What Makes a Balanced Meal?
One of the quickest ways to evaluate the food you prepare for ourselves (or order at a restaurant) is to make sure the meal is actually balanced. To eat a nutritious balanced diet, rather than being hung up on so many little details, looking into what makes a balanced meal can really help simplify the whole process. There is really only one answer that fits everyone’s tastes and needs. It’s called “balance.”
Most people, when they order meals from a restaurant, are looking at what makes a balanced meal and not what is in it. The problem with this approach is that the customer is not paying attention to what is in the meals or how much of each food item they have. In order to truly understand what makes a balanced meal, we have to pay more attention to what we actually want in our foods. If we know what kind of things we like, then we will be able to select nutritionally balanced meals without being hung up on individual components.
We all have different types of diets: vegan, low-fat, low-carb, and so on. While these diets seem to have many common components, there are also many individual factors to consider when it comes to what makes a balanced meal. Some people don’t eat dairy products, for example; others may not eat meat at all. The key is to find what combination of nutrients and styles of eating works for you, and to then modify your meal plan to include those elements.
A good way to think about what makes a balanced meal is to think about your favorite foods and consider what would happen if you ate them completely and unadulterated. Would your body retain the vitamins and minerals? Would you become healthier?
Most people realize that fruits and vegetables are a solid diet option that meets most needs. However, not many people realize that certain fruits and vegetables can actually be made into delicious meals that are full of flavor and nutritional value. While this may seem like cooking or baking, it is really not difficult. By using a few simple ingredients, you can create foods that are healthy, delicious, and easy to make.
One of the key components to what makes a balanced meal is maintaining the right levels of both carbohydrates and proteins. This can be accomplished by eating several food groups on the same day. For example, instead of just eating whole grains, try eating beans or lentils. Not only will you be adding some protein to your diet, but you will also be increasing your intake of carbohydrates (which will help you feel fuller) and fiber, which will leave you feeling satisfied and more likely to continue eating at least the servings from your plate.
If you eat several protein-rich food groups, such as fish, chicken, and lean meat, consider limiting or eliminating fats from your diet. While you may be able to eat some fats here or there, you should make sure you are not consuming excessive amounts. It is best to choose lean meats and fish at least twice a week and limit your fat intake to a single percent of your daily calories. If you cook your meals in butter, instead of using olive oil, you can lower the amount of saturated and trans fats found in most of your regular meals.
Even though most foods on what makes a balanced meal list can be considered “healthy,” not all of them are. Unprocessed foods such as fresh produce, legumes, and whole-grain breads contain important nutrients that can actually improve your health. If you cook your foods in butter, try lowering the amount of butter used by replacing it with olive oil. Fruits and vegetables are also good for you and do not increase your risk of cancer or other serious health problems, so keep them in your diet.