balanced diet

Food guide pyramid

Healthy diet

Recommendations

The term "balanced" simply means that a diet meets your nutritional needs while not providing too much of any nutrients. To achieve a balanced diet, you must eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups. There are several guidelines available to help you plan your balanced diet. They include:

• •

The Food Guide Pyramid The U.S. Dietary Guidelines (RDA guidelines)

General Guidelines

• • •

Do not skip breakfast. Eat at least three meals each day. Eat foods from each of the food groups at every meal.

The most important step to eating a balanced diet is to educate yourself about what your body needs, and to read the nutrition label and ingredients of all the food you eat. New dietary guidelines from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) recommend fewer calories and smarter food choices. Some of the key recommendations:

Follow a balanced diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan. • Balance your calorie intake with exercise. Slowly decrease the amount of calories you take in while increasing exercise to prevent gradual weight gain over time. Exercise regularly and reduce activities in which you sit (such as watching TV). • Eat 2 cups (4 servings) of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables (5 servings) per day for an average 2,000-calorie per day diet. • Eat 3 or more ounces of whole-grain products per day. • Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. • Get fewer than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids. • Avoid trans fatty acids. • Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg/day. • Make total fat intake no more than 20 - 35% of calories. Choose "good" fats such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils containing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Lean, low-fat, or fatfree meats, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products are preferable. Total fat intake can approach 35% if most of the fats are "good" fats. • Stay away from added sugars. • Consume fewer than 2,300 mg (approximately one teaspoon of salt) of sodium daily, and limit added salt when you prepare food. • Do not consume more than 1 alcoholic drink per day for women, 2 per day for men. Certain people should not drink any alcohol.

A Balanced Diet
Uploaded by ihatesuchin (24) on Jul 5, 2004

A balanced diet is one that provides an adequate intake of energy and nutrients for maintenance of the body and therefore good health. A diet can easily be adequate for normal bodily functioning, yet may not be a balanced diet. An ideal human diet contains fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, water and fibre all in correct proportions. These proportions vary for each individual because everyone has different metabolic rates and levels of activity. Malnutrition results from an unbalanced diet, this can be due to an excess of some dietary components and lack of other components, not just a complete lack of food. Too much of one component can be as much harm to the body as too little. Deficiency diseases occur when there is a lack of a specific nutrient, although some diet related disorders are a result of eating an excess. An adequate diet provides sufficient energy for the performance of metabolic work, although the energy food is in an unspecified form. A balanced diet provides all dietary requirements in the correct proportions. Ideally this would be 1/7 fat, 1/7 protein and 5/7 carbohydrate.

Energy is provided by carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Proteins are a provider of energy in an emergency, but are primarily used as building blocks for growth and repair of many body tissues. These energy providing compounds are needed in large quantities in our diet so are described as macronutrients. We also need much smaller amounts of other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Because much smaller quantities are needed for a balanced diet these are known as micronutrients. Despite the small quantities needed these are essential to provide a healthy diet as they have specific roles in metabolic reactions and as structural components. Within the cells of our body, the nutrients ingested are converted to other compounds which are then used for metabolism and other cellular reactions. Starch, a major carbohydrate is converted to glucose which can be then synthesised into fat for storage, proteins are synthesised from amino acids, and phospholipids are made from glycerol and fatty acids. However there are some organic compounds which despite being essential for a healthy diet cannot be made by cells so must be provided by diet. These are essential amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamins. Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are a rapid source of energy, they are the body's fuel. The bulk of a balanced diet should be made from carbohydrates. If eaten in an excess of the dietary requirements carbohydrates are easily stored as fats in the cells, although carbohydrate is the first source of energy in the body. An average adult requires about 12,000kJ of energy a day, most of this is supplied by the respiration of carbohydrates in the cells. Carbohydrates are used principally as a respiratory substrates, i.e. to be oxidised to release energy for active transport, macromolecule synthesis, cell division and muscle contraction. Carbohydrates are digested in the duodenum and ileum and absorbed as glucose into cells. Sources of carbohydrates such as starch are rice, potatoes, wheat and other cereals. Sugars are also carbohydrates, sources of sugars are refined sugar - sucrose, which is a food sweetener and preservative and fruit sugars - fructose. If the diet lacks carbohydrate stores of fat are mobilised and used as an energy source. Lipids Lipids are a rich source of energy in the diet, they can be greatly reduced in metabolic reactions and therefore release much energy. They are easily stored in the body and can form a layer beneath the skin of adipose tissue. As lipids are such a rich source of energy they are often not needed for respiration if there are adequate quantities of carbohydrate for the energy output of the body. Meat and animal products are rich in saturated fats and cholesterol, plant oils are rich in unsaturated fats. As lipids are digested in the intestine into fatty acids and glycerol, some fatty acids are only available in the diet and cannot therefore be synthesised in the cell in any way. These are therefore known as Essential Fatty Acids. Fatty acids are categorised according to the number of double bonds they have in their carbon chain. Saturated fatty acids have none, monounsaturated fatty acids have one, polyunsaturated fatty acids have more than one. Essential polyunsaturated fatty acids cannot be synthesised in the body from anything else as the correct enzymes to add double bonds after the ninth carbon to the carbon chain are not present. Two essential fatty acids are linoleic and linolenic acid which are found in vegetable oils such as soya, sunflower and maize. Fatty acids are needed for the formation of cell membrane phospholipids and also for the production of steroid hormones such as prostaglandins and thromboxin which have important roles in the renal, immune and circulatory systems as signalling chemicals. Deficiencies of essential fatty acids result in limited growth in children, poor healing of wounds, scaly skin and hair loss. Obesity is a result of a high fat intake in the diet and lack of exercise. Obesity is in fact a form of malnutrition as the diet is not balanced. The risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, CHD, arthritis (due to extra pressure on joints), stroke and some cancers are increased dramatically with obesity. Proteins Protein is not a direct source of energy in the body, it is used primarily for growth and repair of body tissues although can be used as an energy source as a last resort. Proteins fulfil a wide variety of roles in the body, they are broken down in the stomach and intestines to amino acids which are then absorbed. The body can only form 8 amino acids to build proteins from, the diet must provide Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) which are synthesised into proteins which can be structural, i.e. collagen in bone, keratin in hair, myosin and actin in muscle; metabolic enzymes, haemoglobin, protective antibodies and communicative hormones.

