August 30, 2022 5 min read

 

When you hear the words "healthy eating," you might imagine yourself gnawing on carrot sticks or probably doing away with your favorite foods.

Don't be concerned! A well-balanced diet should not (and does not) leave you feeling hungry or deprived. Rather, you should strive for a sense of balance, moderation, and variation.

 

What Is a Balanced Diet?

 A table full of healthy fruit, veg, dairy and meat products

Credit: Narayana Health

 

You provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function correctly when you eat well-balanced meals. A balanced diet contains the right mix of minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients, as well as the right calories for your body's makeup.

Foods from the following main elements make up a well-balanced diet:

  • ‌Proteins
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Fats/oils

 

Protein

 A table of different kinds of proteins of meat, veg and legumes

Credit: Eating Well

 

Proteins are the body's primary building blocks. Muscles, tendons, organs, skin, and a variety of other compounds, are all made with them. If you eat animal products like meat, fish, eggs, or dairy on a daily basis, you're probably getting enough protein.

Protein should account for a quarter of your meal.

 

Fruits

 A table full of a variety of healthy fruit

Credit: Good Housekeeping

 

Vitamins and dietary fiber are abundant in fresh fruit. Fruits are healthy, delicious snacks that can satisfy a sweet tooth.

Fruits improve the body's supply of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while lowering the risk of a sugar rise. Talk to your doctor or a dietitian about which fruits to eat, how much to consume, and when to eat them.

 

Vegetables

 A table full of colorful healthy vegetables

Credit: iStock

 

Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, are abundant in vegetables. Vitamins are necessary for maintaining our health since they keep our metabolism and organs functioning properly. Antioxidants help to heal tissue damage produced by metabolic processes or toxins in the environment. Vegetables also keep you full and satisfied for longer which means they can help you maintain a healthy weight.

There is no such thing as too many vegetables on a platter. If you're not sure if you're getting enough vegetables, make sure they take up half of your plate.

 

Grains

 Two baskets showing whole and refined grains on a table

Credit: University Health News

 

The two types of grains are:

 

1) Whole Grains

 

Whole grains are made up of three different parts of the grain: bran, germ, and endosperm. Because whole grains take longer for the body to break down, they have a smaller influence on blood sugar levels. Furthermore, whole grains are higher in fiber and protein than refined grains.

 

2) Refined Grains

 

Bran, germ, and endosperm are not present in refined grains. Refined grains are significantly lower in protein and fiber, as well as cause blood sugar increases.

Whole grains should account for at least half of a person's daily calorie intake. Make sure they occupy a quarter of your plate. Some options include brown rice and using whole wheat flour instead of regular flour.

 

Fats/Oils

 A selection of different foods where you can get healthy fats and oils

Credit: The Spruce Eats

 

While fat is necessary for a balanced diet, the types and quality of fat available vary. Choose healthy unsaturated oils like extra virgin olive oil, and sunflower oil, and stick to a daily limit of 27 grams. Chia seeds, nuts, seeds, and seafood are all high in healthful fats. Try to avoid saturated fat and focus more on consuming healthy fat.

 Infographic showing what a well balanced diet should include

 

Importance of a Balanced Diet

 A bowl of healthy food showing portions of vegetables and proteins

Credit: Onmanorama

 

Eating a well-balanced meal has various advantages:

 

1) Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

Premature cardiovascular disease can be reduced by up to 80% with a well-balanced diet and regular exercise. A well-balanced diet can help keep your heart healthy and lower your blood pressure. It also helps to lose weight.

 

2) It Slows Down the Aging Process and Helps To Prevent Cancer

Antioxidant-rich foods can reduce cancer risk by protecting cells from harm. The presence of free radicals in our bodies increases the risk of cancer, whereas antioxidants aid in their elimination, lowering the risk. Including blueberries, raspberries, leafy dark greens, carrots, pumpkin, seeds, and almonds in your diet will help you stay young while also completing your balanced meal.

 

3) Improves Your Mood

Junk eating makes you feel sluggish and lethargic. A well-balanced diet will lift your spirits. Always strive to eat at least one balanced meal per day if you want to feel great.

 

4) Prevents Memory Loss

How stressful will it be if you begin to forget things? Yes, skipping meals that are well-balanced can lead to memory loss over time. To avoid this, boost your memory by including vitamin D, C, E, omega-3 fatty acids, and fish in your diet.

 

5) It Strengthens Your Bones

Calcium and magnesium-rich diet are crucial for strong bones and teeth. Bone health can minimize the risk of developing bone disorders later in life. For strong bones, eat low-fat dairy products, broccoli, cauliflower, and canned fish with the bones.

 

Healthy vs. Balanced Diet

 A lady eating a bowl of a healthy salad

Credit: WebMd

 

A healthy diet comprises all of the essential food categories while keeping salts, sugars, and fats to a minimum or zero. This indicates that a healthy diet is designed to keep a person healthy and free of diseases and other issues. In addition, a healthy diet would restrict the number of processed foods consumed. A balanced diet is a type of healthy diet since it contains all of the important elements that are necessary for overall health and functioning. The difference is that a balanced diet doesn't necessarily restrict any food groups. A healthy diet does.

 

How Many Calories Should You Consume?

 A lady calculating how many calories she has eaten in her meals

Credit: Bodybuilding.com

 

Calories are contained in the meals you consume. Calories are a measure of how much energy your body acquires when it breaks down and metabolizes food rather than a physical component. ‌

The number of calories your body requires is determined by your age, gender, and level of exercise. Men, on average, require more calories than women. Children require fewer calories than teenagers, while young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 require the most calories of any age group. Caloric demands decrease as you get older, thus a 90-year-old adult would require fewer calories than a 40-year-old adult. Consult a doctor to get an estimate of how many calories you should consume.

 

Summary

 

Healthy eating is beneficial to everyone's health. A balanced diet consists of foods from all the five major groups. Having a healthy and balanced diet has several advantages, including weight loss, reduced risk of cancer and diabetes, enhanced heart health, stronger bones, and improved mood and memory. Eat healthy to stay healthy!

 

Alex Wittle
Alex Wittle



Also in News

Young children in a classroom with their hands up to answer a question
How To Get Smarter in School: 13 Tips for Kids

November 02, 2022 4 min read

School is difficult, especially now that there is so much competition. Intelligent students are no more exceptional than regular students. They merely follow strict habits and have more discipline. If you've been trying to figure out how to get smarter in school, these 13 tips will surely help you.
A healthy lunch of bread and fruit in a box
5 Fun Lunchbox Accessories To Make Lunchtime More Interesting

October 03, 2022 4 min read

We are aware of how challenging it can be to come up with creative ways to make mealtime more fun especially if your kid is a picky eater.  You can use this guide to select the ideal lunchbox accessories to turn lunchtime into your kid's favorite part of the day.
A rectangular plate of healthy vegetables and salad things
4 Healthy Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas for Kids and Adults

September 06, 2022 6 min read

Coming up with new recipes is difficult especially when you've decided to go gluten-free. If you're struggling, try some of these delicious gluten-free lunch ideas. These suggestions look beyond sandwiches to include creative salads, zucchini noodles, and more.