Today we are leading such a hectic life that we have even compromised on some of the very basic things among which our health is on the top. We have become so addicted to the junk food that has resulted in an increasing ratio of diseases caused by high cholesterol. To have a healthy, disease-free life, we need to have a nutritious and balanced diet which not only does keep us healthy but also provides us sufficient energy to continue our race with verve. Now the question arises, what exactly is a balanced diet?
What is a Balanced Diet?
A diet that contains all the basic nutrients needed by the body and that too in the required proportion can be called a balanced diet. These basic components which a balanced diet should deliver are; vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and minerals. Now when you know what is a balanced diet and what its definition is, you would be wondering why it is necessary for our body.
Why is it So Important?
I would say, just as a car needs all components in a functioning condition for a smooth drive, similarly, a balanced diet acts as a fuel for the proper functioning of our body. Without it, we may suffer from serious ailments. Let us now discuss each of the various elements of a balanced diet;
Elements of a Balanced Diet
These are the readiest source of energy among all other components. Carbohydrates, when being burned by the respiratory system, release energy. The carbohydrates present in the form of starch are converted into glucose by our digestive system. Then our blood circulatory system takes this glucose to every cell to be utilized and produce energy. Carbohydrate-rich foods include potatoes, bananas and other fruits, cereals, and whole-grain bread, etc.
In the absence of carbohydrates, the reserve fats are burned to provide energy. The misconception about fats is that they should be avoided because they tend to make our bodies gain weight. However, the truth is that they are an essential part of a balanced diet. Only saturated fats are harmful to the body because they tend to increase cholesterol levels. Whereas, unsaturated fats are protection against cardiac disorders and they also lower the level of HDL. Moreover, they are necessary for glowing skin and also shield our body against cold in winter. Rich sources of unsaturated fats include fishes like salmon, tuna, and halibut, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and other nuts and seeds.
They can rightly be called the primary units or the building blocks of our body because the formation, growth, and repair of cells are carried out by them. To make them usable for our body, the digestive system breaks them down into simpler components called amino acids. The diet containing protein includes milk and other dairy products, lean meat, eggs, legumes, etc.
Vitamins and Minerals:
Last but not least components of a balanced diet are vitamins and minerals. Although their required proportion in our body is smaller a balanced diet is incomplete without their inclusion because they are a very essential component for our body’s growth. Especially, Vitamin A, B complex, K, E, C, and D and the minerals like iodine, calcium, and iron, etc must be present in children’s diet to avoid some serious deficiencies resulting in disorders.
In addition to the above-mentioned elements, fibers are also a very important component of a balanced diet and are needed to facilitate bowel movement and easy removal of wastes by adding roughage to them. When we talk about the balanced diet for pregnant women, they need to inculcate in their diet all the above-mentioned components of a balanced diet because it is needed not only for them but also for the baby.
I hope that after going through this article you would have understood what is a balanced diet and why it is so important for us, Stay healthy and well-nourished.