Sources of protein include meat, fish, eggs and pulses. The diet needs to provide 8 EAAs as the body is unable to synthesis proteins without these molecules. 2 other amino acids are synthesised from EAAs so if the diet lacks the original EAAs these other two will not be present either. Phenylalanine is converted to tyrosine and methionine is converted to cysteine. Cells draw upon a pool of amino acids for protein synthesis which either come from dietary protein digested and absorbed in the gut and the breakdown of body protein such as muscle. However, unlike fats and carbohydrates there is no store of amino acids for cells to draw on, any amino acid in excess of immediate bodily requirements is broken down into urea and excreted. It is therefore important to maintain the dietary intake of protein everyday. If the body lacks protein, muscle wasting occurs as muscle is broken down . If protein is lacked in a diet a person develops kwashiorkor which is caused when high levels of carbohydrates are eaten to overcome the lack of protein in the diet. One symptom of kwashiorkor is the abnormal collection of fluid around the abdomen due to the lack of protein in the blood. The body cannot retain water by osmosis and fluid accumulates in tissues causing them to become waterlogged. Vitamins Vitamins cannot be synthesised by the body so must be supplied by diet. Vitamins have no common structure or function but are essential in small amounts for the body to be able to utilise other dietary components efficiently. Vitamins fall into two categories, fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K which are ingested with fatty foods and water soluble vitamins such as the B group vitamins and vitamin C. Vitamins are known as micronutrients because only small quantities are required for a healthy diet, in fact fat soluble vitamins can be toxic in high concentrations, for example the body stores vitamin A, or retinol, in the liver as it is toxic if kept in high concentrations in the blood stream, a dose of more than 3300mg of vitamin A can be considered toxic. Water soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and B groups vitamins can be excreted in the urine if in excess in the diet. Vitamins carry out a wide range of functions and prevent specific deficiency diseases. A diet that lacks a certain vitamin is not a balanced diet, vitamins have vital roles in the maintenance of a healthy body. An example of a deficiency is when the diet does not contain enough, or any vitamin A. Vitamin A is found in some animal foods such as milk, eggs, liver and fish liver oils, related compounds such as carotenoids e.g. b carotene, are in a wide variety of vegetables such as cabbages, carrots and spinach. Vitamin A is essential to the proper functioning of the retina in the eye and the epithelial tissues. A lack of vitamin A results in dry, rough skin, inflammation of the eyes, a drying or scarring of the cornea xerophthalmia, which occurs when the secretion of lubricating tears is stopped, the eyelids become swollen and sticky with pus. Mucous surfaces of the eye may become eroded allowing infection to set in, leading to ulceration and destruction of the cornea. Night blindness - an inability to see in dim light can also occur. Rod cells in the retina of the eye detect light of low intensity, they convert vitamin A into a pigment, rhodopsin, which is bleached when light enters the eye. Rod cells resynthesis rhodopsin, but if there is a deficiency of the vitamin, rod cells can no longer function and the result is night blindness. Epithelial cells use retinol to make retinoic acid, an intracellular messenger used in cell differentiation and growth. Without retinoic acid epithelial cells are not maintained properly and the body becomes susceptible to infections, particularly measles and infections of the respiratory system and gut. Xenophthalmia is common among children who's diets consist of mainly cereals with little meat or fresh vegetables, this is common in Indonesia, Bangladesh, India and the Philippines. Vitamin D, or calciferol, is another fat soluble steroid vitamin which functions to stimulate calcium uptake from the gut and its deposition in bone. Vitamin D acts as a hormone when converted by enzymes in the gut and liver into an active form "active vitamin D", which stimulates epithelial cells in the intestine to absorb calcium. Vitamin D is therefore essential in growing children's diets to enable the growth of strong bones. Without adequate amounts of vitamin D children can develop rickets, which is the deformation of the legs caused when they lack calcium to strengthen the bones. In adults a lack of vitamin D in the diet can lead to osteomalacia, a progressive softening of the bones which can make them highly susceptible to fracture. Vitamin D is made by the body when exposed to sunlight and is stored in the muscles, however, if the skin is rarely exposed to the sunlight or is dark little vitamin D is produced. Foods such as eggs and oily fish are all rich in vitamin D. Vitamin K, phylloquinone, is found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. It is a fat soluble vitamin which is involved in the clotting process of blood. In the intestines bacteria synthesise a number of important clotting factors which need vitamin K. Without vitamin K cuts can fail to heal and internal bleeding can occur. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, known chemically as ascorbic acid. It is found in citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, and also in potatoes and tomatoes. The main function of vitamin C is the formation of

