Chicken Salad with NutsA healthy diet must provide a proper balance of the four essential nutrients, as well as a rich supply of vitamins, minerals and other micro-nutrients. It is not enough to just purchase foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, fiber and complementary proteins, and low in saturated fats. Food also must be free of harmful additives and must be prepared in a way that preserves its nutrients and avoids the production of harmful substances.

Additives are placed in foods for a number of reasons: to extend shelf life, to make a food more appealing by enhancing color, texture or taste, to facilitate food preparation, or to otherwise make the product more marketable.

The most healthful fruit and vegetables have been organically grown without the use of insecticides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers or growth stimulating chemicals. If fresh produce is unavailable, use frozen foods instead. Do not use canned vegetables or boxed vegetable dishes as they usually contain significant amounts of salt and other unhealthy additives.

Water, carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the basic building blocks of a good diet. By choosing the healthiest forms of each of these nutrients and by eating them in the proper balance, you will enable your body to function at its optimal level.