The Importance Of Eating A Balanced Diet

a well balanced meal on a wooden table - eating a balanced diet

The Importance Of Eating A Balanced Diet

There are many people in the world today that do not eat a balanced diet. These people are not getting the nutrients that the body needs to function properly. However, it is not too late to turn around and start eating right. So, why not provide your body with the nutrients it needs? Continue reading to learn more about eating a balanced diet.

Why The Body Needs A Balanced Diet

The human body needs a balanced diet packed with nutrients to function properly. In addition to this, if all you do is eat unhealthily, you are at risk of becoming overweight or obese, developing illnesses, and many other health risks. The US Department of Health & Human Sevices (HHS) states that “About one-third of US adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents are obese.”

However, even if you are not overweight eating a balanced diet is still important. The HSS also states, “Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death.” This makes it crucial for everyone to eat healthily.

What Does A Balanced Diet Include?

Fruits

These are a great source of nutrients, whilst also being a delicious snack between meals. Fruits are great sources of many of the essential nutrients that people are commonly deficient in such as vitamin C, folate, and potassium. In addition to that, most fruits you eat are low in fat, sodium, and calories, and all of them have no cholesterol. However, many fruits are high in sugar so if you have conditions like diabetes, you may want to find a low-sugar fruit. Some options for fruit are:

  • Raspberries (low sugar)
  • Strawberries (low sugar)
  • Apples
  • Oranges (low sugar)
  • Peaches (low sugar)
  • Bananas

When choosing your fruit, try to find ones that are in season and are in your area as these are fresher and can provide more nutrients than when they are out of season. You want to aim to get 2 – 2.5 cups of fruit each day to help maintain a balanced diet

Vegetables

Vegetables are among the main sources of some of the essential vitamins and minerals the body needs on a daily basis. Some nutrients they provide are vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and dietary fiber. Along with this, many veggies are low in calories and low in fat. However, one thing to note is that any dressings or seasonings added to the vegetables will increase the fat and calories so it is best to avoid them or use them in small quantities. Try to get 2 – 2.5 cups of vegetables each day to have a balanced diet. Some nutrient-packed veggies are:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Collard Greens

Grains

Grains can be divided into two separate groups. These groups are whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain grains that have not been refined and still contain the bran, germ, and endosperm. On the other hand, refined grains have had the bran and germ removed. In doing this, these refined grains lose most of their nutritional value. Some of these grains have some nutrients added back to them. However, the fiber is not added back to it.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, refined white flour is the most consumed grain. It is okay to have some refined grains as long as you are getting whole grains too. In fact, it is recommended that half of your grains come from whole grains (3-5 servings). You can find whole grains in many foods like:

  • Whole Oats
  • Whole Wheat
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice
  • Corn
  • Whole-Grain Bread and Pasta

Proteins

Protein is a nutrient that is used in the body for muscle and brain development. The average male should aim to get 56-91 grams each day, while the average female should aim to get 46-75 grams of protein. Many people get their protein from a variety of meats. If you are getting it from meat, try to go for leaner, low-fat meat such as chicken, fish, and certain cuts of beef and pork. If you trim off any skin, you can reduce the fat and cholesterol in some of these meats, making it better for your health.

In addition to meats, there are other sources of protein. This makes it easy for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle to get their nutrients too. Some protein-rich foods that are non-meats are:

  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds

Dairy

Most of the world get their calcium and vitamin D from dairy products. This food group also provides other nutrients in small amounts. However, dairy products are also sources of fat, which makes it important to choose wisely. If you are going for milk, try to get a low-fat, or skim milk. The same thing goes for the yogurt you purchase. If you find that the dairy milk you get has too much fat, you can get the same nutrients from plant-based milk. Almond milk and Soy milk are usually fortified with calcium and many other nutrients, so you won’t be missing out by going this route. Just check the label on the product to ensure the nutrients are there.

Oils

Oils are something that is needed to have a balanced diet, but at the same time, should be eaten sparingly. Foods such as salad dressing and mayonnaise can be purchased in low-fat and low-sugar forms as a healthier alternative. If you have something that requires vegetable oil, you can replace it with olive oil as it is a healthier choice. Another thing with oils is to avoid deep-fried foods as they are just empty calories meaning they provide little to no nutritional value. Try to get between 5-7 teaspoons each day in your diet

What Does A Balanced Diet Look Like?

A balanced diet is when you take all of the different food groups and get the recommended amount each day throughout your meals. For breakfast, you can have low-fat milk or yogurt, cheese, and eggs to get dairy and protein, along with whole-grain toast or cereal to get your grains. You can add butter or avocado to your toast to get some fat and add some of your favorite fruit to gill that category.

Lunch could consist of a simple salad. All you will need is some of the leafy green vegetables along with a mix of others, throw in some chicken or tofu for protein, add some whole grains, and pair with a little bit of your favorite salad dressing.

Your dinners should be something that is easy to make, but is also nutritious. You should try to get a cup of veggies like steamed broccoli, a cup of whole grains such as brown rice, and a protein such as Halibut. Add in a small side salad and you have a meal that can be used again for lunch the next day if you have leftovers.

One thing to remember about having a balanced diet is to also not go overboard on the snacks. If you choose to have a snack, make it a healthy one by just having fruit and veggies paired with something like hummus or peanut butter.

Conclusion

When it comes to eating a balanced diet, there is a lot that you need to know. The first thing is that everyone needs to have a balanced diet. However, it can be very hard to get a balanced diet and eat perfectly each meal. That is why supplements are available to help fill the nutrient gaps that show up whenever you eat something with a lower nutritional profile. If you are looking to contract to manufacture your own supplements, fill out a contact form or call us today at (888) 866-5755

Sources

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/vegetables/vegetables-nutrients-health
https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=ff0de079-682c-4f1a-b686-6b5b50e2f541
https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/eat-healthy/importance-of-good-nutrition/index.html
https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/grains

About the Author