connective tissues such as collagen. It is also known to be an antioxidant which helps to remove toxins from the body and aids the immune system. A lack of vitamin C leads to Scurvy, a condition experienced by sailors on long journeys when they did not have fruit in their diets. Scurvy causes painful, bleeding gums. As vitamin C is water soluble, it is not toxic in high doses as it can be excreted in the urine, very high doses can however cause diarrhoea. B group vitamins have a wide range of roles acting as co-enzymes in metabolic pathways. They are found in most plant and animal tissues involved in metabolism, therefore foods such as liver, yeast and dairy products are all rich in B group vitamins. Deficiency of B group vitamins include dermatitis, fatigue and malformation of red blood cells. Minerals Some minerals are considered to be macronutrients as they are required in fairly large amounts in the diet to maintain a healthy body. Minerals are required in their ionic state in the diet. Calcium, Ca2+, is a major constituent of bones and teeth and is required to keep bones strong. It is required in blood clotting as an activator of various plasma proteins and is also involved in muscle contraction. Calcium is used in synapses and also as an enzyme activator. A good source of calcium is in dairy products, eggs and green vegetables, the RDA for calcium is 800mg. Chlorine, Cl-, is required to maintain the osmotic anion / cation balance of the body and the formation of HCl in the stomach. It is found in table salt and is rarely deficient in the diet as it is used as a preservative to may foods. Sodium, Na+, is also found in table salt as well as dairy foods, meat, eggs and vegetables. Sodium is used in conjunction with chlorine in the maintenance of the osmotic anion / cation balance. It is also needed in nerve conduction and muscle action. Potassium, K+, is yet another mineral required in nerve and muscle action, it also has a role in protein synthesis. It is found in meat, fruit and vegetables. Phosphorus, in the form of phosphate, PO43- is a constituent of nucleic acids, ATP, phospholipids in cell membranes, bones and teeth. It is present in dairy foods, eggs, meat and vegetables. Magnesium, Mg2+, is an important component of bones and teeth and is also an enzyme activator. It is found in meats and green vegetables. Micronutrients are minerals needed in trace quantities. Despite the small quantity required, they are still essential to a healthy balanced diet. Iron, in the forms of Fe2+ and Fe3+, are required in the formation of haemoglobin and myoglobin. Iron is a constituent of many enzymes as a prosthetic group and also as an electron carrier in mitochondria. Red meat, liver and green vegetables are all sources of iron. Iron supplements are taken by people who suffer from anaemia. Iodine, I-, is a component of the growth hormone thyroxine. A lack of iodine in the diet can cause hypothyroidism which results in weight gain and in extreme cases a lack of physical and mental development known as cretinism. A swelling of the neck can occur which is called goitre if iodine is deficient in the diet. Iodine can be found in seafood such as shellfish, seaweed and fish. Iodine has also been added to water supplies in areas where it is deficient in the main water system. Copper, Cu2+, manganese, Mn2+ and cobalt, Co2+, are all needed in the diet to form co-factors for enzymes. Copper is also needed for bone and haemoglobin formation and cobalt is needed for the production of red blood cells, manganese is also a growth factor in bone development. They are found in meat and liver as well as some dairy products. Fibre Fibre is not digested by the body, but is involved in maintaining the health of the gut and is therefore an essential part of a balanced diet. Fibre is mostly made up of cellulose from plant cell walls and is indigestible as the stomach and gut do not contain the correct enzymes. Fibre aids the formation of faeces, preventing constipation. It also aids the peristaltic movement in the intestine and has been linked to the prevention of bowel cancer. Fibre also removes some saturated fats and cholesterol therefore protecting the body a little from the build up of plaques in blood vessels. Fruit, vegetables and cereals are a good source of dietary fibre. Water The diet must provide water which is required as a solvent, a transport medium, a substrate in hydrolytic reactions and for lubrication. Water in fact makes up about 70% of the total body weight of humans. Water is needed as it is lost constantly from our bodies in urine, sweat, evaporation from lungs and in faeces. An average person requires 2-3 litres of water a day which is supplied through drinks and liquid foods. Without water or food the longest anyone has ever survived is 17 days, however, with water the longest anyone has survived is 70 days, this illustrates the importance of water in the diet. As you can see a balanced diet is imperative to maintaining a healthy body. People who choose to be

vegetarians and vegans therefore must make sure that their diet contains all the correct nutrients to avoid any deficiencies that may occur, as well as people living in countries where their diet lacks certain important food groups. A diet can easily be adequate without being a properly balanced diet and since everyone has different metabolic rates everyone's ideal diet is unique, therefore generalised guidelines have been established to aid people in obtaining a good diet. Vitamins and minerals are required in small amounts to carry out a variety of essential specific functions, fat and carbohydrates are the main fuel that the body runs on, whilst protein is needed in large amounts for growth and repair. The diet must also provide adequate quantities of essential fatty acids and amino acids which are required for the body to metabolise into proteins and are fundamental for health. Over eating of one food group is considered to be a form of malnutrition because the diet is not balanced.

