SHIPPING ALL OVER USA

QUESTIONS CALL: 786-448-7511
news

A guide on how to have a balanced diet

We all have some idea of what it means to eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet is one of those ideas that gets instilled in us at a young age. Making sure we eat the correct balance of food to get the right nutrients is something of bedrock for health. 

How many of us eat a balanced diet? The truth is, as we become adults, we start to cut corners. Whether it be fast food or simply not eating, many of us skirt the need for a balanced diet in favor of convenience. 

The fact is a balanced diet is the cornerstone of any health plan. Whether you are committed to a program of fitness or simply want to remain healthy, a balanced diet is a place where everything begins. 

What is a balanced diet? What do we need to eat to make sure we are getting a balanced diet? And what are the best ways of going about a balanced diet? This guide will give you the basics to make sure you are eating a balanced diet. We will provide you with the information you need to stay healthy with a balanced diet. 

What is a balanced diet?

In the simplest terms, a balanced diet is a diet that provides you with all the nutrients you need to sustain your health in a day. This means making sure you eat a combination of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, legumes, and whole grains. 

A balanced diet also means eating these foods in the correct proportions. It means staying away from junk foods and foods that provide no real nutritional benefit. You must eat a specific number of calories in a day, but you also need to make sure those calories come from sources that do not overload you with things like bad fats and heavy doses of cholesterol. 

You can obtain a detailed breakdown of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans online. This chart will give a detailed schedule of all the nutrients necessary to maintain proper health. Everything from the obvious nutrients like vitamin C and proteins to the things we may not consider such as magnesium, calcium, and other minerals that are essential for health. 

As much we think calories are the villains in maintaining our health and weight, we need a certain number of calories to fuel our bodies. The average person requires about 2000 calories per day to provide fuel for our bodies to run properly. Men generally require more calories than women, and your level of activity alters the number of calories you require. People who are extremely active need more calories. 

There is a chart that provides a detailed breakdown of caloric requirements for all ages and activity levels available online. 

What is more, the source of calories makes a difference. There are healthy ways of consuming calories. Unhealthy sources provide what are often called "empty calories." These are foods that have no real nutritional value and provide calories primarily through sugars and processed sources. 

Examples of empty-calorie sources include: 

  • Cake, cookies, and donuts
  • Processed meats
  • Energy drinks and soft drinks
  • Fruit drinks with added sugar
  • Ice cream
  • Chips, fries, and other processed snacks

Though tasty and satisfying, these foods provide no nutrition and pack huge quantities of calories. 

What is the importance of a balanced diet?

A balanced diet provides the nutrients necessary for your body to function. The upshot of this is that if you do not eat a balanced diet some aspects of your physiology will suffer as a result. 

A balanced diet feeds every physiological system in the body. This means that when you are not getting the nutrients that make up a balanced diet you are more prone to things like infections, since the immune system, to choose one example among many, is not getting what it needs to do its work.

People who do not eat a balanced diet are in danger of developing what is called metabolic syndrome. This is sometimes referred to as syndrome X because it is a combination of things that can take on many forms. The upshot is that metabolic syndrome is largely the result of poor diet and it can lead to serious health issues. 

The American Heart Association states that metabolic syndrome is when you have three or more of the following issues: 

  • Midsection obesity: This is a waistline of 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men. 
  • Blood pressure over 130/85
  • Triglyceride levels over 150 mg/L
  • High-density lipoprotein levels (bad cholesterol levels). For men, HDL should be below 50mg/L, and for women, they should be below 40 mg/L
  • Fasting blood glucose levels greater than 100 mg/dL

It is estimated that 23 percent of adults in the United States are living with metabolic syndrome. One of the best ways to avoid or reverse metabolic syndrome is by eating a healthy, balanced diet. 

Children who are not given a balanced diet can suffer developmental problems. Their academic performance may lag behind others and they are more prone to getting sick. Children who are not fed a balanced diet and do not properly exercise are prone to obesity and other diseases that stem from metabolic syndrome like type 2 diabetes. 

The most recent studies show that 4 of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States are linked to improper nutrition as a result of not eating a balanced diet. These include: 

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes

The short answer here is that not eating a balanced diet can be fatal. 

How do you prepare a balanced diet?

The easiest way to prepare a balanced diet is to make sure you include the primary foods that contain the necessary nutrients. A balanced diet will include the following:

  • Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Healthy fats

Foods groups you should eat

You can incorporate these things into your meals by choosing foods that contain these main nutrients. These include things like:

Vegetables

These include things like: 

  • leafy greens
  • red or oranges vegetables like carrots and peppers
  • beans and peas (legumes)
  • other vegetables, such as eggplant or zucchini

Fruits

Eat fresh fruits as much as possible and stay away from processed fruits that contain added sugar. 

