What is a Good Balanced Diet?
You might have come across the term ‘what is a good balanced diet’. A good diet would be a diet which promotes good health or an acceptable nutritional status. The term healthy could pertain to both diet and lifestyle; the latter would be determined by habits and lifestyle. For instance, a balanced diet includes foods which contain low to moderate levels of fat, sugar, salt and cholesterol. A good diet has many facets; such as, the level of physical activity, frequency and type of food eaten, as well as the overall diet.
What is considered to be a healthy diet varies from person to person. A healthy diet is normally a balanced diet which helps sustain or improve general health. A healthy diet gives the human body vital nutrients: sufficient food energy, fluid, micronutrients, essential minerals, and adequate dietary fiber. Eating a well-balanced diet prevents chronic diseases, like diabetes and coronary heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and certain forms of cancer.
The main objective of dieting is to provide an acceptable nutritional status to the human body. The diet should provide the nutrients needed to ensure normal growth and development, mental health, physical health and physiological well being. Diets can be categorized into two categories: veganism and non-veganism. Vegans are individuals who refuse to eat any form of animal product, including eggs, milk, honey, and meat. Vegetarians eat no animal products but may eat dairy products, fish, or poultry.
Good food nutrition is necessary for the proper functioning of all the organs in the body. However, some nutrients must be added in certain portions to achieve a healthy and balanced diet. Some nutrients that are usually missing from a balanced diet include calcium, iron, vitamin D, zinc, and Vitamin C. Calcium is important in ensuring normal bones and teeth formation in children and promotes strong bones in adults. Iron plays an essential role in transferring oxygen into the cells and is also vital in red blood cell production and transport.
Zinc helps the body in many ways, including reducing infection and preventing blood clotting. Iron is used by the body for making hemoglobin, which is the blood’s transport system. Vitamin C, another important nutrient, is helpful in getting rid of free radicals in the body and in protecting DNA from damage. Folic acid is essential for red blood cell formation and repair, while B vitamins (biotin, biotin, folic acid) are important for healthy skin and hair. Omega 3 fatty acids promote a healthy heart. Vitamin E regulates the release and utilization of other hormones.
A good diet includes eating fresh fruits and vegetables and cereals, whole grain breads and cereals, and whole-grains such as oatmeal, walnuts, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds. The body needs a certain amount of protein each day, preferably a little more than you eat. Milk, meats, eggs, and fish are sources of protein, but they should be eaten in moderation. Foods that are rich in antioxidants (vitamin E), such as blueberries, cherries, and dark green leafy vegetables, help to reduce inflammation and improve the immune system.
A good balanced diet reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, high cholesterol, and cancer. It can lower cholesterol and increase blood flow. Blood sugar levels are usually higher after a meal and blood sugar levels should be monitored closely. Eating a small amount of fiber at every meal helps to regulate the body’s absorption of dietary fats, cholesterol, and sugar. Since insulin is released to break down glucose when food enters the body, eating foods that stimulate the activity of insulin will help to control blood sugar levels.
As you can see, there are many ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet. Eating healthy is not something that you have to do on a daily basis. However, if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs, changing your lifestyle to include a healthy diet may be necessary for your overall health and longevity. For those who already have an active healthy lifestyle, adding a few foods that promote healthy living into their diet will provide even more benefits over time.