22 Apr 2018

When we hear the word diet our brain immediately goes to those fad diets that have us thinking we could shed a bunch of pounds in just a few days. In reality, a diet includes all types of food that is contained in our daily meal intakes. It doesn’t have to be strict or restrictive, but if we want to stay healthy and fit it definitely needs to be balanced.


First thing’s first – how do we define a balanced diet?

Having a diet that lacks in proper nutrients can lead to numerous health problems. Ranging from tiredness all the way to problems with vital organ functions and lack of development. This is one of the main reasons a balanced diet is essential for our health. A crude definition of a balanced diet is that it is one that provides our body with all the essential nutrients, including minerals and vitamins that are needed in order for us to maintain healthy cells, tissues and organs, not to mention for our whole body to function normally and stay healthy.

So, basically a balanced diet includes foods from the four main food groups and they’re all in correct proportions so as to provide our body with an optimal nutrition.


Now that we know what it is, it is time to go about achieving a balanced diet.


Get the right ingredients

For every meal you prepare you need to consider which type of ingredients it is going to contain as well as the exact amounts. That way you can make sure that everything you consume is in accordance to your balanced diet plan. Now considering that every one person is different as are our bodies there isn’t a one diet fits all plan. You can decide on the ingredients that you need to include and ones that you have to exclude based on your dietary restrictions.


In case you have a gluten intolerance all food containing gluten needs to be excluded and replace with some that has a similar effect so as to maintain the balance. On the other hand if you are interested in such options as finding out how to lower blood pressure with the right nutrition, it is essential that you include specific foods in your diet, but still focusing that the balance itself remains untouched.


Another essential part of a balanced diet are healthy fats and proteins, this is something you cannot skip on if you want your body to stay healthy and strong. So including such ingredients as olive oil, red fish and nuts is crucial for maintaining a healthy body and a much needed level of strength.

Start balancing

Now we will go over the major food groups and see what are the prescribed amounts according to the US dietary guidelines. When it comes to dairy products it is important to have them in your diet since they provide calcium which is essential for strong bones as well as protein and vitamin D for muscles and skin. However, they are also rich in saturated fat so it is best to choose low fat or fat-free varieties. As for the prescribed amounts, currently it stand that 3 cups of reduced fat dairy per day is sufficient for a balanced diet.


Next are the proteins both of animal and plant origin. They are of course rich sources of iron, fiber along with various vitamins and minerals while fish provides us with the ever important omega three fatty acids. It is important to keep in mind when it comes to protein intake that the preparation methods are essential and they need to be low fat, so grilling, poaching, dry frying or steaming are all acceptable options. And finally, the prescribed amounts for this food group are 5-6 ounces per day depending on age and sex.


As for fruits and vegetables they generally contain less calories but are rich in fibers and vitamins. This doesn’t mean you can eat whatever whenever you want. A balanced diet limits the intake of these two food groups as well and it is for fruit 4 servings a day, while vegetables get 5.


So there you have it, you are now armed with all the essential information in order to get the perfect balanced diet and start feeling the difference in your health, fitness and energy levels.

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