A healthy, balanced diet comprises of foods from five different food groups, which satisfies all our nutritional requirements. It is advisable for one to eat a healthy, balanced diet because it helps preserve good health and lower their risk of diseases.
As humans, our body requires a specific amount of calories and nutrients in order to stay strong and healthy. A balanced diet provides all the necessary nutrients the body requires. When you eat a balanced diet, your body receives the required nutrients and calories needed to fight against sicknesses and diseases.
A healthy, balanced diet comprises of foods from these five food groups:
Protein is highly essential for cell and tissue growth; adequate intake of protein is very important during times of rapid growth or increased demand, such as childhood, adolescence, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
It is recommended that protein should add up to a quarter of a one’s plate.
Nutritious protein selections include:
- Chicken and turkey.
- Lean beef and pork.
- Beans, peas, and legumes.
Vegetables are full of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide several vital health benefits to the body. They are a great source of dietary fiber; a type of carbohydrate that helps pass food through your digestive system.
The vegetable group includes five subgroups:
- Starchy vegetables.
- Red or orange vegetables.
- Leafy greens.
- Beans and peas (legumes).
- Other kinds of vegetables, such as eggplant or zucchini.
Some people may enjoy eating their vegetables raw or cooked. Nevertheless, it is vital not to forget that cooking vegetables removes some of their nutritional value. Furthermore, some methods, like deep-frying, can add unhealthful fats to a dish.
Eating more whole grains is essential for a healthy diet. Whole grains are packed with nutrients including protein, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, coper and magnesium).
There are two subgroups: whole grains and refined grains.
Whole grains comprise of all three parts of the grain, which are the bran, germ, and endosperm. The body gradually breaks down whole grains, in order to have less effect on one’s blood sugar.
Furthermore, whole grains are likely to contain more fiber and protein than refined grains.
Refined grains are usually processed and do not contain the three original components. Refined grains are also likely to have less protein and fiber, and they can lead to blood sugar spikes.
It is recommended that at least half of the grains that a person eats daily should be whole grains. Healthy whole grains include:
- Brown rice.
Fruits are a great source of essential vitamins and minerals, and they are rich in fiber. Fruits provide a wide range of health-boosting antioxidants, including flavonoids. A healthy, balanced diet should include lots of fruit.
Nutritionist usually advise eating whole fruits instead of getting fruit from juice. Juice contains less nutrients. Moreover, the manufacturing process often adds empty calories as a result of added sugar. It is advisable that you go for fresh or frozen fruits, or fruits canned in water instead of syrup.
Some healthy fruits include:
- Orange (Health Benefits of Orange).
- Apple (Health Benefits of Apple).
- Pineapple (Health Benefits of Pineapple).
- Banana (Health Benefits of Banana).
- Cucumber (Health Benefits of Cucumber).
- Avocado pear (Health Benefits of Avocado Pear).
Dairy is packed with nutritional value. Dairy products are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including carbohydrates, protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin A, D, B12, riboflavin and niacin. Dairy and fortified soy products are an essential source of calcium.
Low-fat dairy and soy products include:
- Soy milk.
- Low-fat milk.
- Ricotta or cottage cheese.
It is advisable that people who are lactose intolerant should go for low-lactose or lactose-free products, or choose soy-based sources of calcium and other nutrients.
Maintaining A Healthy Weight.
A healthy, balanced diet helps one maintain a healthy weight. A poor diet is one of the major reasons people struggle with weight loss.
When you combine a healthy, balanced diet with your regular exercise routine, it can help reduce the risk factors for obesity or weight gain.
When you eat a balanced diet, it will help you lose weight by:
- Getting vital nutrients, including minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
- Increasing your protein consumption.
- Avoiding excessive carbohydrates or processed foods.
- Preventing binge eating.
For people that are concerned about their weight, it is advisable to start or improve their exercise routine. Here are some Exercises to Help You Stay Fit 24/7.
Adding 30 minutes of walking every day and making minor changes to your routine, like taking the stairs, can help you burn calories and lose weight.
While for people that are used to exercising, adding moderate exercise that includes cardio and resistance training will help boost their weight loss.
Eating a balanced diet simply means eating foods from the five major food groups. It is recommended that your plate should contain mainly vegetables and fruits, some lean protein, some dairy, and soluble fiber.
If you are interested in losing weight, you should consider adding moderate exercises into your daily routine.