Good physical health can be made possible through good eating habits that you can achieve through a balanced diet. This diet helps to promote emotional stability and personality well-being.
Both the quality and quantity of the food are important and should not be compromised.
A balanced diet is very important for physiological, psychological, and social functions. Now let us understand what a balanced diet is.
WHAT IS A BALANCED DIET?
A balanced diet comprises 5 major nutrients.
A balanced diet comprises all food groups in a meal in correct portions. Each of these groups performs different functions. In a balanced meal, major energy comes from carbohydrates followed by proteins and fats respectively.
A balanced diet is full of bioactive phytochemicals like dietary fiber, nutraceuticals, and antioxidants.
Composition of a balanced diet:
- 60% – 70% from Carbohydrates ( Prefer complex carbs: whole grains, dehusked pulses low Glycemic index fruits and vegetables)
- 13% – 18 % from Proteins ( Prefer high biological protein: Eggs, milk, chicken, fish, mutton and rest from plant protein: nuts, pulses)
- 20% – 25 % from Fats ( Prefer unsaturated fats: Rice Bran oil, soybean oil, rapeseed oil, sesame oil, mustard oil, groundnut oil, etc.)
Since complex carbohydrates are rich in fiber, they are better for weight loss, maintaining blood sugar levels, and maintaining cholesterol levels.
The bioavailability of High biological protein ( animal protein ) is higher as compared to plan protein. Also, the protein forms our body so incorporating a good source of protein into the diet is essential.
Choosing the right type of fat is crucial since unhealthy fats can cause cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and other health problems.
BASIC FOOD GROUPS:
Food can be classified according to its type and nutrients. Each food group is classified by its physiological function.
- Energy-giving foods – Cereals grains ( wheat, corn, oats), Millet (ragi, barley), oils, sugar.
- Bodybuilding foods – Pulses, eggs, fish, chicken, milk, curd, cottage cheese, cheese, nuts, and oilseeds.
- Protective and regulatory foods – Fruits and Vegetables, dairy products, etc.
Now, let us know more about the benefits of a balanced diet.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF A BALANCED DIET
- A healthy balanced diet makes you energetic with improved cognitive functions.
- Eating the right portion of macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients helps you to maintain your weight.
- A good healthy eating habit prevents you from health issues.
- A balanced diet helps to manage lipid levels and blood sugar levels along with heart health.
- A balanced diet is full of nutrients that prevent deficiencies. By eating a balanced diet, you can enjoy various nutritious meals.
- A balanced diet can withstand the inevitable process of aging and minimal disability and functional impairment
A balanced diet has 2 main components: Macro-nutrients and Micro-nutrients. The paragraph below gives detailed information about the same.
WHAT ARE MACRO-NUTRIENTS?
Macro-nutrients provide calories or energy and form a major part of our diet. They help in carrying out physical activities and maintaining body functions.
The three broad classes of macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Carbohydrates contribute to most of the calorie intake of individuals. This is because staple foods like cereals are rich in carbohydrates.
1 gram of Carbohydrates provides 4 kcal.
Functions of carbohydrates-
- The main function is to provide energy. As carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, glucose is then metabolized to release energy.
- The main source of energy for the brain is carbohydrates.
- Muscular functioning requires energy that the body derives majorly from carbohydrates.
- Carbohydrates provide protein-sparing action. In the absence of protein, carbohydrates are used as a source of fuel.
- Also, carbohydrates have dietary fiber in them that helps with digestion and with normal bowel movements.
Sources: All foods like pulses, legumes, fruits, dairy products, vegetables, etc.
Every cell of our body is made up primarily of protein. Proteins are crucial for the regulation and essential functions of the body. They have the primary function to repair and maintain bodily tissues.
1 g of Protein gives 4 kcal.
Functions of Protein:
- The main function of protein is the growth, repair, and maintenance of tissues.
- Proteins form skin, hair, nails, teeth, and bones.
- Protein provides immunity as antibodies present in the body are proteins.
- Protein is the ship of the body that transports nutrients.
