February 28, 2024

Balanced Diet : Essential Elements, Benefits, Importance and more

A balanced diet provides adequate nutrition to the body and improves overall health. Taking a balanced diet gives strength to fight diseases and keeps a person healthy. We all know the important things related to a balanced diet, but very few people know which food item, when and why to take it in what proportion.

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In such a situation, there can be a variety of health problems such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure) to malnutrition, which directly affects the system and system of the body. Apart from this, it is normal to feel tired due to an unbalanced diet.

In order to understand the importance of different components of the diet and to know about the right proportion of food or food item, a balanced diet pyramid is given in this article with the help of which you can know when, how and how much food you have to take.

You can also include your favorite things in your daily diet and also take foods according to the pyramid given below. In this way you will be healthy and all diseases will also go away.

What is a balanced diet chart ?

A balanced diet chart encapsulates a proper diet plan which includes all the essential nutrients. It contains all kinds of food items which are important for our body. It is a kind of guideline that provides the right food choices for good health.

The food pyramid represents a balanced diet chart that shows the following steps –

  • Level 1 of the balanced diet chart :

This includes cereals. Whole grains like barley and millet are packed with health benefits and must be included in your diet.

  • Level 2 of the balanced diet chart :

This includes fruits and vegetables which are very important sources of various vitamins and minerals.

  • Level 3 of the Balanced Diet Chart :

This level is basically of those foods which are sources of protein. This phase includes pulses, milk, curd, kidney beans and cowpea, soybean, groundnut, dry fruits, egg, chicken, fish etc.

  • Level 4 of the balanced diet chart :

Fats and oils are included in this step along with sugar and salt. This level is at the top because it indicates that the food contained in it is necessary but should be consumed in moderation.

Benefits of Balanced Diet

1) Essential for overall health

Choosing a diet rich in balanced, adequate and varied nutrients is an important step towards a happy and healthy lifestyle. Vitamins and minerals present in the diet are important for boosting immunity and its healthy development. A healthy diet can protect the human body against certain types of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and certain types of cancer and skeletal conditions. In this way, eating a balanced diet is very important for our overall health.

2) Helps to control weight

Since a balanced diet requires eating a variety of nutritious foods, body weight is controlled by such a diet. To meet the nutritional needs of the body, it is essential to include a fair amount of whole grains, vegetables and fruits in the diet along with small portions of dairy and meat products. By eating these nutrient-rich foods every day, we leave less space in our stomach for high-calorie foods like processed foods and fatty or sugary snacks that cause weight gain. Due to which we automatically reduce their intake and as a result our weight remains under control.

3) Essential for immunity

Eating a balanced diet is also very important for our immune system. This ensures that the body is getting enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed for the efficient functioning of the immune system. Even a slight deficiency in certain nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, iron and selenium can impair immune system function. These nutrients are important for the production and maintenance of germ-fighting cells in the immune system, according to experts. A balanced diet also affects the function of blood vessels, as the immune system is dependent on blood flow.

4) Increases physical energy

The energy our body receives is one of the most important benefits of a balanced diet. Fueling the body in the form of the right proportion of vitamins, minerals and nutrients can give us the energy we need to carry out our day to day activities. Healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, are slow to digest. Hence, they maintain blood sugar and insulin levels for a constant supply of energy throughout the day. Healthy protein is also important for energy levels. Eating eggs, fish, whole grains, tofu, beans and nuts can help balance your diet.

Importance of balanced diet

Consuming a healthy balanced diet plays an important role in maintaining health. Most important of all is getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals. Some of these thiamine (Vitamin B1) substances, such as legumes, nuts and seeds, are essential for improving metabolism. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) helps in iron absorption and immunity which is found in citrus fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce etc. Vitamin B12 makes new cells that are obtained from eating meat, chicken, fish, seafood, eggs, milk and milk products. Vitamin A is found in sweet potatoes, carrots, green vegetables, etc.

Essential elements of a balanced diet

Below is a list of five major food groups that include vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats that make up a balanced diet chart.

1) Vitamins and minerals –

These micronutrients help in enhancing substance metabolism, nerve and muscle, bone maintenance and cell production. Fruits and vegetables are the primary source of vitamins and minerals. Along with this, potassium, fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A and vitamin C are also their sources. Carbohydrates such as glucose and fructose are also found in fruits and vegetables. Eat fresh fruits instead of fruit juices. Due to this, the nutrients of the fruits remain and your body gets their direct benefits.

Similarly, do not forget to include green leafy vegetables in your diet. Make sure to include various vegetables in your diet like broccoli, spinach, beans, lettuce etc. This will help the body get enough essential nutrients.

