Tips for Deciding on a Balanced Diet

By Tess Thompson 


Good nutrition is the bedrock of lifelong health and should ideally start right from infancy. A balanced diet is essential to get all the nutrients needed for growth. It is also critical if one wants to maintain optimal health. Poor eating habits not only result in overweight and obesity but can also lead to serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis and some form of cancers.


A balanced diet is one that contains all nutrients in correct proportions. Weight loss plans based on low carbohydrate intake tend to ignore that carbohydrates are an important source of energy. Proteins are necessary for growth and healing wounds. It is also a myth that all fats and oils should be avoided. Fats are stored beneath the skin and protect us from cold and necessary as an energy source. The base line is ‘balancing’ rather than avoiding.


Too much or too less of either of the three is bad for your health. If you avoid fats to lose weight and eat more of proteins and carbohydrates then your body will convert some of them into fat. Lack of fat intake results in the body burning its stored fat and may lead to metabolic disorders. A balanced diet ensures that you get the right amount of fats, proteins and carbohydrates along with the right quantity of minerals, vitamins and fiber on a daily basis. Some basic foods that you should include in your daily diet are:


- Grains - Prefer whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice and oatmeal over refined bread, pastas and breakfast cereals.

- Vegetables - The deeper the color of the vegetable, the greater concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

- Fruits - All fruits are good for health. Packed fruit juices can contain up to ten teaspoons of sugar per cup. Prefer fresh fruit juice.

- Dairy products - Organic dairy is the best choice.

- Proteins - Aim for variety while choosing source of proteins. Fish, especially oily fish is the best source of proteins. Reduce consumption of red meat. Egg, poultry, beans, nuts and seeds are other foods that have high protein content.

- Oils - Fresh high quality oils like olive and coconut oil and oils derived from raw nuts and seeds are healthy sources of fat.


Besides this you should eat slowly and chew your food properly before swallowing. Digestion actually begins in your mouth where digestive enzymes in the saliva mix with food. Eat everything, but in moderation. The signal of a full stomach reaches the brain after about 20 minutes - eat slowly to avoid over eating.


It is indeed ironical that there is an increased interest in how to naturally lose weight fast rather than on how to eat naturally so as not to gain weight. We are more inclined towards diets that offer fast solutions even if it amounts to taking risks. The fact is that there is usually a media driven spurt in popularity of most diets.









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