For a healthy life, balanced nutrition diet rich in all the nutrient requirements are necessary.
The naturally occurring food can be grouped into main five food categories namely,
- Pulses and cereals (wheat, rice, corn, oats, peas, soya seeds etc)
- Vegetables (carrot, beans, cabbage, leafy vegetables etc)
- Fruits (apple, strawberry, mango, watermelon)
- Dairy products (milk, cheese yogurt etc)
- Fish, poultry and meat products
The required size of the servings of the balanced healthy diet containing the above groups depend upon the age, occupation, height, gender and activities.
It is also important to include in diets, a variety of foods within the groups as the nutrition values may differ greatly within each group.
Here discretion has to be used on the frequency and quantity for inclusion of individual food of the food-groups depending upon its nutrition value.
How to get balanced healthy diet?We have to go in for diets which are dense in nutrition and relatively low in calories.
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat milk products, fish, poultry and lean meat are rich in macronutrients, minerals and vitamins and are preferred sources of diet.
Foods, higher in fats and added sugar, can be taken occasionally and sparingly.
Diets very rich in fats, animal fats and trans fats and food with high content of added sugar are best avoided.
Fast foods, junk food and fad diets are against balanced healthy nutritionFast food joints, with the mushrooming of new ventures, to keep themselves alive and keep kicking in the competition, ignoring the balanced healthy nutrition part of the food, concentrate only on taste and price.
The food served usually contains trans fats and it ruins all our efforts for balanced healthy diet.
These junk foods typically contain high levels of saturated fats, salt or sugar with little of fiber.
The effect of taste get children and adults in to craving for such food ignorant of the nutrition hazards involved in eating such diet regularly.
In a nutrition research study by Paul Kenny and Paul Johnson at Scripps Research Institute, it was found that junk food in diet can alter the brain activity in a manner very similar to addictive chemicals.
Pleasure centers of brain get desensitized, causing craving for more of such diets for pleasure.
Fad diets claim weight loss and healthy diet by methods other than calorie restriction.
The adherents have irrational belief in fad diets and ignore the basic scientific facts about healthy food as well as the advice of dietitians and nutritionists for balanced nutrition.
Healthy balanced diet when you eat-outOur carefully crafted nutrition program goes haywire when we eat-out.
If we prescribe certain rules on ourselves for eating out, we can still get healthy balanced diet.
Go in for sugar-free salads and desserts while eating out.
It may be hard on us initially to diet but we can get used to sugar -free preparations.
Totally avoid preparations made of red meat (lamb, beef etc) and prefer poultry meat with skin removed.
Do not order fried or deep-fried preparations; instead prefer grilled, boiled or gravy products and insist on use of less cooking oil.
Order smaller courses and reduce the quantity of food.
Reduce starchy food and order more of protein rich nutritional food.
Avoid alcoholic beverages and prefer fruit juices without added sugar.
Risk of chronic diseases from diets which are not healthyFoods, which are not healthy, increase the risks for chronic diseases like high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Nutrition deficiency diseases of vitamins and minerals like, pellagra, scurvy, beriberi, rickets, osteomalacia and anemia can cause debilitating afflictions.
RDA/Adequate Intake for achieving balanced healthy nutrition is shown below for men and women aged 40–50 years
|Nutrients for diet||Men||Women||sources of food|
|Carbohydrates nutrition||130 gm||130 gm||rice, bread, potato, cereals|
|Protein||56 gm||46 gm||milk, fish, chicken, soya bean|
|Linoleic acid||17 gm||12 gm||fish|
|alpha-Linolenic acid||1.6 gm||1.1 gm||fish|
|Fiber||38 gm||25 gm||peas, whole bread|
|Water in nutrition||3.7 lt||2.7 lt||safe sources|