A Balanced Diet
Uploaded by ihatesuchin (24) on Jul 5, 2004

A balanced diet is one that provides an adequate intake of energy and nutrients for maintenance of the body and therefore good health. A diet can easily be adequate for normal bodily functioning, yet may not be a balanced diet. An ideal human diet contains fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, water and fibre all in correct proportions. These proportions vary for each individual because everyone has different metabolic rates and levels of activity. Malnutrition results from an unbalanced diet, this can be due to an excess of some dietary components and lack of other components, not just a complete lack of food. Too much of one component can be as much harm to the body as too little. Deficiency diseases occur when there is a lack of a specific nutrient, although some diet related disorders are a result of eating an excess. An adequate diet provides sufficient energy for the performance of metabolic work, although the energy food is in an unspecified form. A balanced diet provides all dietary requirements in the correct proportions. Ideally this would be 1/7 fat, 1/7 protein and 5/7 carbohydrate. Energy is provided by carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Proteins are a provider of energy in an emergency, but are primarily used as building blocks for growth and repair of many body tissues. These energy providing compounds are needed in large quantities in our diet so are described as macronutrients. We also need much smaller amounts of other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Because much smaller quantities are needed for a balanced diet these are known as micronutrients. Despite the small quantities needed these are essential to provide a healthy diet as they have specific roles in metabolic reactions and as structural components. Within the cells of our body, the nutrients ingested are converted to other compounds which are then used for metabolism and other cellular reactions. Starch, a major carbohydrate is converted to glucose which can be then synthesised into fat for storage, proteins are synthesised from amino acids, and phospholipids are made from glycerol and fatty acids. However there are some organic compounds which despite being essential for a healthy diet cannot be made by cells so must be provided by diet. These are essential amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamins. Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are a rapid source of energy, they are the body's fuel. The bulk of a balanced diet should be made from carbohydrates. If eaten in an excess of the dietary requirements carbohydrates are easily stored as fats in the cells, although carbohydrate is the first source of energy in the body. An average adult requires about 12,000kJ of energy a day, most of this is supplied by the respiration of carbohydrates in the cells. Carbohydrates are used principally as a respiratory substrates, i.e. to be oxidised to release energy for active transport, macromolecule synthesis, cell division and muscle contraction. Carbohydrates are digested in the duodenum and ileum and absorbed as glucose into cells. Sources of carbohydrates such as starch are rice, potatoes, wheat and other cereals. Sugars are also carbohydrates, sources of sugars are refined sugar - sucrose, which is a food sweetener and preservative and fruit sugars - fructose. If the diet lacks carbohydrate stores of fat are mobilised and used as an energy source. Lipids Lipids are a rich source of energy in the diet, they can be greatly reduced in metabolic reactions and therefore release much energy. They are easily stored in the body and can form a layer beneath the skin of adipose tissue. As lipids are such a rich source of energy they are often not needed for respiration if there are adequate quantities of carbohydrate for the energy output of the body.

