THE IMPORTANCE OF A BALANCED DIET
FOLLOWING A HEALTHY AND WELL-BALANCED DIET IS CRUCIAL IN ORDER TO SUPPLY YOUR BODY WITH THE PROPER NUTRIENTS IT NEEDS. IN ADDITION TO MAINTAINING YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH, A BALANCED DIET WILL ALSO HAVE YOU FEELING BETTER MENTALLY AND PROVIDES IMPROVED ENERGY LEVELS THROUGHOUT THE DAY. FOOD IS NOT JUST FUEL TO POWER AND SUSTAIN OUR BODIES UNTIL WE HAVE TO EAT AGAIN, IT ALSO HELPS US DEVELOP, GROW AND THRIVE. OUR DIET IS A CRUCIAL CONTRIBUTING FACTOR TO EVERY SINGLE FACET OF OUR HEALTH, FROM THE SURFACE OF OUR SKIN ALL THE WAY DOWN TO OUR VITAL ORGAN FUNCTIONS. WHETHER YOU ARE OVERWEIGHT, UNDERWEIGHT OR SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN, HAVING A BALANCED DIET IS THE FIRST STEP TO ACHIEVING AND MAINTAINING YOUR OVERALL GOOD HEALTH. PROVIDING YOUR BODY WITH A BALANCED DIET AND CUTTING OUT EXCESSIVE FAT, SUGAR AND SALTS WILL HELP YOU REDUCE YOUR RISK OF DISEASE AND EVEN PHYSICAL INJURY.
A healthy diet not only helps your body feel great, but your mind as well. When you are eating healthily, you tend to have more energy and feel less lethargic and tired. Though it can be challenging, maintaining a healthy diet creates a kind of virtuous ‘feedback loop’: eating right leads to more energy, more energy leads to more activity and more activity leads to a positive, happy, healthy you!
Malnutrition can be caused by an unbalanced diet. This can be due to an excess of some dietary components and a lack of others, not just an overall lack of food. Too much of one food type can be as harmful to the body as too little. Deficiency diseases occur when there is a lack of a specific nutrient, although some diet-related disorders are a result of eating in excess. An adequate diet provides sufficient energy for the body to function effectively. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins provide energy. Proteins are a provider of energy in an emergency, but are primarily used as building blocks for growth and repair of body tissues. We also need smaller amounts of other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Despite the small quantities needed, these are still essential components of a healthy diet.
The truth is that a healthy diet is a diverse diet and is built up over time. Focussing on balance and moderation with regard to your diet can be really beneficial. An ideal diet would see you consuming the level of calories that your body requires and balancing those calories across carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This is simple advice that has stood the test of time.
It is generally accepted that a balanced diet is key to a healthy lifestyle and this is backed up by extensive scientific research. When we regularly consume a balanced diet, we help to maintain our physical, as well as mental, health. A balanced diet should contain the proper foods, consumed in appropriate quantities. A perfectly balanced diet is composed of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, high fibre content, vitamins and more.
Unfortunately, the proliferation of ‘junk food’ available to us shows no sign of going away. Many people are forgoing a balanced diet in favour of all sorts of harmful, heavily processed foods. Consequently, It is more important than ever to educate people about the importance of a healthy, balanced diet. You cannot simply exercise and expect your body to stay fit and strong on its own. A balanced diet is crucial for that: you need to supply your body with the correct nutrients it needs to maintain itself properly.
Crucially, it is called a ‘balanced’ diet because it requires foods to be eaten in a balanced manner. For instance, if you consume large amounts of carbohydrates and too little protein, then that cannot be considered a balanced diet, even if you are eating the ‘right’ foods. Like with most things in life, balance is the key.
Eating is one of the most pleasurable experiences in the world, an experience that most of us have several times a day. There is added pleasure in experiencing food as nature intended i.e. natural or minimally processed foods. Remember, a balanced diet is also a nutritious diet. There is no doubt that some of us may need to eat according to a less common set of rules (those with food allergies for example). However, if the majority of people can adopt a more balanced, naturalistic approach to diet, then ultimately public health can benefit on a grand scale.
MAINTAINING BALANCED DIET
A balanced diet is essential for maintaining good health. People who eschew a balanced diet are more likely to suffer with various diseases, both physical and mental.
So, how do we achieve a balanced diet?
Firstly, we should increase the amount of liquid we drink in a day. Fluids are very important for the human body to function well. Around 60% of our bodies are made up of water, showing just how vital this liquid is to our bodily functions. Staying hydrated is incredibly important as it improves metabolism, brain function and even helps keep our skin look younger. Thus, start with drinking at least two to three litres of water every day. Moreover, try cutting down on the consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol and other such liquids. Additionally, one must always eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits: as great sources of fibre and vitamins, we should consume them often for optimum physical growth. Try to avoid eating deep-fried or overcooked food as these cooking processes strip the food of its essential nutrients.
A balanced diet should contain the five essential elements, i.e. bitter, sour, sweet, pungent and salty. Variety is also very important. When it comes to the physical act of eating, always chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Do not just swallow it as soon as you are physically able to do so or your food won’t be digested properly. Savour the food slowly and steadily. Next, do not eat in excess. You must know when to draw the line and put down your knife and fork. Taking your time to eat will also help you know when you are full and will result in less bloated and uncomfortable feelings after meals.
Thus, we see how a balanced diet will keep you healthy and fit. It will improve the quality of your life and lessen the chances of you becoming seriously ill. And it will help your general mood and outlook on life too.
If you have questions about your diet or feel that you need to lose weight or change your eating habits, schedule an appointment with your doctor or a dietitian. They can suggest dietary changes that will help you get the nutrition you need while promoting your overall health.
KEEP IN MIND, EATING A HEALTHY AND WELL-BALANCED DIET DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO EAT FOODS THAT YOU DON’T ENJOY EATING. THERE ARE PLENTY OF HEALTHY FOODS AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO ENJOY: A LITTLE RESEARCH WILL HELP YOU IDENTIFY FOODS THAT YOU BOTH LIKE AND THAT ARE BENEFICIAL TO YOUR HEALTH. AS A GOOD GENERAL RULE, A VARIED AND HEALTHY DIET IS USUALLY ONE THAT CONTAINS PLENTY OF FRESH, PLANT-BASED FOODS AND CONTAINS LIMITED AMOUNTS OF PROCESSED FOODS.
ONCE YOU HAVE ADOPTED A HEALTHY DIET, YOU WILL NEVER WANT TO RETURN TO EATING JUNK FOOD ALL THE TIME AND FEELING SLOW, SLUGGISH AND TIRED. EATING HEALTHILY REALLY IS ITS OWN REWARD.