Having a balanced diet is one of the ways to lead a healthy lifestyle. We will see all about a balanced diet that we need to know. Keep reading this article to know what is a balanced diet answer.
What is a Balanced Diet?
A balanced diet is a healthy diet that comprises various food items in certain quantities and portions so that the required intake of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, calories, and additional nutrients are met. In other simple words, a balanced diet contains all the important nutrients required by the human body.
Ideally, a balanced diet should contain around 60-70% of total calories from carbohydrates, 10-12% from proteins, and 20-25% of the total calories from fats.
Calories refer to the amount of energy stored in food, and that is calculated in numbers. For example, a regular Mango consists of 200 calories which are the energy stored in the food item.
When we talk about the energy we need in the form of food per day, the requirement differs for different ages, gender according to the physical work they indulge in regularly.
An average healthy person requires 2,000 calories of energy to maintain their weight, stay healthy, and do their regular chores. But the number of calories intake, however, differs, especially in children.
Below chart shows the number of calories required by children below the age of 14:
What to Include in your Diet?
To get surplus nutrition, you must take care of what kinds of food provide more nutrition. A balanced diet should contain nutrients like:
#1 Vitamins and Minerals.
#3 Healthy Fats.
#4 Carbohydrates that include starches and fibre.
A balanced diet with all the required nutrients mainly comes from the following food groups:
#3 Dairy Products
#5 Protein foods
Fruits: Seasonal fruits, Mango, Apples, Bananas, and many more.
Vegetables: Cabbage, Tomato, Brinjal, and so on.
Dairy Products: Milk, Cheese, Curd, etc.
Grains: Millets, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, etc.
Protein Foods: Meat, Eggs, Fish, Nuts, etc.
What not to Include in Your Diet?
Other than the calorie intake, the source of the calories is also important. Some of the foods that contain very little nutrition are referred to as “empty calories.”
Some of the very common empty calorie food items that you must keep in your mind to not include in your diet most often are:
#1 Cakes, Cookies, and Whitebread.
#2 Processed Food.
#3 Energy drinks and Sodas.
#4 Drinks with added sugar.
#5 Ice Cream.
#9 Packaged foods.
#10 Frozen foods.
However, it is important to note that the above foods aren’t less nutritious by themselves but the ingredients used to make them the way they are.
For example, pizza is called less nutritious food because of the refined flour used in it. However, if you try and make a whole wheat pizza base at home with homemade sauces, cheese, and toppings, the food will be nutritious to eat and contain the required calories for your daily balanced diet.
Why a Balanced Diet is Important?
A healthy balanced diet reduces the risk of diseases and helps in the overall improvement of health.
A healthy balanced diet supplies all the essential nutrients for the body to function effectively. With the absence of essential nutrients, our body is highly prone to infections, diseases, weight loss, and minimal performance.
If children are not provided with a healthy diet, there may be less height growth and insufficient weight. It might affect their physical and mental development and lead to poor academic performance and less immunity to infections and diseases. On the other hand, with an increased habit of eating outside and processed foods, they may not resist the habit and continue it in adulthood, which is hazardous to their health.
Let’s know the Reports
According to a survey conducted by the Centre of Science in the Public Interest, out of the top 10 diseases that cause deaths globally, four are mainly due to an inappropriate diet plan or no balanced diet, which sums up why a balanced diet is so important.
Some of the major diseases that are caused due to the lack of a balanced diet are:
#1 Heart Diseases
#4 Type 2 disease
A balanced diet can also maintain the required weight, energy levels, brain health, and strong memory.
Health Benefits of a Balanced Diet
#1. Healthy diet can easily protect human beings against certain diseases and help build immunity against some other diseases.
#2. Vitamins and MInerals provided in the diet are important for boosting one’s immunity.
#3. Protect you from nutritional deficiencies.
#4. A healthy diet can help you fight against stress and anxiety.
#5. It can manage your blood pressure.
#6 .It can improve the way your body functions.
#7. Healthy diet can even prevent certain diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases.
How to Eat a Balanced Diet in a Day?
#1. The most important rule of healthy eating is not to skip any meal.
#2. Healthy eating includes three major meals in the day; breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including two small meals like evening snacks.
#3. Breakfast is the most crucial meal of the day, and you should not skip it.
#4. Add some portions of raw foods beside your meal, like salads that include raw fruits and vegetables.
#5. To help maintain your weight, stop when you feel you are full rather than thinking of the calorie count.
#6. Use a variety of foods in your menu that provide all the nutrients.
#7. Drinks lots of water in a day.
#8. Limit caffeine and refined sugar in your foods.
#9. Limit the number of times you eat outside and the processed foods.
#10. Try to maximise the use of fresh ingredients in your meal.
Wrapping it Up
We hope that you got the answer for what is meant by balanced diet, its importance, what to eat, and what not to eat with all the points. Remember that a healthy lifestyle should also include a minimum time of forty minutes dedicated to exercise. Limit the usage of packaged foods and try to eat fresh plant-based foods that will provide you with most of the ingredients. Do not force yourself to eat healthy foods but rather take the pleasure of the food for a useful, balanced diet.
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