Meat and animal products are rich in saturated fats and cholesterol, plant oils are rich in unsaturated fats. As lipids are digested in the intestine into fatty acids and glycerol, some fatty acids are only available in the diet and cannot therefore be synthesised in the cell in any way. These are therefore known as Essential Fatty Acids. Fatty acids are categorised according to the number of double bonds they have in their carbon chain. Saturated fatty acids have none, monounsaturated fatty acids have one, polyunsaturated fatty acids have more than one. Essential polyunsaturated fatty acids cannot be synthesised in the body from anything else as the correct enzymes to add double bonds after the ninth carbon to the carbon chain are not present. Two essential fatty acids are linoleic and linolenic acid which are found in vegetable oils such as soya, sunflower and maize. Fatty acids are needed for the formation of cell membrane phospholipids and also for the production of steroid hormones such as prostaglandins and thromboxin which have important roles in the renal, immune and circulatory systems as signalling chemicals. Deficiencies of essential fatty acids result in limited growth in children, poor healing of wounds, scaly skin and hair loss. Obesity is a result of a high fat intake in the diet and lack of exercise. Obesity is in fact a form of malnutrition as the diet is not balanced. The risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, CHD, arthritis (due to extra pressure on joints), stroke and some cancers are increased dramatically with obesity. Proteins Protein is not a direct source of energy in the body, it is used primarily for growth and repair of body tissues although can be used as an energy source as a last resort. Proteins fulfil a wide variety of roles in the body, they are broken down in the stomach and intestines to amino acids which are then absorbed. The body can only form 8 amino acids to build proteins from, the diet must provide Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) which are synthesised into proteins which can be structural, i.e. collagen in bone, keratin in hair, myosin and actin in muscle; metabolic enzymes, haemoglobin, protective antibodies and communicative hormones. Sources of protein include meat, fish, eggs and pulses. The diet needs to provide 8 EAAs as the body is unable to synthesis proteins without these molecules. 2 other amino acids are synthesised from EAAs so if the diet lacks the original EAAs these other two will not be present either. Phenylalanine is converted to tyrosine and methionine is converted to cysteine. Cells draw upon a pool of amino acids for protein synthesis which either come from dietary protein digested and absorbed in the gut and the breakdown of body protein such as muscle. However, unlike fats and carbohydrates there is no store of amino acids for cells to draw on, any amino acid in excess of immediate bodily requirements is broken down into urea and excreted. It is therefore important to maintain the dietary intake of protein everyday. If the body lacks protein, muscle wasting occurs as muscle is broken down . If protein is lacked in a diet a person develops kwashiorkor which is caused when high levels of carbohydrates are eaten to overcome the lack of protein in the diet. One symptom of kwashiorkor is the abnormal collection of fluid around the abdomen due to the lack of protein in the blood. The body cannot retain water by osmosis and fluid accumulates in tissues causing them to become waterlogged. Vitamins Vitamins cannot be synthesised by the body so must be supplied by diet. Vitamins have no common structure or function but are essential in small amounts for the body to be able to utilise other dietary components efficiently. Vitamins fall into two categories, fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K which are ingested with fatty foods and water soluble vitamins such as the B group vitamins and vitamin C. Vitamins are known as micronutrients because only small quantities are required for a healthy diet, in fact fat soluble vitamins can be toxic in high concentrations, for example the body stores vitamin A, or retinol, in the liver as it is toxic if kept in high concentrations in the blood stream, a dose of more than 3300mg of vitamin A can be considered toxic. Water soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and B groups vitamins can be excreted in the urine if in excess in the diet. Vitamins carry out a wide range of functions and prevent specific deficiency diseases. A diet that lacks a certain vitamin is not a balanced diet, vitamins have vital roles in the maintenance of a healthy body. An example of a deficiency is when the diet does not contain enough, or any vitamin A. Vitamin A is found in some animal foods such as milk, eggs, liver and fish liver oils, related compounds such as carotenoids e.g. b carotene, are in a wide variety of vegetables such as cabbages, carrots and spinach. Vitamin A is essential to the proper functioning of the retina in the eye and the epithelial tissues. A lack of vitamin A results in dry, rough skin, inflammation of the eyes, a drying or scarring of the cornea xerophthalmia, which occurs when the secretion of lubricating tears is stopped, the eyelids become swollen and sticky with pus. Mucous surfaces of the eye may become eroded allowing infection to set in, leading to ulceration and destruction of the cornea. Night blindness - an inability to see in dim light can also occur. Rod

cells in the retina of the eye detect light of low intensity, they convert vitamin A into a pigment, rhodopsin, which is bleached when light enters the eye. Rod cells resynthesis rhodopsin, but if there is a deficiency of the vitamin, rod cells can no longer function and the result is night blindness. Epithelial cells use retinol to make retinoic acid, an intracellular messenger used in cell differentiation and growth. Without retinoic acid epithelial cells are not maintained properly and the body becomes susceptible to infections, particularly measles and infections of the respiratory system and gut. Xenophthalmia is common among children who's diets consist of mainly cereals with little meat or fresh vegetables, this is common in Indonesia, Bangladesh, India and the Philippines. Vitamin D, or calciferol, is another fat soluble steroid vitamin which functions to stimulate calcium uptake from the gut and its deposition in bone. Vitamin D acts as a hormone when converted by enzymes in the gut and liver into an active form "active vitamin D", which stimulates epithelial cells in the intestine to absorb calcium. Vitamin D is therefore essential in growing children's diets to enable the growth of strong bones. Without adequate amounts of vitamin D children can develop rickets, which is the deformation of the legs caused when they lack calcium to strengthen the bones. In adults a lack of vitamin D in the diet can lead to osteomalacia, a progressive softening of the bones which can make them highly susceptible to fracture. Vitamin D is made by the body when exposed to sunlight and is stored in the muscles, however, if the skin is rarely exposed to the sunlight or is dark little vitamin D is produced. Foods such as eggs and oily fish are all rich in vitamin D. Vitamin K, phylloquinone, is found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. It is a fat soluble vitamin which is involved in the clotting process of blood. In the intestines bacteria synthesise a number of important clotting factors which need vitamin K. Without vitamin K cuts can fail to heal and internal bleeding can occur. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, known chemically as ascorbic acid. It is found in citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, and also in potatoes and tomatoes. The main function of vitamin C is the formation of connective tissues such as collagen. It is also known to be an antioxidant which helps to remove toxins from the body and aids the immune system. A lack of vitamin C leads to Scurvy, a condition experienced by sailors on long journeys when they did not have fruit in their diets. Scurvy causes painful, bleeding gums. As vitamin C is water soluble, it is not toxic in high doses as it can be excreted in the urine, very high doses can however cause diarrhoea. B group vitamins have a wide range of roles acting as co-enzymes in metabolic pathways. They are found in most plant and animal tissues involved in metabolism, therefore foods such as liver, yeast and dairy products are all rich in B group vitamins. Deficiency of B group vitamins include dermatitis, fatigue and malformation of red blood cells. Minerals Some minerals are considered to be macronutrients as they are required in fairly large amounts in the diet to maintain a healthy body. Minerals are required in their ionic state in the diet. Calcium, Ca2+, is a major constituent of bones and teeth and is required to keep bones strong. It is required in blood clotting as an activator of various plasma proteins and is also involved in muscle contraction. Calcium is used in synapses and also as an enzyme activator. A good source of calcium is in dairy products, eggs and green vegetables, the RDA for calcium is 800mg. Chlorine, Cl-, is required to maintain the osmotic anion / cation balance of the body and the formation of HCl in the stomach. It is found in table salt and is rarely deficient in the diet as it is used as a preservative to may foods. Sodium, Na+, is also found in table salt as well as dairy foods, meat, eggs and vegetables. Sodium is used in conjunction with chlorine in the maintenance of the osmotic anion / cation balance. It is also needed in nerve conduction and muscle action. Potassium, K+, is yet another mineral required in nerve and muscle action, it also has a role in protein synthesis. It is found in meat, fruit and vegetables. Phosphorus, in the form of phosphate, PO43- is a constituent of nucleic acids, ATP, phospholipids in cell membranes, bones and teeth. It is present in dairy foods, eggs, meat and vegetables. Magnesium, Mg2+, is an important component of bones and teeth and is also an enzyme activator. It is found in meats and green vegetables. Micronutrients are minerals needed in trace quantities. Despite the small quantity required, they are still essential to a healthy balanced diet. Iron, in the forms of Fe2+ and Fe3+, are required in the formation of haemoglobin and myoglobin. Iron is a constituent of many enzymes as a prosthetic group and also as an electron carrier in mitochondria. Red meat, liver and green vegetables are all sources of iron. Iron supplements are taken by people who suffer from anaemia. Iodine, I-, is a component of the growth hormone thyroxine. A lack of iodine in the diet can cause