- Amino acids can also be used to form glucose in the absence of glucose.
Sources: Pulses & legumes, nuts & oilseeds, milk, curd, cottage cheese, cheese, eggs, chicken, fish, and mutton, etc.
Fats are present in nearly all foods we consume. They increase the density of food and make the meal palatable. They are part of all cell membranes, helping in the synthesis of hormones and other useful substances.
1 g of fat gives 9 kcal.
Functions of fats –
- The primary function of fats is to provide energy. It is the most concentrated source of energy.
- Essential fatty acids, DHA, MUFA, and PUFA play a vital role in the development of the nervous system, and retina.
- Fats are stored in adipose tissue under our skin which acts as an insulator, decreasing loss of body heat in cold weather.
- Fats also act as a lubricant for the gastrointestinal tract, allowing easy passage of food.
- Absorption and regulation of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K is the most important function of fats.
Sources: Ghee, butter, cheese, cream, oil, fish liver oil, egg yolk, salmon, tuna, nuts.
WHAT ARE MICRO-NUTRIENTS?
Micro-nutrients are required in minuscule amounts and enable the body to produce enzymes and hormones. The chances of their deficiency are also high. There are two types of micro-nutrient one is a vitamin and the other is a mineral.
Vitamins are essential organic substances needed in small amounts for normal functioning, growth, and maintenance of the body tissues.
The absence of vitamins in the diet leads to deficiency signs and symptoms.
Vitamins are classified into fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.
- These are named fat-soluble because they are fat-soluble and are transported with the help of fats. Vitamin A, Vitamin D. Vitamin E, and Vitamin K are fat-soluble vitamins. A lack of fats in the diet leads to the deficiency of these vitamins.
- Vitamin A plays an important role in vision, reproduction, growth, development, and maintenance of bone and immunity.
Sources: Fish, fish oil, fortified milk, cheese, oil, green leafy vegetables like goosefoot, spinach, methi, and mustard greens.
- Vitamin D is required for bone growth and maintenance of bones, regulation of blood calcium, cell differentiation, parathyroid gland functioning, immunity, and insulin secretion.
Sources: Butter, fish, fish oil, milk, eggs, etc.
- Vitamin E is the only vitamin that acts as an antioxidant and an anti-aging vitamin. It helps in the reduction of the risk of cancer and heart diseases. Vitamin E is also important as it has a sparing effect on vitamin A and vitamin C by acting as an antioxidant.
Sources: Corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower oil, peanuts, wheat germ oil, whole grain, and seeds.
- Vitamin K is important for wound healing by blood clot formation. Essential for bone metabolism and formation.
Sources: Soy and soy products, tomato, green leafy vegetables, and beans.
Water-soluble vitamins –
- These are named water-soluble vitamins as they are soluble in water and do not dissolve in fats. Vitamin B and Vitamin C are the two water-soluble vitamins.
- Vitamin B provides immunity, breaks down food to produce energy, produces healthy hormones, Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and prevents anemia, and beriberi.
Sources: Bananas, Beans, Beef liver, Bran, Brown rice, Carrots, Cheese, Chicken, Fortified ready-to-eat cereal, Lentils, Milk, Salmon, Sunflower seeds, Wheat germ, Whole-grain flour.
- Vitamin C performs as an antioxidant. Increases iron absorption and provides immunity.
Sources: Tomato, lemon, orange, green chilies, cabbage, and beans.
Minerals are essential inorganic substances required for the normal functioning of the body. These substances are not synthesized in our body and hence are an essential part of our diet.
- Sodium, Potassium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium are responsible for the water-electrolyte balance, muscle contraction, relaxation, and blood pressure regulation.
- Phosphorus, calcium, zinc, chromium, and magnesium are responsible for cell metabolism, cell growth, and development, and bone health.
- Iron, copper, and calcium play an important role in blood cell formation and clotting.
