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Independent Life Skills: Eating a Balanced Diet

crop woman with sandwich in hands

Why is a balanced diet important?

Eating a balanced diet is an important part of living a healthy and long life. A poor diet can lead to obesity and illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.

Individuals with IDDs can have secondary conditions because of their diet. Secondary conditions are additional physical and psychological problems that limit one’s ability to enjoy life. The most common secondary conditions include fatigue, weight problems, constipation, and diarrhea.

person holding sliced vegetable
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Pexels.com

Standards

Adequate and Safe Diet

It is important to have a diet that is sufficient in amount and quality. This includes having a variety of foods that favor food preferences and fruits and vegetables. Having three meals a day and snacks throughout the day is the basis for a healthy diet.

Individual Needs

Every diet should be formed around an individual’s needs. Medical conditions and needs should be the top primary. Additionally, it is important to consider secondary conditions when deciding on a specific diet. For example, a low carb or low-fat diet might work well for one individual and not for another. Because of the individual nature of diets, it is highly beneficial to talk to a medical professional to see what works best for you.

Heathy Diet

A diet needs to have a variety of healthy foods. The number of different variations in diets allows for each individual to find what works for them. Commonalties are seen in most diets. For example, most suggest having healthy fats, lots of fruits and vegetables, and a limited amount of sugar. Furthermore, for some healthy eating patterns is all that is needed and not a rigid diet.

Health.gov provides some helpful recommendations for basic guidelines on healthy eating patterns.

Below is a fun video explaining the basics of a healthy meal.

Previous Independent Life Skills Blogs:

Independent Life Skills: Being On Time

Independent Life Skills: Personal Hygiene

Sources:

Montana Disability & Health Program

Health.gov

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