hypothyroidism which results in weight gain and in extreme cases a lack of physical and mental development known as cretinism. A swelling of the neck can occur which is called goitre if iodine is deficient in the diet. Iodine can be found in seafood such as shellfish, seaweed and fish. Iodine has also been added to water supplies in areas where it is deficient in the main water system. Copper, Cu2+, manganese, Mn2+ and cobalt, Co2+, are all needed in the diet to form co-factors for enzymes. Copper is also needed for bone and haemoglobin formation and cobalt is needed for the production of red blood cells, manganese is also a growth factor in bone development. They are found in meat and liver as well as some dairy products. Fibre Fibre is not digested by the body, but is involved in maintaining the health of the gut and is therefore an essential part of a balanced diet. Fibre is mostly made up of cellulose from plant cell walls and is indigestible as the stomach and gut do not contain the correct enzymes. Fibre aids the formation of faeces, preventing constipation. It also aids the peristaltic movement in the intestine and has been linked to the prevention of bowel cancer. Fibre also removes some saturated fats and cholesterol therefore protecting the body a little from the build up of plaques in blood vessels. Fruit, vegetables and cereals are a good source of dietary fibre. Water The diet must provide water which is required as a solvent, a transport medium, a substrate in hydrolytic reactions and for lubrication. Water in fact makes up about 70% of the total body weight of humans. Water is needed as it is lost constantly from our bodies in urine, sweat, evaporation from lungs and in faeces. An average person requires 2-3 litres of water a day which is supplied through drinks and liquid foods. Without water or food the longest anyone has ever survived is 17 days, however, with water the longest anyone has survived is 70 days, this illustrates the importance of water in the diet. As you can see a balanced diet is imperative to maintaining a healthy body. People who choose to be vegetarians and vegans therefore must make sure that their diet contains all the correct nutrients to avoid any deficiencies that may occur, as well as people living in countries where their diet lacks certain important food groups. A diet can easily be adequate without being a properly balanced diet and since everyone has different metabolic rates everyone's ideal diet is unique, therefore generalised guidelines have been established to aid people in obtaining a good diet. Vitamins and minerals are required in small amounts to carry out a variety of essential specific functions, fat and carbohydrates are the main fuel that the body runs on, whilst protein is needed in large amounts for growth and repair. The diet must also provide adequate quantities of essential fatty acids and amino acids which are required for the body to metabolise into proteins and are fundamental for health. Over eating of one food group is considered to be a form of malnutrition because the diet is not balanced.

Importance of a Balanced Diet
By Ripa Ajmera, eHow Contributor updated: September 25, 2009
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The importance of a balanced diet cannot be overstated. A balanced diet provides natural disease prevention, weight control and proper sleep without the use of sleeping pills. A balanced diet is also important because it enables you to meet your daily nutritional needs and enjoy a higher overall quality of life.

Disease Prevention
1. Eating a balanced diet is the easiest way to protect yourself from many of the diseases associated with aging, including diabetes and heart disease. Eating too much of any one food group is not a wise idea. Even if you eat only vegetables (a healthy food), there is a chance you could still be unprotected from disease because your body needs the vitamins and minerals found in the other food groups to stay healthy. Eating in a balanced way boosts your energy level and ensures your body functions normally. A balanced diet also enables you to live longer.

Meeting Nutritional Needs
2. Your daily food intake should include grain, fruit, milk (or other dairy products), vegetables, beans, oils and protein. According to the Food Pyramid developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you should eat six to eleven servings of grain, two to four servings of fruit, three to five servings of vegetables and two to three servings of dairy and protein. Fats and oils should be eaten rarely. Healthy foods contain vitamins and minerals that boost immunity and serve as natural protection from many common illnesses.

Weight Control
3. If you are overweight, eating a balanced diet can be an important first step towards weight loss. Many people who are able to lose weight through being part of fad diets gain the weight back when they return to their own eating habits. A balanced diet can also help you maintain your weight loss in the long term. If you are underweight, eating a balanced diet can help you gain weight and maintain the weight gain in the long term.

