Balance Diet: Why We Need It

For a long and healthy life, we all need well balanced diet, which provide all the nutrients (macronutrients and micronutrients) we need. There is increased awareness about food and health among individuals and there is availability of numerous food items, which is bound to confuse many. In the history of humankind, there never was so much abundance of foods, hence the confusion. Another reason of confusion is, we all want to satisfy our palate as well as eat healthy. In presence of numerous food items, it is creating confusion in many minds.

Keep reading to clear your mind, if you are confused.

We need major nutrients (known as macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and some nutrients in small quantities known as micronutrients (they micronutrients, but not minor nutrients or nutrients of less importance, in fact they are of vital importance for healthy life) such as vitamins, minerals, trace minerals etc. We need macronutrients and micronutrients in adequate quantity daily, which we can get from balanced diet.

Balanced diet provides us with

 

Optimal macronutrients:

Macronutrients proteins, fats and carbohydrates are required by the body for performing vital body functions. Most people (average physical work) need 50-60% of their calorie intake from carbohydrates, 20-25% from proteins and 20-25% from fats. For individuals with heavy strenuous work, approximately 70% of calorie intake should be from carbohydrates. Heavy work do not need increased protein intake, the extra calorie required for heavy work should be supplied by carbohydrates.

Optimal micronutrients intake from balanced diet:

We need various micronutrients for optimal health. Vitamins and minerals (as well as trace minerals/elements) constitute micronutrients. Micronutrients are vital for maintenance and regulation of various important body functions.

Optimal water intake:

Our bodies have 70 water and we need to consume enough water to maintain input and output of water balance. Water is a vital nutrient, which is essential for all body functions.

A balanced diet ensures that we get all nutrients from food we consume daily, without any need of any nutritional supplementation. In a balanced diet, there is no food that can be said to be essential for having a balanced diet (i.e. no one can say that without food X, a balanced diet cannot be prepared). What we need to make balanced diet is to eat a varied number of foods.

Variety is the key when question of balanced diet comes. To make a balanced diet remember the following rule:

  • Approximately 50% from vegetables and fruit, in terms of quantity of food (i.e. half of the food you consume should come from vegetables and fruits).
  • Approximately 25% from protein (fish, meat, poultry, pulses etc.)
  • Approximately 25% from cereals/grains (such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, corn flour)
    2-3 liters of water
  • Use local food items and locally grown vegetables and fruits

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