Whole grains

Make sure you use whole grains. Avoid refined grains, which have been linked to many health issues, whole grains have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer

Examples of healthy whole grains include:

  • quinoa
  • oats
  • brown rice
  • barley
  • buckwheat

Dairy

Low-fat dairy options that are easy to find and include in your diet are:

  • ricotta or cottage cheese
  • low-fat milk
  • yogurt

Lean protein-rich meats, eggs, fish, beans and legumes, and nuts. 

Healthy protein options include:

  • lean beef and pork
  • chicken and turkey
  • fish
  • beans, peas, and legumes

There are protein replacements for people who choose not to eat meat or other animal-based foods. Things like tofu and soy-based foods are great sources of protein.  

A word about starch: Many people are trying to avoid starchy foods to lose weight but starchy foods like wholewheat pasta, brown rice, and wholemeal white bread are a serious part of a balanced diet. 

Starchy foods should make up no more than one-third of your diet. If consumed in the right quantities and in conjunction with the other components of a healthy balanced diet, starchy foods will not present a problem for weight management. In fact, you will find that these foods complement your efforts to stay fit and healthy. 

What is more, the fiber in these types of foods is a significant contribution toward a balanced diet and many of these foods contain significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. 

Foods to avoid

To ensure that your nutrients and calories come from foods that do not offset benefits with things that are not healthy or contain unhealthy fats, avoid foods such as:

  • Processed foods
  • Refined grains
  • Added sugar and salt
  • Alcohol
  • Trans fats

Simply by eliminating these kinds of foods you can expect to lose weight. These kinds of empty calories do nothing but accumulate in the body and provide no nutrition. Things like trans fats are extremely unhealthy and contribute to several problems that can come from metabolic syndrome. 

A balanced diet for weight loss

The most common reason why people gain excess weight and struggle to lose weight is not eating a balanced diet. 

There are several diets out there that can help you maintain a balanced diet and lose weight. Regardless of all the diets available these days, the best way to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight is by eating a balanced diet and by regularly exercising. 

Simply by maintaining a balanced diet you can lose significant weight. You can do this in the following ways: 

  • Increase protein intake 
  • Avoid excessive carbs and processed foods
  • Maintain a healthy intake of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and fiber
  • Avoid binging on foods

When combined with regular exercise, a healthy, balanced diet helps burn calories and burn fat. A properly balanced diet also tends to make you feel fuller for longer periods so that you are less apt to binge on unhealthy foods. 

Balanced diet FAQs

What is a balanced diet? 

A balanced diet is a diet that provides you with all the nutrients you need to sustain your health in a day. Make sure you eat a combination of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, legumes, and whole grains. 

How can I find a detailed description of the nutrients that make up a balanced diet? 

You can obtain a detailed breakdown of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans online. This chart will give a detailed schedule of all the nutrients necessary to maintain proper health. Everything from the obvious nutrients like vitamin C and proteins to the things we may not consider such as magnesium, calcium, and other minerals that are essential for health. 

What foods should I eat for a balanced diet? 

A balanced diet consists of healthy portions of fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, dairy, and lean proteins. 

What food should I avoid for a balanced diet? 

Processed foods, refined grains, added sugar and salt, alcohol, and trans fats. 

Can a balanced diet help me lose weight? 

There are many types of diets these days that can help you lose weight. Many of these diets are scientifically grounded but the basic truth is that the best way to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight is by eating a balanced diet and by regularly exercising. 

Conclusion

We read about and hear about all manner of diets and programs for getting healthy and staying healthy. Many of these programs indeed deliver what they promise. Nevertheless, one sure way to get healthy and stay healthy is by eating a simple balanced diet. 

A diet that contains all of the required nutrients and calories to sustain our bodies is the bedrock of good health. A diet that consists of lean proteins, dairy, whole grains, beans, and legumes provides you with everything necessary to maintain your health. 

Part of a balanced diet is getting the right number of calories. We are used to counting calories and keeping our calorie intake down but we need a certain number of calories to keep our bodies going. Calories provide fuel for the body. 

What is more, to properly achieve and maintain a balanced diet, we need to stay away from foods that provide nothing but empty calories. Processed foods, added sugar, and trans fats run counter to a balanced diet. These foods are not only unhealthy, but they also pack on the pounds and inches. 

While we may well benefit from some diets and health programs, we will certainly make real progress by sticking with a balanced diet. 

LIKE WHAT YOU ARE READING?

Sign up for our email newsletter and we will update you on new content

RELATED ARTICLES