7 DAY BALANCED DIET CHART
|1 med. bowl Veg. Poha + Pudina Chutney + 1 Apple + 200 ml Low Fat Milk||Lemonade||2 Chapatis + 1 Small bowl Rice + 1 med. sized bowl Dal + 1 quarter plate Salad + 100 g Curd||Tea/ Coffee + Roasted Peanuts (8-10 )||Veg. oats + 40 g sauteed Paneer + Suji Kheer ( 1 Small bowl )|
|1 Paneer Parantha + Curd + 100 g + 1 Fruit|| Buttermilk |
( 200 ml )
|Veg. Pulao |
( 1 medium bowl ) + Raita (150 g ) + Salad ( Big plate)
|Tea/ Coffee + Roasted Makhana ( 15 g )||1 Chapati + 1 Big Bowl Seasonal Vegetable|
|2 Med sized idlis + 1 Bowl Sambar + 120 g papaya/ Apple||Green tea/ Black coffee||1 Big Bowl Veg. Khichdi + 1 Med. bowl Dal||Low Fat Milk (200 ml ) + 2 Marie biscuits.||1 Dal Stuffed Parantha + Mint Chutney|
|Veg. Vermicelli + Pudina Chutney + Orange juice||150 g Cucumber||2 Chapatis + 1 Bowl Palak Paneer + 1 quarter plate salad + Curd ( 120 g )||Tea / Coffee + 8 Almonds||1 Large bowl + 1 Med. Bowl Vegetable Daliya + Pickle|
|1 Med. Bowl Milk Oats + 1 apple + 1-2 walnuts||Coconut water||2 Chapatis + 1 Med. bowl seasonal vegetable + 1 bowl Dal + Curd ( 90 g )||Fruit Smoothie ( 100 ml )||1 Big Bowl peeled Apple + 120 ml Low Fat Milk.|
|1 Veg. Uttapam + Coriander Chutney + 1 Fruit ( Any )||Jaljeera||1 Large Bowl Vegetable Khichdi + Curd ( 150 g ) + 1 Big Plate Salad||Tea/ Coffee + Roasted Makhana (1 5 g )||2 Small Dosas + 2 tbsp Coconut Chutney + 1 Med. Bowl Sambar|
|Sandwich +Coffee ( Small Glass :200 ml )||Masala Chach ( 200 ml )||1 Med. Bowl Jeera Rice + 1 Med. Bowl Chole masala + 1 bowl Any seasonal vegetable + Raita ( 150 g )||Tea / Coffee + 2 Biscuits||2 – 3 Pooris + 1 Med. Bowl Shahi Paneer + 1 Med. Bowl Dal Makahni + Custard ( 1 small bowl)|
Choose lean meats and skim dairy products and good fats like nuts, seeds, fish, and olives when other nutrients accompany them. Incorporating fats while cooking is good as it helps the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Fats in your foods should be maintained at a minimum.
Switch to a reduced salt wholemeal or wholegrain bread.
For sandwiches, limit your use of spreads high in saturated fat like butter and cream cheese; replace with scrapings of spread or alternative nut spreads or low-fat cheese spreads or avocado. Prefer low-fat cheese or salad dressing.
Add a lot of vegetables to your sandwich to make it healthier.
Prioritize vegetables over meat in your dishes.
Use whole wheat flour instead of refined flour when you bake.
GENERAL HEALTHY GUIDELINES:
Take your lunch to work.
Drink lots of water.
It is important to stop when you feel full. This will help you maintain your weight to an extent. This also will help you remain alert and feel your best.
The most important rule of healthy eating is eating small frequent meals. Skipping meals leads to slowed metabolic rate. GenThe generating pattern includes 3 major meals and 2 snacks between meals. Also, Never skip breakfast.
Eat five exchanges of fruit and vegetables every day.
Keep a supply of healthy snacks to hand. This will stop you from eating an unhealthy snacks when hungry.
It is suggested to remove all visible fat from food before you cook it – take the skin off chicken and trim the white fat off any meat.
Limited consumption of stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugar.
We can conclude that,
So, we can conclude that a balanced diet is full of nutrients and is effective in good physical and mental health, thereby preventing health issues. A balanced diet has various healthy meal options and sticking to the nutritious, and delicious help in avoiding the junk.