Balance Nutrition. A balanced diet is a diet that contains differing kinds of foods in certain quantities and proportions so that the requirement for calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and alternative nutrients is adequate and a small provision is reserved for additional nutrients to endure the short length of leanness.
In addition, a balanced diet ought to offer bioactive phytochemicals like dietary fiber, antioxidants, and nutraceuticals that have positive health advantages. A balanced diet should offer around 60-70% of total calories from carbohydrates, 10-12% from proteins, and 20-25% of total calories from fat.
Nutrition derived from a balanced diet
The concept of a balanced diet is nothing but a practical execution of the food chart that we had studied in school. It includes all food groups and gives us the required amount of nutrition from each of them.
Your daily dose of energy comes from carbs in the form of starch. Food items like rice, bread, roti, pasta, cereals, and grains give your body the carbs it needs.
Pulses, legumes (peas, rajma, chana, soybean, etc.), eggs, fish, and meat are the main sources of protein in a regular meal. The Indian diet is, by and large, based on vegetable sources and there are selective food items that yield ample protein from a basic vegetarian diet, as opposed to fish and poultry. However, including enough lentils and legumes in your daily meal can replenish the protein requirement.
Dairy items like ghee and butter, seed-based oils from olive, rice bran, groundnut and sesame, dried nuts, etc. are good sources of fat. Such fat is essential for your protein to function effectively and protect the vital organs. Nevertheless, you must keep a watch on your fat consumption, so you don’t overdo or under-do it. You can also include fish and other seafood in your diet since they are high in healthy fatty acids. Such healthy fat supports your brain function and is good for your liver.
Dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, paneer, and animal products like eggs, and some fishes can fulfill your daily calcium need. Those intolerant to milk products, or unable to source calcium naturally, can resort to alternative sources of calcium.
Vitamins and Minerals
All fruits, vegetables, and nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamins help all other nutrients to do their work efficiently. Minerals, which you can derive from fish, seafood, and vegetables, work on your skin, hair, and bones.
Ideally, as ICMR states, an average healthy adult should break down their meals into 50% carbohydrate, 20% protein, and 30% fat. The vitamin and mineral intake will depend upon any deficiency or excess of the same in your body.
HERE ARE SOME GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR HEALTHY EATING
- The most important rule of healthy eating is not skipping any meal. Skipping meals lowers your metabolic rate. Normal eating includes 3 major meals and 2 snacks between meals. Also, Never skip breakfast. It is the foremost vital meal of the day.
- Learn simple ways to prepare food. Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean complicated eating. Keep meal preparation easy, eat more raw foods such as salads, fruits, and vegetable juices, and focus on the pleasure of eating healthy food rather than the calories.
- It is important to stop when you feel full. This will help you maintain your weight to an extent. This also will help you remain alert and feeling your best.
- Drink lots of water. Keep a bottle of water near you while working, watching TV, etc.
A variety of foods should be used in the menu. No single food has all the nutrients.
- To improve the cereal and pulse protein quality, a minimum ratio of cereal protein to pulse protein should be 4:1. In terms of the grains, it will be eight parts of cereals and one part of pulses.
- Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Keep a supply of healthy snacks to hand. This will stop you from eating an unhealthy snack when hungry.
- Remove all visible fat from food before you cook it – take the skin off chicken and trim the white fat off any meat.
- Limit stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugar.
- Limit the number of times you eat out to once a week. Take your own packed lunch to work.
- Only eat things you like the taste of – find what works for you and don’t force yourself to eat things just because they’re good for you.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF A BALANCED DIET
Healthy eating increases energy, improves the way your body functions, strengthens your immune system, and prevents weight gain. The other major benefits are:
- Meets your nutritional need. A varied, balanced diet provides the nutrients you need to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
- Prevent and treat certain diseases. Healthful eating can prevent the risk of developing certain diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. It is also helpful in treating diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Following a special diet can reduce symptoms, and may help you better manage an illness or condition.
- Feel energetic and manage your weight. A healthy diet will assist you to feel higher, provide you with more energy, and help you fight stress.
- Food is the mainstay of many social and cultural events. Apart from nutrition properties, it helps facilitate connections between individuals.
4 Reasons for you to start a balanced diet right away
- The vitamins and minerals you consume from a wider range of foods help maintain your cells, tissues, and organs.
- A good diet keeps you fit, allows you to maintain a healthy weight, reduces the fat percentage in your body, and gives you energy.
- Proper nutrition leads to improved immunity, thus ensuring that you don’t fall sick too often.
- A well-balanced meal helps in improved brain functions and keeps your mind active.