A packet of chips on your kitchen counter... a bar of chocolate in your fridge! A plate of your favorite samosas along with your tea or coffee? Or that favorite food you look for to beat your mid evening hunger pangs? These or others seem to beckon you at some point during the day. Making healthy choices can be so difficult isn't it? A challenge for many. Let's look at why it is important.
Life is all about balance, and this is true with diet and food as well. A balanced diet is one that contains different kinds of foods in specific quantities and proportions so that the daily requirements for calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins and alternative nutrients are met. In addition, it offers phytochemicals like dietary fiber, antioxidants and nutraceuticals that have a positive impact on one's health. According to the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of Indian foods, a balanced diet should comprise about 60-70% of total calories from carbohydrates, 10-15% from proteins and 20-25% of total calories from fat.
A balanced diet should include a variety of foods ranging from different food groups like, cereals and millets (store house of carbohydrates); meat, poultry, eggs, pulses, legumes, nuts (a good source of protein); milk and milk products (that give good quality protein as well as calcium); vegetables and fruits (that provide essential vitamins and minerals).
While we eat healthy, we should also avoid or restrict the intake of highly processed foods, refined flours, foods with added sugars and salt, red and processed meat, alcohol, and foods rich in trans fats (margarine, vegetable shortenings, chips).
Here are some of the benefits of having a balanced diet :
A balanced diet can improve the way your body functions, strengthening your immunity, and preventing obesity or weight gain. It also helps achieve your nutritional needs thus avoiding any deficiencies. It can also reduce the risk of developing obesity related disorders like diabetes, hypertension or heart, kidney, liver related disorders. Following a specific diet can reduce the symptoms and help manage an illness. Healthy diets can help one feel higher with more energy, fight stress and anxiety.
If you need help with the right food choices, do consult our diet counsellor.