Do we struggle with dietary questions such as what to eat? When to eat? How much to eat? Which meal should be taken when? And the list goes on and on.
Well, a balanced diet is an answer to all your questions.
What is a Balanced Diet?
We all tend to misinterpret the concept of what a balanced diet is. A balanced diet is not a crash diet or another means of dieting. In layman’s language, a balanced diet is a diet that consists of all the major food groups i.e. milk and its products, pulses, cereals, meat products, fruits and vegetables, sugar, and fat.
Now, having a balanced meal does not give you the privilege to have as much of these food groups as you want to at any point in time. It is very important to understand a balance of the meal’s portion size, duration of consumption, and the combination of right food groups.
A balanced diet is a well-planned diet that comprises all the required macro and micronutrients in the desired amount. It ensures that our body is getting proper nourishment in the right amount.
You would be surprised to know that more than 90% of your health issues can be resolved if you start consuming a balanced diet! A balanced diet prevents the deficiencies of nutrients and helps us in leading a healthy life ahead.
Breakfast – A Healthy Beginning
First and foremost, it is important to understand which food groups you should include in a particular meal. A common mistake we all do is to skip our breakfast. This is a serious health concern as breakfast is the most important meal of our day. It ensures that our body is active enough to work throughout the day.
Your breakfast must include one fruit, one milk product in any form, a good and healthy source of cereal such as oats, semolina, wheat, etc. On some days, you may also include eggs or pulses in your breakfast meal. One should remember that processed food and junk food is a big no-no for breakfast.
You may take a mid-meal between your lunch and breakfast. You may include healthy beverages such as coconut water, buttermilk, lemon water or a handful of nuts such as almonds, walnuts, anjeer, etc.
Launching the Right Way
Lunch is another vital meal of the day. It should consist of any one type of salad with your regular food. Salad can be of any type. You can choose amongst chicken salad, egg salad, vegetable salad or any pulse or legume-rich salad. One good portion of salad is a must in your lunch, which you quite often do not take. Half of your afternoon meal hunger should be satisfied with a nice, healthy salad. Along with the salad portion, you can have chapattis, a cooked vegetable or some rice with curry.
However, sometimes you can substitute your afternoon portion with foods such as khichdi, vegetable dalia, besan cheela, moong dal cheela, baked vegetables, stuffed chapati, vegetable idli among other foods that are healthy. Do not forget to include salad to this meal as a major portion.
Evenings are that in-between time when you want to munch on junk. In the evening then, rather than taking a tea or coffee break, one should take a fruit break! You may take any one fruit at this time. Fruits are very important part of our meals as it provides us with a good deal of micro-nutrients which we do not get from our regular food.
Dinner all the Way
Dinner is the one meal that no one understands. The biggest food blunder that we make is that we make our dinner the heaviest meal of our day. Dinner should be the lightest of all meals. It is the last meal of the day as we go to sleep after consuming it. This doesn’t give our body enough time to absorb the food and utilize it.
Thus, dinners ought to be very light and should be high in fiber. One should also ensure that the amount of carbohydrate and protein should be minimal at dinner time. It can include some different varieties of soups with a portion of stir-fried vegetables, grilled chicken, some cooked vegetable, raw salads, scrambled eggs, etc.
A few careful changes in your diet can help you lead a longer and healthier life. A balanced diet structure will ensure a smarter and happier you!
Eat well and stay healthy, folks!