Balance Diet !!! Nutritional Facts and Importance

A good and healthy diet is very essential for our health – but what does a good diet mean? Apart from breast milk as a food for babies, not a single food contains all the necessary nutrients the human body needs to stay healthy and fit. That’s why, our diet should contain varieties of different food, to help us get a wide range of nutrients that our body demands. Hence our diet must be balanced

Balance Diet

Balance diet is one that gives all the essential nutrients to the body which it needs to function correctly. A well-balanced diet provides:

  • Energy to keep the body active throughout the day.
  • The essential nutrients for the proper growth and function of the body.

To get good nutrition from your diet, you should consume most of the daily calories in;

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Lean protein

Know About Calories

The number of calories in food means the amount of energy stored in that food. The body uses the calories gained from the diet for its proper functioning.

A person needs about 2000 calories daily on average for the proper functioning of the body. However, daily intake of calories can vary depending on gender, age, height, weight, physical activity level.

The source of your calorie is as necessary as the calorie you consume. Consumption of empty calories should be limited means those providing little or no nutritional value.

According to the United State Department of Agriculture(USDA) guidelines;

  • 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day for adult women
  • 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day for adult men
  • 1,000 to 2,000 calories per day for young children
  • 1,400 to 3,200 calories per day for adolescents

Importance of Balance diet

  • Choosing a balanced, adequate and varied diet is an important step towards a happy and healthy lifestyle.
  • Vitamins and minerals in the diet are very important to enhance immunity and healthy development,
  • A healthy diet can guard the body against certain types of diseases, in different noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer and skeletal conditions.
  • Healthy diets can also help to gain adequate body weight.
  • Healthy eating is a good opportunity to improve life by experimenting with different foods from different cultures, origins and with different ways to prepare food.
  • The advantages of eating a wide variety of foods are also emotional, as variety and color are important ingredients of a balance diet.

How to Attain a Balance Diet

Basically, balance diet is food that has low unnecessary fats and sugar and high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The food groups that are the essential part of balance diet are as follows:

  1. Fruits
    • Choose the fruits that are in season in your place
    • Fruits are high in sugar; this sugar is natural so it is the best choice than the other food with added sugar
  2. Vegetables
    • Vegetables are the primary source of essential vitamins and minerals.
    • Dark leafy vegetables contain most of the nutrients and can be taken in every meal.
      • Examples of dark leafy vegetables are
        • Spinach
        • Kale
        • Lettuce
        • Green beans
        • Broccoli
        • Collard greens
        • Swiss chard
  3. Whole grains
    • Grains are an important source of many nutrients like fiber, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate) and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium)
    • Three to eight ounces of grains are recommended every day, depending on how many calories you need
  4. Protein
    • Legumes, nuts, and meat are the main sources of protein
    • Protein is essential for proper muscle and brain development
    • Lean or low-fat meats are the best options for protein intake
    • Tofu, Tempeh and other soy-based foods are a very good source of protein
  5. Dairy
    • The dairy product is the excellent source of vitamin D, Calcium and other essential nutrients
  6. Oil
    • Oils should be used in very less amount
    • Choose low-fat oil, low sugar product containing oil like salad dressing and mayonnaise
    • Vegetable oil which contains high fat can be substituted by olive oil which contains low fat

Besides  adding these varieties of food in your diet you should also limit the consumption of following substances to maintain a healthy life;

  • Sugars
  • Alcohol
  • Solid Fats
  • Saturated Fats
  • Trans fats
  • Salt
  • Refined grains

Written by Anne W. Hansen

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