What is a Balanced Diet – Components and Importance

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What is a Balanced Diet – Components and Importance

What is a Balanced Diet

What is a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet involves foods from five groups and fulfills all of a person’s nutritional needs. Eating a balanced diet helps people maintain good health and reduce their risk of disease.

Dietary guidelines advance with scientific advances, so it can be challenging to stay on top of current recommendations and know what to eat.

A balanced diet involves six chief nutrients, i.e. Fats, Protein, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Vitamins, and Minerals.

All these nutrients are present in the foods that we eat. Different food items have different proportions of nutrients present in them. The requirements of the nutrients rely on the age, gender, and health of a person.

The following examples of daily calorie intake are based on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Trusted Source guidelines:

  • Children ages 2 to 8 years: 1,000 to 1,400 calories
  • Girls ages 9 to 13 years: 1,400 to 1,600 calories
  • Boys ages 9 to 13 years: 1,600 to 2,000 calories
  • Active women ages 14 to 30 years: 2,400 calories
  • Sedentary women ages 14 to 30 years: 1,800 to 2,000 calories
  • Active men ages 14 to 30 years: 2,800 to 3,200 calories
  • Sedentary men ages 14 to 30 years: 2,000 to 2,600 calories
  • Active men and women over 30 years: 2,000 to 3,000 calories
  • Sedentary men and women over 30 years: 1,600 to 2,400 calories

Components of a balanced diet

Some components of a balanced diet are:

Fats

Some part of our energy prerequisite is fulfilled by fats. Fats can be found in fatty foods such as butter, ghee, oil, cheese, etc.

Proteins

We require proteins for growth purposes and to repair the wear and tear of the body. Protein also helps in structuring muscle. It is found in dairy products, sprouts, meat, eggs, chicken, etc.

Carbohydrates

We require the energy to process and it is fulfilled by carbohydrates. Carbs provide us energy. Carbohydrates can be found in rice, wheat, chapatti, bread, etc. Cereals are our staple food.

Minerals and Vitamins

Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber develop the body’s resistance to disease. We mainly get it from vegetables and fruits. Deficiency diseases like Anemia, Goiter, etc. can be caused due to lack of mineral in the body.

Importance

A balanced diet is important because your organs and tissues require proper nutrition to work effectively. Without good nutrition, your body is more prone to disease, infection, fatigue, and bad performance. Children with a poor diet run the risk of growth and developmental problems and poor academic performance, and bad eating habits can persist for the rest of their lives.

Rising levels of obesity and diabetes in the world are prime examples of the effects of a poor diet and a lack of exercise. New reports show that 4 of the top 10 leading causes of death are directly influenced by diet. These are:

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • stroke
  • diabetes

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