Balanced diet: How to achieve it and why is it important

Getting a nutritious diet should be our top priority when it comes to maintaining our health. It is so important that we get the right nutrients, in the right amount to keep our body healthy and running to accomplish all hundred different tasks on our to-do list. Let’s find out how you can start eating a balanced diet!

According to various studies published over the years, a healthy and a nutritious diet can decrease the risk of various chronic diseases, if coupled with regular exercise it can also help you maintain a healthy weight.

A study in PubMed Central cites 5 nutrients that you should include in your diet to make it a healthy and balanced diet:

1. Dietary fat

Not all fat is bad. Trans fats and saturated fats found in baked goods and dairy products respectively are harmful. But monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and fish—especially the polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids—are important components of a healthy diet and are also essential for cardiac health. Consumption of these two kinds of fats are found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

copper rich foods
Seeds and nuts can fulfill your requirement of healthy fats! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Carbohydrates

Most of our carbohydrate intake is through highly processed grains we use in rotis and bread. This may not be the healthiest option to fulfill our carbohydrate requirements because the milling process of these grains leads to a dramatic loss of fiber and micronutrients. Instead, studies have shown that foods made from whole grains, along with fruits, vegetables, and beans, provide slowly digested carbohydrates that are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

3. Protein

According to the study, when it comes to the metabolic systems engaged in protein production and repair, it is immaterial whether amino acids come from animal or plant protein. So, whether it is through eggs, chicken, fish or vegetables, lentils and legumes, it doesn’t matter, just make sure that protein is a part of your diet.

balanced diet
Proteins is an important nutrient for your overall health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Vitamins and minerals

An abundance of vegetables and fruits generally takes care of your vitamins and minerals requirements. According to the study, there should be at least 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables—and more is better. But in recent times, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a degradation in our lifestyles, so we might need to take some vitamin supplements to fulfill the requirements of vitamin D, iron, vitamin B, etc.

balanced diet
Have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Water

As per studies, the ideal beverage provides 100 percent of what the body needs—H2O—without any calories or additives and water has all of those qualifications. So, drinking 8-10 glasses of water in a day is good enough. You must avoid beverages like sugar-sweetened drinks (sodas, fruit drinks, juices, sports drinks, etc.) and alcoholic drinks. One can of cola delivers 8–10 teaspoons of sugar, approximately 120–150 “empty” calories. Not surprisingly, daily consumption of sugary beverages has been associated with weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and gout. Alcohol consumption in moderation is fine.

With an amalgamation of all these nutrients in your every day diet you can achieve a balanced diet to stay healthy!

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