We all know that our body is only going to do well if we provide it with the basic building blocks of health: vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. That’s why a balanced diet plays such an important role in staying healthy. But what exactly is the diet? Is it a balanced diet or does it include certain foods or types of food?
When you hear the term “balanced diet,” what usually comes to mind are the common foods that we all love: fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. However, a balanced diet goes way beyond that. A healthy diet gives the body of necessary nutrients: vitamins, minerals, and enough calories to ensure that the body can function properly. That’s because a balanced diet ensures that your body gets all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that it needs – rather than getting a lot more or less than it needs. Let’s take a look at some of the essentials components of a balanced diet.
There are two fundamental parts to a healthy diet: eating habits and food consumption. One part of the eating plan should be replacing junk foods with healthy alternatives. Processed foods, as well as “junk foods,” contain high amounts of trans fat, sugar, salt, and chemicals that can harm your body. Instead, eat fresh produce, lean meats, seafood, poultry, legumes, nuts, seeds, and beans. If you’re used to drinking soda or coffee, switch to water instead. Water is naturally full of minerals and is not full of calories and other chemicals.
Another part of a healthy diet includes eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain different kinds of nutrients and vitamins that are great for your body. For example, vegetables are a rich source of Vitamins A, C, E, potassium, iron, and several other important nutrients. Some fruits are also good sources of fiber and some antioxidants. Some vegetables, such as broccoli and carrots, are rich in beta carotene, which converts to Vitamin A in your body, thus increasing your body’s resistance to diseases and aging.
Along with fruits and vegetables, whole grains provide B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, and several other nutrients. Whole grain breads and cereals have less refined sugars, calories, and oils than do their processed counterparts, making them healthier for you. In addition, a diet that consists of whole grains includes fewer calories and fewer trans fats, making it easier for you to lose weight. To add more fiber to your diet, include bran, whole-wheat breads, brown rice, and other whole grains in your meals.
White bread contains only about one gram of carbohydrates, so it is not as nutritious as one could think. However, it does contain B vitamins, calcium, and other minerals and nutrients. It contains no saturated fat, sodium, or cholesterol, making it a healthy choice. To get the most out of white bread, choose low-fat varieties that contain more fiber. You should also try to eat whole grain varieties that have at least five grams of protein and eight grams of carbohydrates per serving.
Fatty fish contains omega 3 fatty acids, which help improve cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol, and reduce your risk of heart disease. Fish contains essential vitamins A, D, and E, as well as potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, calcium, sodium, potassium, and zinc. While eating fatty fish is generally healthy, fatty fish also contain high levels of triglycerides, which put a strain on your liver. Drinking too much soda, especially diet and flavored waters, can increase the amount of triglycerides in your body. If you’re not getting enough vitamin A or other nutrients from your regular diet, you should try adding flaxseed oil or taking supplements of vitamin A.
To keep your arteries safe and to keep your metabolism running at a high rate, limit the number of calories you eat during each meal and snack. Eat smaller meals more often, instead of two large meals throughout the day. Snacks should be healthy, low-calorie foods like seeds, nuts, and seeds like sunflower seeds and almonds. To get the most out of your snacks, be sure to avoid the unhealthy fats and added sugar found in a lot of pre-packaged meals and snacks.