The Benefits of a Balanced Diet


Image Courtesy of Slingshot Health

Dieting can only work if done safely and with a strong body in mind

Samantha Orenlas, The Scroll, Staff Writer

In the modern age of social media, the move towards a healthy-looking and ideal body has become more popularized than ever, often leading young people to constantly compare their bodies to those online and take part in dieting. This kind of unhealthy diet restriction can be harmful to their health, however, so it is vital that teenagers work to maintain a balanced and healthy diet without the strict limitations of diet culture.  

When young boys and girls are teens, they are still in their developing years. According to NPR, “Under most laws, young people are recognized as adults at age 18. But emerging science about brain development suggests that most people don’t reach full maturity until the age 25.” This alone is a factor as to why comparing to adults shouldn’t be normalized. But if you want to begin dieting, there’s a certain way to diet that can still be healthy and balanced. 

A balanced diet during the day consists of three meals and about two liters of water a day, as well as a snack between meals. According to, ”A healthy snack between meals can also decrease your hunger and keep you from overeating at meal time.”

According to, “ [a snack in between meals can consist of] nuts, fruit, dark chocolate or fruit smoothies.” These are meant to keep your tummy satisfied till the next meal. Remember that when having a balanced diet it doesn’t mean everything you eat has to be healthy, you can enjoy your favorite snack occasionally or by controlling the portions you eat. Don’t restrict yourself completely by snacks that make you happy. Life is about balance!

Breakfast should consist of something with whole grains, lean protein, low fat dairy and fruits. Some examples of a good breakfast would be eggs, greek yogurt or chia pudding. Remember that breakfast should be small but healthy because it is the food that is breaking your fast from the night before. 

Lunch and dinner are pretty similar and have a broader spectrum. There’s a variety of different dishes one can eat but a regular and balanced meal includes at least three food groups. These can be vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins and dairy. 

A balanced meal should consist of many different parts (Image by Sam Ornelas)

If you don’t know where to start in terms of finding easy and healthy recipes for lunch and dinner, health officials recommend meals such as “lemon chicken, chicken alfredo, fish tacos and ground beef plus rice bowls,” according to BBC Good Food.  Adding some steamed or grilled veggies would compliment the food deliciously as well. It is also important to note that you shouldn’t eat the same thing everyday just because it’s healthy. Take this as an opportunity to expand your taste buds and explore new foods from different cultures.

Former Saugus student, Ashley Vuola, said this when asked about her balanced diet: “Having a balanced diet is so important- and it might be difficult at first but it’s really beneficial in the long run. Not only do you feel healthier but you also start to look better.” Ashley Vuola said she maintains a balanced diet because as a recent cosmetology student, she needs all the energy she can get. 

The end goal of maintaining a balanced diet should not only be because you dream of looking like someone else. Do things for yourself and for your own well being. Having a balanced diet has more benefits than the physical aspects. 

According to, a balanced diet can “protect the human body against certain types of diseases, in particular noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer and skeletal conditions.” Learning how to take care of our bodies early is crucial to our future health. When we are young our bodies can pretty much fight off most things but as we age our systems slow down. Along with preventing diseases a balanced diet actually can help fight against fatigue.

 Lastly if you are starting a new balanced diet don’t jump in head first. Everything is a process, start off with what you feel comfortable with and progres from there. Depriving yourself of food will not help in achieving a certain way you’d like to look. Remember that it’s okay to mess up and start again.