What is a balanced Diet?
A balanced diet is not a fad, yo-yo or crash diet. It’s a way of ensuring you eat all of the required nutrients for your body to function properly. A balanced diet will not be the same for everyone. We’re all different and often, individuals will require different amounts and types of nutrients. What you need will depend on age, gender, lifestyle, health and the rate at which your body works.
Eating a balanced diet is key in maintaining good health and keeping your body in optimum condition. A balanced diet doesn’t cut out food groups; it consists of a wide variety of foods to support your body and keep you energised, motivated and healthy.
It may sound simple, but with so much information available, messages about ‘healthy eating’ can become unclear. Facts become fads and knowing what’s good for you can be misunderstood.
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. With a balanced diet you feel energetic and manage your weight at the same time. A healthy diet will assist you to feel higher, provide you with more energy, and help you fight stress.
How to achieve a balanced diet
At the core of a balanced diet are foods that are low in unnecessary fats and sugars and high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The following food groups are essential parts of a balanced diet.
Besides being a great source of nutrition, fruits make tasty snacks. Choose fruits that are in season in your area. They’re fresher and provide the most nutrients.
Fruits are high in sugar. This sugar is natural, though, so fruit can still be a better choice for you than other foods with added sugar. If you’re watching your sugar intake or have a condition such as diabetes, you may want to opt for low-sugar fruits.
Vegetables are primary sources of essential vitamins and minerals. Dark, leafy greens generally contain the maximum nutrition and can be eaten at every meal. Eating a variety of vegetables will help you obtain the bountiful nutrients that all vegetables provide.
Examples of dark leafy greens include:
Spinach, methi leaves, Amaranth leaves, Beet greens, green beans, broccoli
Whole grains are the healthiest options which are prepared using the entire grain including the hull. They provide better nutrition and good fiber for the gut whereas refined flours have poor nutritional value as the hull (outer shell) of the grain is removed during the refining process devoiding it of its nutrition, which is why we must avoid things made out of maida & rawa. Choose multigrain bread or whole wheat bread over white bread, choose broken wheat over rawa.
Protein is a nutrient that is essential for proper muscle and brain development. Our major sources of protein are Meat, beans & dairy. Lean cut meat; white meats such as chicken, fish are the best options. Removing the skin and trimming off any visible fat are easy ways to reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in meats.
Nuts, pulses, beans & Soy based products are good vegetarian sources of protein and contain many other health benefits, along with fiber and other nutrients.
You should include
•Lentils & beans, Soy, Tofu, Seeds and Nuts
Dairy products provide protein, calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients. However, they’re also major sources of fat, so it may be best to choose small portions of full-fat cheeses, and reduced-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt. Plant-based milks, such as those made from flaxseed, almonds, or soy are typically fortified with calcium and other nutrients, making them excellent alternatives to dairy from cows.
Oils should be used sparingly. Opt for low-fat and low-sugar versions of products that contain oil, such as salad dressing and mayonnaise. Good oils, such as olive oil, can replace fattier vegetable oil in your diet. Avoid deep-fried foods because they contain many empty calories.
Besides adding certain foods to your diet, you should also reduce your consumption of certain substances to maintain a balanced diet and healthy weight. These include:
How can l help you?
It’s easy to get wrapped up in what you see and hear on internet, but please understand what works for someone else may not be right for you. If you have a goal, whether it be as simple as getting healthier and looking after your body or running a marathon, there will be certain foods your body needs.
My nutrition consultancy programs can help you identify changes that you need to make to reach your goal.
I will provide the support you need to reach your goal, push you out of your comfort zone and keep you motivated at the same time, along with educating you on your body and what a balanced diet is for your body.
You will be required to answer some questions to help me get a clear understanding of where any issues may lie. If you have any questions, ask. It’s important for me to know what’s on your mind, so I will know how to help. With our inputs, I will be able to create a personalized diet plan, tailored to your needs, depending on your goal, your lifestyle or your health concern.
If you have questions about your diet or feel that you need to lose weight or change your eating habits, schedule an appointment with me.