The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

Dietary Balance and Moderation: As Essential as Your Little Black Dress

Dietary Balance and Moderation: As Essential as Your Little Black Dress

Dietitian Dialogues

January 22, 2015

by Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, Senior Vice President of Nutrition and Food Safety at the International Food Information Council

Remember the fashion rules your mother used to tell you? “Don’t wear white after labor day.” “Don’t mix black and navy.” So many of these outdated rules focus on what not to do. The same goes for nutrition. Diets that focus on restraint, elimination, or demonization of a single food are bound to become outdated, but balance and moderation are nutrition rules that never go out of style. Think of balance and moderation (BAM) as the nutrition equivalent of the “little black dress” (the LBD). It’s a closet staple, no matter the year. 

Going into 2015, we have a chance to start fresh and set resolutions for a new year. This year, let’s talk about what to eat, rather than what not to eat, and choose a fad-proof diet focused on balance and moderation. Insights from the International Food Information Council Foundation 2013 Food and Health Survey confirm that Americans are tired of hearing about what not to eat. In fact, 78% of Americans agree that they would rather hear positive messages about what they should eat than negative messages about foods to avoid. These responses are more proof that it’s time to ditch the diet fads and focus on an eating plan that will never go out of style. Here are three basic tips to add more variety and flavor to your eating style, striking the right balance and building your diet around timeless classics:

 Make fruits and vegetables your go-to for daily meals.

Dress up your diet with lean protein and whole grains. 

Balance your eating with your physical activity.

You may be wondering how your favorite high-calorie treats fit into a healthful diet based on balance and moderation. Think about it this way: you always add a little sparkle to your favorite fashion staples to make your style complete. When your diet is based on the concepts of balance and moderation, you can make room to sprinkle in a few of your favorite higher-calorie items while still maintaining an overall healthful diet. 

In 2015, make a resolution to choose balance and moderation over fad diets. With some BAM in your nutrition wardrobe, you will always be in style, savoring the taste and variety of a balanced diet, along with health benefits!