A Balanced Diet: Source, Requirement, and Benefits
What is a balanced diet?
Our body needs nutrition (such as protein, lipid, carbohydrate, etc.) to grow up. Different types of food provide these nutrients to our body. But all the nutrients are not equally necessary for maintaining good health. We have to take these nutrients as per body demand. So the definition of a balanced diet:
A diet that consists of different kinds of food in the right proportions with proper nutrients needed for maintaining good health is known as a balanced diet.
How many calories do we need per day?
Male: Around 2200-2300 Kcal.
Female: 2000-2200 Kcal
What are the components of a balanced diet?
A balanced diet contains all the food nutrients in adequate proportion. So the contents of a balanced diet are:
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in our body. Carbohydrates are digested as glucose and converted to energy via respiration mechanism. A High-carbohydrates diet increases the secretion of insulin. Insulin promotes obesity by increasing hunger and slow metabolic rate. So try to choose carbohydrates which have minimum calories. These types of carbohydrates are beneficial for losing weight too. Learn 'how to lose weight fast in two weeks.' Glycemic Index(GI): GI is a measurement of how carbohydrate-containing food raises your blood sugar. To control blood sugar, carbohydrates with high GI should avoid.
Source of carbohydrates Containing low GI
- Green vegetables
- Fruits( Apples, Apricots Blackberries)
- Raw carrots
- Kidney beans
- Wild rice
- Wheat tortilla
- Wheat pasta
Daily Requirement: Around 300 gm
Protein, one of the building blocks of body tissue, is found all over the body- in hair, skin, muscle, nail, bone, etc. Enzymes are made of protein and play a great role in metabolism. However, the proteins, which are taken by us, break into polypeptide chains. These chains are broken down later to different amino acids.
Essential amino acids: The amino acids that can't be synthesized in the human body. There are eight essential amino acids. As our body can't produce essential amino acids itself, we must take these through our diet.
Source of proteins
Daily Requirement: 50-60 gm
Lipids participate to form cell membranes. They also provide energy storage. In human digestion, they break down in fatty acids and glycerol. As per the study, too much saturated fatty acids are detrimental to health. For this, we need to take unsaturated fatty acids.
Source of fats
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Flax seeds
Daily requirement: 65-70 gm
Vitamins contribute to developing our immune system. Though vitamins require in the diet in small amounts, numerous works are done by it. Vitamin B and C are water-soluble where others are not.
Source of vitamins
- Green vegetables
- Citrus fruits
- Fortified margarine
- Egg yolks
- Sun light
Daily Requirement: 5-6 gm
Fiber or roughage is a part of foods that the body can't break down. It helps in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes, digestive system cancer, improving cholesterol level, and blood sugar level. There are two types of fiber; water-soluble and insoluble.
Source of fiver
- Whole grains
- Citrus fruits
Daily requirement: 25-30 gm
The body can't produce minerals itself. We fulfill our requirements through diet. Minerals help to formation of bones, teeth. They are also constituent of body fluid.
Source of minerals
- dried fruits
Daily requirement: 8-10 gm
Metabolism inside the body fully depends on water. Water helps to regulate body temperature and carry nutrients to the cells. Actually 60% of our total body weight is water.
Source of water
- Drinkable water
Daily requirement: 2-3 L
Benefits of Balanced Diet
- Helps to maintain body weight
- Improves immune system
- Produces more energy
- Decreases the chance of heart attack and cancer
- Helps to maintain diabetes (Especially type 2)
- Stronger bones and teeth
- Improves memory
- Improves mental health
- Improves growth and development
- It helps to save money.