What Is Balanced Diet?

Balanced diet, a very familiar term taught in our general science syllabus during early schooling. So do you know what is balanced diet? If one is not having a balanced diet then the person will have face severe health related diseases in walks of life. Thus, in this short article, I will be providing you with all the necessary details about what is balanced diet, what are the components of balanced diet, how is balanced diet important and more . Spend your valuable 15 mins to this read, so let’s first have a look on What is balanced diet ?

What is balanced diet ?

Human body requires energy to carry out daily activities. This energy is obtained from nutrition with the food intake. If our food contains all the nutrition then our body stays fit. Food containing all the essential nutrients is called a balanced diet.
A balanced diet contains essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibres and water in the right quantity. A minute later, we will dig in detail about components of a balanced diet. Nutritional needs differ from person to person and even season to season. As our age changes, the nutritional needs of the body also changes. Here is scientific definition of balanced diet –

“ Balanced diet is a diet that contains adequate amounts of all the necessary nutrients required for healthy growth and activity.”

Components of balanced diet

What is balanced diet | Components of Balanced Diet

Components of balanced diet

Carbohydrates

Most of the energy requirements of the body are fulfilled by carbohydrates. Some important sources of carbohydrates are whole grains ( Wheat, Jowar, Rice, etc ), fruits and vegetables, potatoes, etc. Other than these some amount of carbohydrates are also obtained from cakes and pastries, flavoured beverages, etc. For an adult body daily caloric requirement of carbohydrates is estimated to be between 40 to 65 %.[1][2]

Fats

When you hear the word “fat”, the first thing must have came to your mind “the put on of weight.” Well, like other nutrients fats are equally important. Main function of fat is to regulate the temperature of body. Some sources of fats are dairy products, meat, oils, etc. An adult body, requires 20 to 30% of daily caloric requirement of fat.[1][2]
Here is small list of fats and their sources that each one must know[3]

Fats Sources
Saturated fats Cheese, sour cream, icecream, fatty beef, pork, butter, coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter, etc
Monounsaturated fats Almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, olive oil, peanut oil, peanut butter, almond butter, avocados, etc
Polyunsaturated fats Mainly in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids – salmon, sardines, tofu, roasted soya beans, soy nut butter, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, corn oil, sunflower oil, soft margarine, etc
Trans Fats French fries, fried fast foods, doughnuts, margarine, cookies, cakes, pastries, processed snack food, etc

Proteins

Proteins are necessary for skin, hair and muscles. Their are 22 protein types, out of which body can produce 14, and other 8 are need to supplied externally to the body. A balanced diet should be rich in these proteins. Some protein rich foods are meat, eggs, fish, cheese, tofu, legumes , nut and seed butters, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, whole grain breads, rice, etc. In an adult, daily requirement of proteins is 50 grams.

Vitamins

Food rich in Vitamins A, B C and D must be consumed regularly.All of these have their own importance, say Vitamin A is good for eyes, Vitamin C is good for skin, Vitamin D is good for bones, etc. Fruits and vegetables are rich source of vitamins. However, there are medical substitutes for vitamins, but it is recommended to go for fruits and veggies rather than medicines.
Click here to get list of different vitamins- List of Vitamins and their sources

Minerals

Our body cannot produce minerals. Iron, calcium, potassium, sodium, iodine, etc are some important minerals required for good body maintenance. Iron provides energy, calcium is good for bones, iodine is required to make thyroid hormones, potassium is important for muscles and nervous system.
Find importance of minerals here – Importance of Minerals

Dietary fibres

These are also known as roughage and play an important role in regulating body systems. Some fibre rich foods are oatmeal, bran, leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits like berries, pears, melons, oranges, banana, etc. an adult body must have 30 grams of fibres each day.

Water

Last but not the least water is important of all, it keeps our body hydrated and allows the movement of all the components from one cell to another within the body. It is recommended to have a minimum of 8 glasses of water each day.

