Every nutritionist asks their clients to go for a balanced diet. Yet, people do not have proper understanding about it. The most important thing to understand about a balanced diet is that it is not a short term diet plan which most people follow on an urgent basis to reduce their weight. No doubt such diet plans give quick results (yes, we all want that) but the results are not sustainable. When you take a balanced diet, you can eat anything and everything but in the right quantities.  

A balanced diet contains different food items from all food groups. So, we get all the nutrition we need. There is no need for you to take any supplements. Indian Council of Medical Research suggests a “balanced diet” contains a mixture of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. If we talk about Indian food habits, the diet we traditionally take is regarded to be healthy. Indians (no matter what region or culture they belong to) include different quantities of grains cereals, pulses, milk and milk products, nuts, oils, fruits and vegetables in their diet on a daily basis. You can craft a balanced diet using these food items depending on your body requirements.

P.S. You don’t need costly or fancy food items for a balanced diet. All the basic Indian food items are a must and sufficient for it. 

What do you get from a balanced diet?

You get: 

Carbohydrates

 

You get whatever energy you need in a day from carbs when it is in starch form. Your body gets the required carbs from food items like roti, rice, cereals etc.

Proteins

We get protein from both veg and non-veg sources like legumes, pulses, eggs, meat etc for everyday needs of our body. The basic Indian diet mainly depends on vegetables. There are many food items in this basic diet that contain a huge amount of protein. However, you can resolve this issue with the addition of more lentils and legumes in your everyday meals.

Fat

Some of the sources of fats are dairy products, seed based oils, dried nuts etc. it is important for protein to function adequately and protect your organs. However, you need to keep a track of your fat- to avoid overuse or underuse. Fish and other seafood contain healthy fatty acids. You can include these in your diet because this healthy fat is good for the liver and helps in brain function.

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Calcium

You can fulfill your everyday calcium needs with dairy products, some fishes and poultry products. In case milk and milk products do not suit you, you can choose alternate sources.

Vitamins and Minerals

Each and every nuts, fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins support all the other nutrients in their proper functioning. Seafood, fish and vegetables give you minerals. You need these for your hair, skin and bones.

                                       

Ideal percentage of every nutrient in a healthy adult’s diet according to ICMR is:

50% carbohydrates

20% protein

30% fat

Percentage of vitamins and minerals depends on the excess or deficiency of these in your body. 

Why is a balanced diet the best for you?

1. Balanced diet gives you various types of vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals keep your body’s cells, tissues healthy in the long run.

2.  It keeps you fit. So, you are able to maintain appropriate weight. 

3. Lowers fat in your body and provides you energy.

4. Improves your immunity. This makes sure you don’t get sick frequently.

5. Enhances brain functionality.

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