What Makes a Balanced Diet

A well balanced diet is one of the fundamental ways to enjoy good health and longevity. Achieving this is not as difficult as many people think.

In many parts of the world, eating habits have changed significantly since the turn of 20th century. Today many people eat non balanced meals- that is, more calories and fat, fewer carbohydrates, and a lot of proteins.

Many people rarely spare time to exercise and work out their bodies. With time this lifestyle bears fruits of lifestyle diseases like cancer and diabetes among others.

Tips on What Makes a Balanced Diet

At the turn of 20th century, diets were much balanced and healthier. But many of our diets today are depleted of essential nutrients. We eat what is available and cheap.

Most of our meals today are highly non balanced; they are high in fat, protein, sugars and low in vegetables and fruits. Thus such kind of diets cannot keep the doctors away.

Here are some balanced diet tips;

Balanced diet
  • A well balanced-diet entails eating a variety of foods and reducing daily intake of fats and sweets. The food pyramid (in healthy foods ) provides simple and sound instructions for nutrition.
  • Grains, vegetables and fruits provide the nutritional base for healthy diet. Daily fruits and vegetables should include a minimum of one good source of pro-vitamin A or carotene (carrots, dark leafy vegetables, pumpkin, apricots, broccoli, etc.) and one good source of vitamin C (citrus fruit, strawberries, cabbage, cauliflower, green pepper, etc.)
  • Fruits and vegetables are the sole source of phytochemicals. Recent research has found that these compounds show promising results in fighting against cancer. Phytochemicals seem to have a powerful ability to block, disrupt, slow down, or even reverse the formation of cancer tumors.

The consistent message that I am passing across is- eat a diet with ample fruits and vegetables.

Science has not yet found a way to allow people to eat a poor diet, pop a few pills, and derive healthy life. Consume milk, poultry, fish and meat in moderation.

What Makes a Balanced Diet: Maintaining a Balanced Healthy Diet

A balanced diet provides your body with vital nutrients it requires to function normally. To achieve this, below are some factors to watch in your daily diets;

  • Base your meals on starchy foods: About a third of your food intake should consist of complex carbohydrates, as they are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and a good energy source. Some of these include rice, potatoes and bread, especially whole-meal varieties.
  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruit: These too should make up about a third of your food intake. Aim to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruit daily, as they are rich in fiber and vitamins, especially dark green and orange fruit and vegetables.
  • Eat more fish: Eat fish at least twice a week, especially oily fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines. These are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Cut down on saturated fat and sugar: Eat in small amounts and not too often. Fat is a good source of energy and fat-soluble vitamins. Sugar can increase the risk of dental caries.
  • Try to eat less salt: Aim to consume not more than 6 grams a day. Avoid adding salt at the table and reduce salt in cooking, as salt increases the risk of hypertension.
Balanced diet- diet balancing
  • Get active and try to have a healthy weight: Activity can take a variety of forms such as regular exercise through sport or work, and everyday activities.
  • Drink plenty of water: Good hydration can help prevent pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections, cardiovascular disease, confusion, falls and many other health problems.
  • Don’t skip breakfast: A healthy meal at the start of the day can reduce feelings of hunger and maintain energy levels.

In addition, eat moderate amounts of meat, fish and alternatives, as they are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Choose lean meats always.

Also eat moderate amounts of milk and dairy foods, as they are all good sources of protein and calcium. Choose low-fat alternatives if possible, except for children under 5 years of age.

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