What is balanced diet | Healthy food

Cost effective balanced diet

Importance of balanced diet

There are many importance of balanced diet, out of which some are listed below[4]

  • Controls body weight
  • Get more energy
  • Improves disease fighting ability
  • Increases brain power
  • Get better sleep
  • Improves mental health

Diseases due to lack of balanced diet

Improper nutrition results in malnutrition. If a particular nutrient is very less or not available for longer time then it lead to undernutrition or undernourishment. Likewise getting too much of nutrient causes overnourishment or also called overnutrition. Both undernutrition and overnutrition are malnutrition. 925 million people suffer from undernutrition across the globe[5]. Some of the nutritional disease include weight loss, low birth weight in infants, inadequate growth and development, wasting of body fat, increased susceptibility to diseases, and more. Here is small list of diseases due to lack of balanced diet

Component Disease
Carbohydrates Obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, gastrointestinal disease ketosis, etc
Proteins Kwashiorkor, marasmus, cachexia, etc
Vitamins Scurvy, rickets, beriberi, pellagra, osteomalacia, color blindness, conjunctivitis, etc
Minerals Cramping of muscles, poor appetite, anemia, nausea, vomiting, etc
Fats Depression, anxiety, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, etc
Fibres Chronic constipation, weight gain, bloating, affects skin quality, etc
Water Dehydration, fatigue, premature aging, constipation, blood pressure, bad cholesterol, urine infection, digestive disorders, etc

Now you must have known well what should be included in balanced diet and problems due to lack of nourishment. Now let’s have a short look on what should be avoided for good health.

Healthy food habits

Balanced diet is important for a healthy lifestyle. Now-a-days, young generation is very much interested in having french fries rather than chapatis. Everyone loves to eat noodles, pizzas, beverages and other snacks. For change in taste, such foods work great, but when we talk about health, these aren’t. Moreover, in our busy lifestyles such food habits have become an important part. Too much consumption of such food increases chances of obesity, youngsters are more prone to acne and other skin disease, affects mental and emotional health and more like such.

Again i’ll repeat, its good for change of taste, but not good if taken as daily meals. A daily meal must include a balanced diet. One must choose for raw salads, yogurt instead of deep fried foods like chips and wafers. Rather than taking beverages, one must think to get fruit juice. These options will keep you healthy and stay younger for more time. And don’t forget to meditate and exercise daily !!
I would like to conclude with great thought by Mahatma Gandhi,

“ Its health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”

Before ending have look on 20 interesting facts related to health and diet[6][7]

😊 20 Interesting Facts Related To Health And Diet 😊

  1. Most fattening product in our modern diet are sugary drinks
  2. Laughing is good for heart
  3. Skin is the largest organ of the body that fight against diseases as well as infections.
  4. Low fat doesn’t mean it’s healthy
  5. To live longer with good health, you should have always positive attitude
  6. Too much sleeping or sitting increases chances of early death
  7. Lack of exercise is causing equal deaths as that of due to smoking
  8. 30% of population in world is obese
  9. Drinking coffee reduces risk of depression
  10. Smelling rosemary improves memory and can increase alertness
  11. People chew gums as it makes you more alert, stress free and reduces anxiety.
  12. Chocolates are good for your skin, relieves stress, protect against UV damage and improves blood flow.
  13. Tea lowers risk of heart attack
  14. Oatmeal calms brain and improves mood
  15. Amount of iron required by women under the age of 50 is twice the men of same age
  16. Amino acids in eggs improves reflexes
  17. Healthiest fat on earth is extra virgin olive oil
  18. Vitamin D is equally important for bones as calcium
  19. To lose 454 grams of fat you need to burn approximately 3500 calories
  20. Regular exercise increases lifespan by keeping DNA healthy and young

Watch complete video on What is balanced diet ? here.

Author – Gayatri Dubey is Associate at LearnFatafat, who is also a keen reader and has interests in music.
Posted By – LearnFatafat

Reference Link(s) –
[1] The 7 components of balanced diet
[2] 7 components of a balanced diet
[3] Good fats v/s Bad fats
[4] 5 benefits of balanced diet
[5] Nutritional disease
[6] 70 Quick health Facts
[7] 20 nutrition facts

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