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Balanced Diet

Apr, 2021 - By CMI

Balanced Diet

 

A healthy diet is one that includes a variety of foods in specific amounts and proportions to meet the body's needs for calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and alternative nutrients, with a limited amount of additional nutrients set aside to help the body survive the brief period of leanness.50 to 60 percent carbohydrates, 12 to 20 percent protein, and 30 percent fat make up a well-balanced diet. All organs and tissues need adequate nutrition to function properly, which is achieved by consuming the appropriate amount of nutrients and calories to maintain a healthy weight. Good diet, physical activity, and a healthy body weight all contribute to a person's overall health and well-being.

Important of having a healthy diet:

For a healthy lifestyle, the importance of a well-balanced diet cannot be overstated. Maintaining a balanced diet and taking into account all of the essential nutrients needed by the body can lead to a healthy lifestyle. A good meal plan will help a person to reach optimum body weight and lower the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Feeling great, having more stamina, increasing nutrition, and boosting mood are all benefits of eating a healthy diet. A person's health status and well-being depends on good nutrition, physical activity, and a healthy body weight. It's the diet that provides body with the required nutrients for proper functioning. Diet is important because it ensures that the right amount of calories are consumed. When a wide variety of calorie-dense foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and proteins is consumed, the body gets the nutrients it needs. Calories are a measurement of a food's energy content. A person's body weight maintenance requires around 2000 calories per day on an average. In general, a person's calorie intake is influenced by their gender, age, and level of physical activity. Men, on the other hand, need more calories than women. People who exercise regularly need more calories than those who do not. It is also crucial to keep in mind that the source of calories is just as important as the amount. Filling meals with empty calories, or calories that have no nutritional value, will not help in any way. So, one has to be mindful of what they are eating and have a balanced diet in order to stay fit and healthy. Children who do not consume enough nutritious foods may experience growth and developmental issues, as well as poor academic performance, and frequent infections. They may also develop bad eating habits that will last into adulthood. They'll also be at a higher risk of obesity and the ailments that make up metabolic syndrome, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, if they don't exercise. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, diet is directly related to four of the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S.

Food items that fall under balanced diet:

A well-balanced diet comprises the following healthy food groups:

·         Green vegetables, carbohydrates vegetables, veggies like beans and peas, red and orange tomatoes, and eggplant

·         Fruits such as whole fruits, fresh or frozen fruits, but not syrup-dipped canned fruits

·         Whole grains and refined grains are examples of grains. Quinoa, rye, brown rice, barley, and buckwheat are some examples

·         Lean beef and pork, chicken, tuna, beans, peas, and legumes are all good sources of protein

·         Low-fat milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, and soy milk are examples of dairy products

Fruits:

Fruits are healthy, delicious snacks, or desserts that can satisfy a sweet tooth. Fruits contain a lot of sugar, but it's all natural sugar. Fruits, unlike candies and many sweet desserts, provide fiber and other nutrients as well. This means they'll increase the body's supply of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while lowering the risk of a sugar spike.

Vegetables:

Essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can all be found in vegetables. To get a full range of nutrients, eat a variety of colorful vegetables. Dark, leafy greens are high in a variety of nutrients.

Grains:

Many breads and baked goods contain refined white flour, which has little nutritional value. This is because much of the nutrition is found in the grain's hull, or outer shell, which is removed during processing. The whole grain, including the hull, is included in whole grain products. They add vitamins, minerals, and fiber to their diet. Whole grains also add flavor and texture to a dish, according to many people.

Proteins:

Protein is found primarily in meats and beans, and it is required for wound healing, muscle maintenance, and growth, among other things.

Dairy:

Dairy products contain important nutrients such as calcium, protein, and vitamin D. They also have fat in them.

Fats and oils:

Fat is necessary for energy and cell health, but too much fat can cause the body to consume more calories than it requires, leading to weight gain.

Food items to avoid while maintaining a healthy diet:

Foods that are heavily processed

·         Sugar and salt which is added to refined grains.

·         Meat, both red and processed

·         Alcoholic beverages

·         Trans fatty acids

Eating healthy diets daily is required for the body to function properly. But the main problem of people now-a-days is that they are prompt to set goals like they will start eating healthy and a balanced diet but they are not able to maintain the goal and achieve it; as they make big and unachievable goals. So, the solution to this is to set small goals and make them achievable.

Setting S.M.A.R.T goals to achieve the ultimate goal of healthy eating:

When it comes to making healthy behavior changes, like having more fruits and vegetables, exercising more, drinking enough water, having enough sleep, or focusing on eating disorder recovery, it is helpful to break down the overall goal into small, particularly S.M.A.R.T. goals in order to actually achieve the goal. Many people seek to set goals that are too broad and too vague which is not practical enough to achieve, leaving them with no implementable measures to follow to get there. So, if the goal is to eat healthier or become more active, the people may find it much more difficult to achieve the objectives if they don't have actionable steps in place. Instead one should concentrate on small, manageable behaviors, and actions to improve their health over time. This is the most effective way to alter habits. Setting S.M.A.R.T goals is always helpful to achieve the short term goals, it is always helpful in achieving any kind of goal. Specific goals have a much better chance of being achieved. The five "W" questions must be considered while making a specific goal:

Who: Who is a part of this mission?

What: What is the person hoping to achieve?

Where will this goal be accomplished?

When does the person want to accomplish the goal?

Why: What motivates them to accomplish this goal?

Setting goals like starting to eat healthy are vague goals. Instead of this, the person should set more clear goals like starting to go to gym and work out to get healthy. SMART goals are precise, measurable, achievable, practical, and timely. The SMART approach motivates one to go further, gives one a sense of direction, and assists in organizing and achieving the objectives.

The S.M.A.R.T approach can be described as:

Small:

Avoid setting an overly ambitious goal. Make it small at first, and take it one step at a time. If one doesn’t eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, for example, start with just one extra serving per day. After one has accomplished that, one can proceed to the next step.

Measurable:

Make sure the objectives are measurable, which means that the person setting them should be able to track the goal. This can be done by making an effort to be precise. For example, to increase the intake of food one should establish measurable objectives, such as eating three meals and three snacks per day for at least four days that week.

Attainable:

Make sure the goal is something that the person can actually achieve. For example, how serious one is regarding exercise or going to gym every day. One can start with three days per week in order to make sure it's something one can attain.

Realistic:

As mentioned previously, one has to make sure their goal is attainable. One should not set a goal that won't fit into their current timetable, climate, etc., or that seems too difficult to achieve based on where they are at that time.

Time-Bound:

Making it particular by including numbers. For example, the person can include a vegetable in their lunch for the next two weeks.

It is not only a balanced diet that is required, but also healthy eating habits. You can follow some of them, for example:

·         Smaller portions to eat

·         Allow oneself time to eat

·         Reduce snack consumption

·         Stop emotional eating

The importance of balanced diet is more important due to unhealthy food habits and inclination towards junk food. The youth should have meals, which are packed of nutrients but they intake food with very low nutritional value.