2) Protein –

Protein helps to maintain the cells of the body and make new cells. Protein is very important for the development of early children, adolescence and pregnancy. Your daily diet should also contain a mixture of 30 to 35% protein. Protein is found in pulses, gram, peas, beans, peanuts, milk, eggs, fish etc.

3) Carbohydrate –

If you are very careful about your health, then keep in mind all these things about how and how much to eat carbohydrate foods. But carbohydrates are the main source of energy for voluntary and involuntary functions of the body. Carbohydrates are included in whole grains like brown rice, wheat, ragi, jowar, bajra, oatmeal, potatoes etc. So never ignore carbohydrates, all of them are an important part of your diet.

4) Fat –

Fat provides energy and vitamins and keeps hormones synthesized. There are three types of fat, first polyunsaturated like walnuts, flax seeds etc. Other monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil, walnuts, etc. Oil is the main ingredient for cooking. Vegetable oil used in cooking is extremely harmful to the body. Instead, you can use unrefined or cold pressed oil which contains more nutrients.

Balanced diet for women

A woman’s nutritional needs differ from men’s. For example, a woman needs more iron than men because of her menstrual cycle. Below is a diet chart to be eaten in 5 pieces throughout the day which will also help women to lose weight.

1) Breakfast –

Breakfast is the most important meal of the whole day. Take a protein-rich diet in your breakfast like bread with 2-3 boiled eggs and fruits of your choice or eat a sprout salad with a bowl of oatmeal. Protein will increase your metabolism and keep you full of energy for the whole day.

2) Mid-morning snack –

Eat a handful of dry fruits mixed with nuts or seeds. This will give you protein and healthy fats, with the help of which your stomach will be satisfied till lunch. Eating dry fruits with nuts will help in controlling the sugar present in your blood.

3) Lunch –

Choose carb-rich and protein-rich foods that can provide energy to your body like lentils, chicken, fish curry with a bowl of brown rice or roti and veg salad. Apart from this, you can eat beans and chicken sandwiches made with the help of plenty of vegetables.

4) Snack –

Eating a snack keeps your energy level up. You can choose from a variety of nutritious options like apples, nuts, juices, etc.

5) Dinner –

Dinner should be a mix of protein and carbs. You can consume oily fish which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids like mackerel, salmon which are beneficial for healthy hair and skin. In your dinner, you can take nutritious things like chicken, fish, roti with cheese, soup and salad filled with vegetables.

6) At bedtime –

Add a pinch of cardamom powder to low-fat milk and drink it.

Balanced diet for men

The diet of men should also be healthy so that they too remain full of energy throughout the day. Below are some balanced diets that will help men in weight loss as well.

1) Breakfast –

Start your day with a protein rich breakfast. If you go to the gym, then you must have a protein-rich diet in your diet list to build muscle. Even if you do not go to the gym, you can still consume these diets. Mix an egg in a bowl of poha, can be enjoyed with chilla chutney or with vegetable-rich upma and sprouts salad.

2) Snack –

You can consume nuts and seeds or eat them mixed with nuts in a bowl of fruit.

3) Lunch –

You can eat a combination of carbs and protein-rich foods. In lunch, eat rice, chicken and paneer with lentils. Apart from this, you can also eat chicken and fish or vegetable sandwiches with salad and boiled vegetables.

4) Dinner –

Eat carbohydrates mixed with fats. This will help your body grow overnight. Take a bowl of chicken curry and plenty of salad. You can also eat roti or rice with lentils. Along with this, include soup or chicken soup in them.

Questions related to balanced diet

Q1. How do I start eating a balanced diet?

Ans : To eat a balanced diet, the following points should be kept in mind:

Choose healthy options of foods.
Include all the nutrients in your diet.
Keep track of each of your food intake.
Avoid added sugar and packaged foods.
Add a variety of foods to your plate.

Q2. Apart from eating a balanced diet, what else is important?

Ans : Eating well depends not only on a balanced diet but also on the following things:

  • Never skip meals.
  • Always follow a balanced diet.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits.
  • Avoid gas filled beverages.

Q3. Does eating a balanced diet help in weight loss?

Ans : The following foods not only help in maintaining a proper diet but also reduce weight:

  • Leafy vegetables.
  • Salmon fish.
  • Eggs.
  • Beans.
  • Nuts.

So this is all about balanced diet. I hope you got an important information from this article. Please subscribe to our newsletter for getting instant notification of upcoming articles.

Thanks for reading this article.

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