Balanced Diet: Why Is It So Important For Us?

Balanced Diet: Why Is It So Important For Us?

The importance of a balanced diet cannot be emphasized enough for a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle can be achieved by maintaining a balanced and a proper diet and keeping into consideration all the important nutrients needed by the body.

What Is A Balanced Diet?

A balanced diet offers your body the nutrients it requires to operate correctly. To receive the nutritions you require, most of your regular calories should come from: 

  • fresh fruits
  • fresh vegetables
  • whole grains
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • lean proteins

About Calories

The amount of calories in a food implies the amount of energy kept in that food. Your body utilizes calories from food for thinking, walking, breathing, and other crucial functions. The average person requires nearly 2,000 calories each day to maintain their weight but the quantity will depend on their sex, age, and physical level of activity. 

Males tend to require more calories in comparison to females, and people who exercise require more calories in comparison to people who do not. Present guidelines list the following intakes of calories for females and males of varied ages:

Person
Calorie requirements
Sedentary children: 2–8 years
1,000–1,400
Active children: 2–8 years
1,000–2,000
Females: 9–13 years
1,400–2,200
Males: 9–13 years
1,600–2,600
Active females: 14–30 years
2,400
Sedentary females: 14–30 years
1,800–2,000
Active males: 14–30 years
2,800–3,200
Sedentary males: 14–30 years
2,000–2,600
Active people: 30 years and over
2,000–3,000
Sedentary people: 30 years and over
1,600–2,400

The source of your regular calories is also crucial. Foods that offer primarily calories and very few nutrients are called “empty calories.” Instances of foods that offer empty calories involve:

  • cakes, cookies, and donuts
  • processed meats
  • energy drinks and sodas
  • fruit drinks with added sugar
  • ice cream
  • chips and fries
  • pizza
  • sodas

However, it is not only the form of food but the ingredients that make it nutritious. A homemade pizza with a wholemeal base and ample of fresh veggies on top may also be a healthy choice. In contrast, pizzas that are premade and other processed foods often have empty calories.

Why Is A Balanced Diet Important?

Let us now have a look at the various importance of balanced diet. A balanced diet offers the nutrients that your body requires to work efficiently. Without any balanced diet nutrients, the human body is more prone to infections, diseases, low performance, and fatigue. 

Children who do not receive enough healthy foods may encounter development and growth issues, frequent infection, and poor academic performance. They can also develop food eating habits that are unhealthy and may persist into adulthood. Without exercise, they will also have an increased risk of obesity and several other diseases that create metabolism syndromes such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. And a balanced diet for kids. 

As per the Center for Science in the Public Interest, 4 among the top 10 leading reasons for death in the US are directly connected to diet. They are:

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • stroke
  • type 2 diabetes

What To Eat For A Balanced Diet?

A balanced and healthy diet will usually involve the following nutrients:

  • minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants
  • carbohydrates, that include starches and fiber
  • protein
  • healthy fats

A healthy diet will involve a variety of foods from the following groups:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • grains
  • dairy
  • protein foods

Instances of protein foods include egg, meat, fish, legumes, and nuts. People who follow a complete vegan diet will aim completely at plant-based foods. They will not consume meat, dairy, or fish, but their diet will have other items that offer nutrients similar to that. Beans and Tofu, for instance, are completely plant based sources of protein. There are some people who are intolerant of dairy but can still construct a balanced diet by selecting replacements that are rich in nutrients.

Food To Avoid

Foods to limit or avoid in a healthy diet include:

  • highly processed foods
  • refined grains
  • added sugar and salt
  • red and processed meat
  • alcohol
  • trans fats

What is healthy for one person may not be ideal for another. Whole wheat flour can be a good ingredient for many but is not ideal for those with a gluten intolerance, for instance.

Fruits

Fruits are nutritious, they make tasty desserts or snacks, and they can satisfy a sweet tooth. Local fruits that are in season are fresher and offer more nutrients in comparison to the imported fruits. 

Fruits contain high sugar, but this sugar is natural. Unlike many sweet dishes like candies, fruits also offer fiber and other nutrients. This implies they are less likely to create a spike in sugar and they will boost the supply of essential vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals in the body. 

If you have diabetes, your dietitian or doctor can advise you on which fruit to select, how much to eat, and when.

Vegetables

Vegetables are a primary source of important vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Eat a variety of vegetables with varied colors for a complete range of nutrients. Leafy, dark greens are a great source of many nutrients. They include:

  • spinach
  • kale
  • green beans
  • broccoli
  • collard greens
  • Swiss chard

Local, seasonal vegetables are at times reasonable in value and convenient to nake. Use them in the following ways:

  • as a side dish
  • roasted in a tray with a splash of olive oil
  • as the base in soups, stews, and pasta dishes
  • as a salad
  • in purées
  • in juices and smoothies

Grains

Refined white flour is shown in several slices of bread and baked goods, but it has restricted nutritional value. This is because much of that goodness is in the room of grain, or outer shell, which manufacturers remove during processing. Whole grain items include the entire grain that involves the hull. They offer added vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Many people also see that whole grains add flavor and texture to a dish.

Bottom Line

A balanced diet is generally one that contains ample fresh, plant-based food items, and restricts the intake of processed foods.

If you have questions regarding your diet or feel that you require to lose weight or alter your eating habits, plan an appointment with your dietitian or doctor. They can recommend dietary alterations that will help you receive the nutrition you will require while promoting your overall health.

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Prasoon Soni

A health enthusiast and dietician, Prasoon Soni writes his blogs with utmost precision and all the information that you need to live a healthy life.

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