Proper Sleep
4. Eating too much of a certain kind of food can cause you to be unable to fall asleep (such as foods with high levels of artificial sugar, like candy). Eating heavy, oily foods can cause you to have difficulty waking up in the morning. Eating a balanced diet will enable you not only to sleep better without the use of sleeping pills but also feel more rested when you wake up.

Quality of Life
5. Eating a balanced diet is important because it allows you to enjoy life, have more energy, feel less stress and accomplish more in less time. You will have fewer illnesses and medical bills. A balanced diet is the foundation of good health and well-being.

Read more: Importance of a Balanced Diet | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5457289_importance-balanceddiet.html#ixzz12y5TBojY

Why is a Balanced Diet Important
A balanced diet is a very significant factor that contributes widely to a healthy body and mind. Let's find out why is a balanced diet important.

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Nowadays, there are many health problems that people are experiencing, which are arising due to several reasons. For most of the problems, the correct and only solution is a balanced diet. Many people have a misconception that a balanced diet means to avoid eating specific foodstuffs which may prove harmful to the body. It actually means to eat all types of food, but in a balanced amount which will provide all necessary nutrients to maintain a healthy body. The needed nutrients include carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, minerals, fats, etc. Every essential nutrient has an important role to play for the proper functioning of the human body. The effects of not having a balanced diet can prove to be harmful to the body. Importance of a Balanced Diet Preventing Infections and Diseases Consuming all foods in a well-balanced proportion will help your body to prevent many infections and disorders. If the body gets all the required nutrients, it will improve the functioning of the immune system which is responsible for the prevention of various infections. By following a balanced diet, you reduce the possibilities of some types of cancer, control blood sugar levels effectively, and control blood pressure. It prevents diseases that are a result of either over-consumption or underconsumption of certain foods. Controlling Weight For the purpose of reducing and controlling weight, people tend to forget why is a balanced diet important. They don't understand that a balanced diet is the key to reduce or increase weight. Those who want to reduce weight try different ways, but don't succeed. The reason is that the routines they choose include consuming huge amounts of foods that don't contribute to weight loss. Healthy Body Growth If the body is getting all the essential nutrients regularly, it will certainly be fit. It would be away from infections and diseases, which in turn will promote a healthy body growth and maintenance. A balanced diet should be implemented in the routine of a growing child or a teenager. You would be able to easily perform physical tasks without any exertion on the body. It is a necessity nowadays, as there is so much physical and mental stress in the lives of people. Active Lifestyle A balanced diet would also be beneficial to the state of mind. You would be able to live an active lifestyle. Because both the body and mind are in a good state, they would coordinate effectively. It will help you to take immediate decisions and tackle problems efficiently. It is also proven to increase the remembering and memorizing capability of a person. These are some of the benefits that would let you know why is a healthy balanced diet important. There are many more advantages that a balanced diet has to offer. Looking at the many benefits, you can plan your diet and put it into practice as soon as possible. The chances of your body getting infected would be reduced considerably. It would also help you to stop the development and spreading of the diseases and infections which you are suffering from.

It is recommended that you take the help of a dietitian to plan a proper balanced diet which would certainly make your life healthy and satisfactory. I hope he would make you better understand why is a balanced diet important.

What is a Balanced Diet
Balanced diet may sound familiar, but many of us are unaware of what is a balanced diet. Through this article let us discuss about what is a balanced diet made up of.

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Diet Program lose 3 to 6 kg a month. No exercise, Guaranteed Results. shapeofyourlife.com/Malaysia Most of us tend to forget that food is a necessity in life. To have a healthy and disease free body, we need to have a proper and balanced meal. But thanks to the hectic lifestyle, everybody is busy running the rat race, without much concern for their health. People happily binge on junk and fast food like burgers, pizzas or chips to appease their hunger ignorant of the harmful after effects in the long run. This junk food is only loaded with cholesterol and other things which can harm the body. So it's time we wake up to the ill effects of junk food, bid goodbye and welcome a balanced diet in our lives. Wondering what is a balanced diet? Let us discuss about what is a balanced diet and its importance in our daily lives. What is a Balanced Diet and Why is it Important? A balanced diet is one that has all the essential nutrients, required by the body for proper growth and development, in the appropriate amounts. A well balanced diet consists of the right amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet also provides the body energy to function. I know you must be thinking 'why is a balanced diet important'? Let's take the example of a car. For a car to function properly, all the components in the machinery must be in a proper working condition. If any of the components is missing or if there is no petrol in the car, then this vehicle will be of no use. In a similar way, our body is just like the car, with all the parts (read body systems) performing 24x7. The balanced diet is like fuel for the smooth functioning of the body and without it, one can imagine the plight of the body. There is even a balanced diet for weight loss. Surprising isn't it? Let us discuss about the various nutrients that make up the balanced diet menu, needed by our body. Carbohydrates We get our energy from carbohydrates, when they are burned down, by the process of respiration, in the cells of our body. Carbohydrates are obtained in the form of starch, which is converted into glucose in the digestive system to release energy. This glucose is then transported through the bloodstream to all the parts of the body. Carbohydrates are an important part of the healthy balanced diet. Potatoes, cereals, fruits like bananas, wholegrain bread, etc., are a rich sources of carbohydrates. Fats Fats are also a source of energy which can be stored in the body as a reserve. When the energy in the

