There is a very famous proverb in Hindi, जान है तो जहान है (Jaan Hai To Jahaan Hai). In English, it means, “If there's life, then there's the world.” In simple words, only if you are alive, things matter. And if you want to alive - if you want to enjoy life - if you want to see the world - you need to eat food and drink water. Food & water is our basic necessity.
Eating is one of life's pleasures and is an essential part of everyone’s lives. It gives us the energy and nutrients to grow and develop, be healthy and active, to move, work, play, think and learn. A healthy, balanced diet can reduce our risk from many diseases like heart problems, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.
What is Balanced / Healthy Diet?
A good diet is important for our health and can help us feel our best. A balanced diet is one that fulfills all of a person's nutritional needs. Humans need a certain amount of calories and nutrients to stay healthy. A healthy diet comprises a combination of different foods.
Apart from breastmilk as a food for babies, no single food contains all the essential nutrients the body needs to stay healthy and work properly. For this reason, our diets should contain a variety of different foods, to help us to get the wide range of nutrients that our bodies need. Nutritional Science has grouped our food in 5 groups which builds a balance diet.
The body needs a variety of the following 5 nutrients - Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat, Vitamins and Minerals - from the food we eat to stay healthy and productive.
To stay healthy we not only need all of the above 5 nutrients (5 Groups) in our diet but we also need them in the correct quantities - this is what we mean by a balanced diet.
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Human body uses calories from food. It is a unit of energy. In a nutritional sense, all types of food — whether they are fats, proteins, carbohydrates or sugars — are important sources of calories, which people need to live and function.
The average person needs about 2,000 calories every day to maintain their body. However, a person’s specific daily calorie intake can vary depending on their age, gender, and physical activity level. Men generally need more calories than women and those who do exercise need more calories than people who don’t.
The following examples of daily calories intake is for:
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
Women ages 14 to 30 years
Men ages 14 to 30 years
2,800 to 3,200 Calories
Men and Women over 30 years
2,000 to 3,000 Calories
The 5 food groups
In balanced / healthy diet, all five group contents should be included in our food on a daily basis. These 5 groups gave us proper quantity of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fiber, etc. so that human body can get the energy. These five groups are:
Grains and Cereals
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Legumes (beans) Tofu, Nuts, Seeds
Dairy Products like Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt or alternatives
Each food group has important nutrients. The amount of each food will vary during your life, depending on factors such as how active you are and whether or not you are growing, pregnant, breastfeeding and more.
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Vegetables: Specially green vegetables are primary sources of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Dark, leafy greens generally contain the most nutrition and can be eaten at every meal. Eating a variety of vegetables will help you to get the nutrients. Eating raw vegetables is indeed sometimes the healthier option. However; there are also some vegetables which offer useful health benefits when they're cooked. These vegetables should be added in daily food.
Fruits: A balanced diet also includes plenty of fruit. Fruits are not only a great source of nutrition, fresh fruit also a good source of vitamins and dietary fiber. Always eat seasonal fruits. They’re fresher and provide the most nutrients. Fruits are high in sugar. This sugar is natural, though, so fruit can still be a better choice for you than other foods with added sugar. You can choose low-sugar fruits if you are diabetic.
Grains and Cereals: Grain foods include rolled oats, brown rice, whole meal and wholegrain breads, cracked wheat, barley, buckwheat and breakfast cereals like muesli. Wholegrains have protein, dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins. In processed grains, some of these nutrients are lost.
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Legumes (beans) Tofu, Nuts, Seeds: These foods provide protein, minerals and vitamins. If you are vegetarian, you can eat legumes, nuts and seeds which are dietary fiber. It’s good to choose a variety of foods from this group. This group is full of protein. Protein - is needed to build, maintain and repair muscle, blood, skin and bones and other tissues and organs in the body. Lean, low-fat meats such as chicken, fish, and certain cuts of pork and beef are the best source of Protein. Nuts and beans are good sources of protein and contain many other health benefits, as well as fiber and other nutrients.
Dairy Products like Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt or alternatives: Dairy products provide calcium, vitamin D and other essential nutrients. This group is major sources of fat, so you can choose low fat milk, low fat cheese and yogurt. Fat actually provides more energy / calories per gram than any other nutrient, but is more difficult to burn. Soy drinks with added calcium can be used as a milk substitute for children over 1.
Eating a balanced diet means where all these 5 groups are included and fulfills all of a person's nutritional needs. Eating a balanced diet helps people maintain good health and reduce their risk of disease.
There are lot of food items which are not included in these five groups. These kinds of food items are called ‘Discretionary choices’ or ‘extras’. Some of it could be called Junk Food.
‘Discretionary choices’ are not needed in a healthy diet. This includes:
Cordials, Sports, Fruit and Energy drinks
Lollypop and Chocolates
Savory Snack Foods
These foods and drinks often provide excess energy, saturated fat, sugar or salt. They are often described as ‘energy-rich but nutrient-poor’.
A balanced and healthy diet is requirement of all living (Animal, People etc.) things, without balanced diet people can be sick. There are many needy and poor people in all over world who is not getting proper food for himself and for his family also. Get do help is helping those types of people also, so please share you hand with us and donate us a small amount to provide them a balanced and healthy food time to time. Donate for needy and poor people and take his wishes for peacefull life.
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