A balanced diet is simply a diet that gives our body the nutrients it needs to function properly.
To get the proper nutrition from a fully balanced diet, one should obtain the majority of their daily calories from multiple sources. You need to consume foods that are low in unnecessary fats and sugars but high in vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients. To get the proper nutrition from our diet, we should obtain the majority of our daily calories from a mix of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and lean proteins.
Why balanced diet important and what does it provide?
Balanced diet provides carbohydrates and lipids to give energy for all the activities in the body. It provides protein to build new tissues for growth and repair damaged tissues. Vitamins makes sure to prevent diseases and are important for normal healthy development. It also provides mineral salts which are essential for normal healthy growth and development. Next, fibers as roughage prevent constipation.
The following food groups are the key to balanced diet:
They are a great source of nutrition. You can add fruits to your diet depending upon the season in your area. Citrus fruits meet the requirement for various vitamins and minerals. So one can enjoy the mouth savoring flavors of various food along with boosting their health.
No doubt they are primary sources of vitamins and minerals. Dark and leafy greens vegetables contain the most nutrition. A variety of vegetables should be present in diet so as to get maximum benefits/nutrients from all. One can thrive for spinach, kale, green beans, broccoli, collard greens and Swiss chard etc.
Beans are the primary sources of protein. Lean, low-fat meats such as chicken, fish, pork and beef are other good options for protein. Other sources of protein, containing fiber and other nutrients, are nuts and beans, such as lentils, peas, almonds and walnuts. Soy products like tofu, tempeh are another wonderful source of proteins.
Dairy products provide calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients. Opt for plant-based fat free milks, such as those made from flax seed, almond, or soy are fortified with calcium and other nutrients. This makes them better alternatives to dairy from cows which is loaded with fat.
One should use oils sparingly only. Try to go for low-fat and low-sugar oil. There are many healthy cooking oils available in the market that one can use such as olive oil. Also avoid deep-fried foods because they contain a large number of empty calories.
Also, the number of calories in a food is important to know as it tells the amount of energy stored in that food. Our body uses calories from food for doing daily life activities and other important functions. The average person needs to eat about 2,000 calories every day to maintain their weight.
However, a person’s daily calorie intake may vary. This depends on their age, gender, and physical activity level. For example, men generally need more calories than women, and people who exercise need more calories than people who don’t. so, we have given below the guidelines for daily calorie intake that are based on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines:
- children ages 2 to 8: 1,000 to 1,400 calories
- active women ages 14 to 30: 2,400 calories
- active men ages 14 to 30: 2,800 to 3,000 calories
Therefore, now you can understand that balanced diet is important because it provides proper nutrition to our organs and tissues to work effectively. Without balanced diet, our body is more prone to disease, infection, fatigue, and poor performance. So, one must follow a proper balanced diet as it is the guide to a healthy body and a healthy soul.