A balanced diet means the intake of nutrients in meals in such a way that all the essential elements are balanced in the required amounts. A balanced meal normally follows the food chart or the food platter prescribed by the US Food and Drug Administration which gives recommendations about the proportions of various nutrients that have to be included to make the meal a balanced one. The parameters of a balanced diet change from time to time and have to be adapted to the latest research in medical and nutrition sciences.
Every nutrient has a different role to play in the functioning of the body and must be given its due importance. That is the reason the right proportions have to be worked out with so many ingredients and cuisines in mind.
A balanced platter would have the following:
- Bread, Roti, rice, Pasta, or potatoes as the carbohydrates around a quarter plate.
- Pulses, beans or any other form of proteins form another quarter.
- Fresh fruits and vegetable should cover the three quarters of the platter each comprising roughly a quarter.
- Oils are usually consumed via nuts or oily fish or fatty fruits like avocados or in cooking. As oil or butter, the daily recommended allowance is roughly around 5 teaspoons in a day.
- Dairy, like cheese, milk, yoghurt is a cupful apart from the platter.
- In breakfast the options would be bread, cereals, porridge etc., as food grains.
- Sugar should be cut down as a sweetener as also refined flour and salt.
- Fluid, mostly water must be taken in plenty, small quantities of tea and coffee also count toward fluid.
- The proportion of the carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins minerals more or less remains the same for all age groups unless otherwise prescribed. The quantity may differ with age.
- There is also some consideration about consuming good fats and bad fats which is always under debate.
A healthy body need all these nutrients, for healthy functioning. Carbohydrates are the go nutrients which give the energy, proteins help the body grow and vitamins and minerals provide the vitality or the glow. It is important to provide the right proportion of each.
Overconsumption of some at the cost of other changes the harmony in the body and the effects are felt sooner or later. Therefore, always eat a balanced diet.