body comes down, the reserve fat is burned as fuel to release energy. Many people tend to avoid fats in the diet since they think it will make them gain weight. Saturated and unsaturated fats are the two main types of fats. Saturated fats or LDL are harmful and can increase the levels of cholesterol. Unsaturated fats, also known as heart healthy fats or HDL, help in lowering the LDL and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Hence, fat (unsaturated fat) is essential for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system and it also gives a healthy glow to the skin and in winters it insulates the body to protect it from cold. HDL cholesterol foods include fish (salmon, tuna, halibut) almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and many other nuts and seeds. Proteins Proteins are the building blocks of life. They are essential for the growth and repair of the cells in the body. Since the body cannot digest proteins, the molecules are broken down into amino acids which are easily assimilated. Protein rich foods include milk and other dairy products, eggs, lean meat and legumes, etc. Vitamins and Minerals Though vitamins and minerals are required in small quantities, they complete the balanced diet. Both vitamins and minerals are essential for the building of the body. Vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E and K and minerals like iron, calcium, iodine, etc., are a must in balanced diet for children for their proper growth and development. Apart from the above mentioned nutrients, fiber is also an important component of the balanced diet, since it adds roughage to the waste products to eliminate it from the body without any difficulty. A mixture of all this essential nutrients in a meal is what is a balanced diet for a pregnant woman, since they have to provide nourishment for both themselves and the baby. After going through this article you must have understood what is a balanced diet and its importance. Following a proper balanced diet plan is essential to keep the body fit and healthy, free from infections and diseases. Hope you found this article on what is a balanced diet useful and informative.

Balanced diet
A balanced diet means getting the right types and amounts of foods and drinks to supply nutrition and energy for maintaining body cells, tissues, and organs, and for supporting normal growth and development. Function A well-balanced diet provides enough energy and nutrition for optimal growth and development. Food Sources Milk group (dairy products) • Cheese: fat-free or reduced-fat (1%) • Milk or buttermilk: fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) • Yogurt: fat-free or low-fat, regular or frozen Meat and beans group • Legumes (including beans, lentils, peas, and split peas) • Meat (beef, pork, poultry with skin removed, game meats, fish, shellfish): select lean cuts; trim away visible fat; broil, roast, or poach • Nuts and seeds (including almonds, hazelnuts, mixed nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, walnuts) • Tofu, tempeh, and other soy-protein products Fruit group • Apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, berries, dates, grapes, grapefruit, mangos, melons, oranges, peaches, pineapples, raisins and other unsweetened dried fruits, tangerines • 100% fruit juice

Vegetable group • Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, collard and other greens, cucumbers, green beans, kale, lettuces, potatoes, radishes, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes • 100% vegetable juice Grain group (breads and cereals) • Enriched, whole-grain breads, rolls, English muffins, bagels, cereals (hot and cold), and pasta • Grits • Rice Oil • Light or low-fat salad dressing • Low-fat mayonnaise • Vegetable oil Side Effects An unbalanced diet can cause problems with maintenance of: • Body tissues • Brain and nervous system function • Growth and development It can also cause problems with bone and muscle systems. Recommendations The term "balanced" simply means that a diet meets your nutritional needs while not providing too much of any nutrients. To achieve a balanced diet, you must eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups. You will need to know: • How many calories you should consume every day • What size portions you should eat. Too much of a healthy food may no longer be healthy • Which are the healthy choices from each food group There are several guidelines available to help you plan your balanced diet. They include: • The Food Guide Pyramid • The U.S. Dietary Guidelines (RDA guidelines) General Guidelines • Do not skip breakfast • Eat at least three meals each day • Eat foods from each of the food groups at every meal The most important step to eating a balanced diet is to educate yourself about what your body needs, and to read the nutrition label and ingredients of all the food you eat. New dietary guidelines from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) recommend fewer calories and smarter food choices. Some of the key recommendations: • Follow a balanced diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan. • Balance your calorie intake with exercise. Slowly decrease the amount of calories you take in while increasing exercise to prevent gradual weight gain over time. Exercise regularly and reduce activities in which you sit (such as watching TV). • Eat 2 cups (4 servings) of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables (5 servings) per day for an average 2,000-calorie per day diet.

• Eat 3 ounces or more of whole-grain products per day. • Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. • Get fewer than 7% of calories from saturated fatty acids. • Avoid trans fatty acids, which are unhealthy fats. They are found in fried foods, commercial baked goods such as donuts, cookies, and crackers, in processed foods, and in margarines. • Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg/day. • Make total fat intake no more than 20 - 35% of calories. Choose "good" fats such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils containing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Lean, low-fat, • \][or fat-free meats, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products are preferable. Total fat intake can approach 35% if most of the fats are "good" fats. • Stay away from added sugars. • Consume fewer than 2,300 mg (approximately one teaspoon of salt) of sodium daily, and limit added salt when you prepare food. • Do not consume more than 1 alcoholic drink per day for women, 2 per day for men. Certain people should not drink any alcohol. • Read nutrition labels on all foods. This will help you know what kind of fats, and how much, the food contains.

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