What is a balanced diet?

What is a balanced diet?

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By Deepika Kohli Dietitian

Things can get pretty confusing when you are out searching for a diet plan that not only helps you in shedding those extra kilos but also keep you healthy. A large number of diet plans out there come with conflicting suggestions on what constitutes an ideal diet plan.

A balanced diet constitutes all the nutrients that your body needs in order to remain healthy including carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamin, and minerals. Eating food at the right time and in the right quantity will go a long way in ensuring a healthy lifestyle than restricting eating altogether or excluding certain foods from the diet.

  1. Carbohydrates – Contrary to popular opinion, carbohydrates form an important part of a balanced diet and should not be excluded from it. Carbohydrates are our body’s main source of energy. The trick is to include the right type of carbs in your diet like brown rice, oats, and millets and avoid ‘refined’ carbs like white rice and biscuits.
  2. Fats – Fats are another important part of a balanced diet, helping in providing energy, synthesizing hormones and storing vitamins. Your diet should cover all three types of fats in the right quantity. These are omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat. The main source of fat for the human body are vegetable oils like mustard oil, olive oil, soyabean oil and sesame oil. Having butter and ghee in the right quantities also helps.
  3. Proteins – Proteins not only form a part of your body’s cells but also contribute to skin and hair health. Taking the right quantity of proteins in your diet will give you strength and also maintain hair and skin health. The main sources of proteins include pulses, meat, milk, green vegetables, and sprouts. Since men are more muscular than women, they need more proteins in their diet.
  4. Vitamins and Minerals – Vitamins and minerals are a must for the general well-being of the human body. They not only help with the metabolism but with muscle and nerve function, cell production and bone health. Fruits, nuts and green vegetables are the main sources of vitamins and minerals and should be a part of a balanced diet.