How to achieve a balanced diet

A balanced diet and lifestyle provides the human body with adequate energy and nutrients that help the body to function seamlessly. As we have already discussed the implications to following a healthy diet, today we are going to elaborate on the possible ways we can take to change our current lifestyle and achieve a balanced diet. An ideal balanced diet for adults and a healthy and nutritious diet for kids are a mix of essential components like vitamins, minerals, water, fat, protein, carbohydrates and fibre, but excess or lack in intake of any components could also be detrimental to our bodies.

1. Including foods from all five food groups

In our daily diet we fail to include vital nutrients that our body derives from various food groups. Eating elements from each of the 5 groups — fruits & vegetables, lean meats, dairy products, whole grains and proteins, is absolutely important in order to follow a balanced diet plan. It is not necessary to consume all five components in one single meal, even combining food groups and consuming them over the course of the day, provides the body with much needed dietary nutrition.

2. Understanding the concept of healthy fats

Mostly people derive a misconception towards the consumption of “fat”. In order to maintain a healthy diet, one must include healthy fats in their diet at least 2–3 times weekly. Healthy fats such as omega-3 fats (salmon, mackerel, anchovies) and monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocado, olives and hazelnuts) are good fats that are known to protect our hearts, improve blood lipid levels and support healthy brain development.

3. Include Starch in the diet

Starchy foods are a great source of Carbohydrate and holds great importance in a healthy diet plan. They provide the body with sufficient vitamins and fibre and contain more minerals than their white counterparts. Experts suggest that one-third of our daily diet should be inclusive of starchy foods like potatoes, brown rice, whole-wheat breads, whole wheat pasta and multigrain or brown breads.

4. Say no to excess sodium

Our daily nutrition intake sometimes gets restricted due to incomplete knowledge on healthy choice of foods. It might deem normal to add excess salt or sodium to your regular plate, but eventually excess sodium intake can cause detrimental effect to our body and lead to aggravated blood pressure, hypertension and chronic kidney diseases. A balanced diet should contain very low sodium content i.e. 2,300 milligrams a day. One can also replace regular salt with rock salt, which contains relatively less sodium content.

5. Consume sufficient potassium

It is not really difficult to achieve a healthy diet. Reputed weight loss program suggests that a proper balanced diet will stay incomplete if not potassium is taken in right amounts. Potassium is an important electrolyte that is crucial in healthy heart functioning. Potassium aids in normal digestive and muscular function and is proven to lower blood pressure in our bodies. A balanced diet should include potassium rich foods like beans, potatoes, citrus fruits, yogurts and bananas. A balanced diet also requires one to consume 7–8 glasses of water regularly to keep living a healthy life.