Healthy and Well Balanced Diet

If you are planning a party then chances are you won’t just serve one type of chips and dips or just one main dish. Your guests would most likely raise their eyebrows at such a paltry choice. Enjoying a hearty meal means indulging in a variety of flavors and different foods. This also holds true for planning a well-balanced diet. Here are some things to remember to help you plan a well balanced diet.

Before we go into the specifics of the components of a healthy and well balanced diet, here are some guidelines for healthy eating:

Don’t overeat. Stop when you feel full.

Don’t skip meals. Eat three meals a day and at least 2 snacks in between. Skipping meals won’t help you in losing weight anyway as you’ll just overeat on your next meal.

Avoid eating more sugar. Sweets actually rob your body of energy. Grab some high protein snacks or reach for fruits and vegetables.

Eat more raw foods. Cooking actually destroys a lot of the nutrients in foods. This doesn’t mean that you have to eat raw meat or fish all the time. Consider alternative ways of cooking such as steaming or braising instead of frying it. Eat more salads.

Food Sources

Milk group (milk and milk products): milk, cheese, yogurt

Meat group (meat and meat substitutes): meat: chicken, fish, beef, pork, lamb, legumes: beans, peas, nuts and seeds

Fruit and vegetable group: fruits and vegetables

Grain group (breads and cereals): whole grain breads, enriched breads, rice, pasta

Daily calorie and nutrient intakes

Calorie:

A calorie is a unit of energy, not a nutrient. The amount that’s best for you depends largely on your height and weight. You’ll also need to consider whether or not you have to lose pounds. Other factors that affect your calorie needs include how physically active you are and your age. Physical activity helps burn calories, while middle-aged and older adults tend to need fewer calories than younger persons.

Typical daily intakes are:

1,600 calories-For young children (ages 2-6), women, and some older adults
2,200 calories-For older children, teenage girls, active women, and most men
2,800 calories-For teenage boys and active men

Nutrient:

Total fat: No more than 30 percent of daily calories

Saturated fat: Less than 10 percent of daily calories

Cholesterol: Less than 300 milligrams per day

Fiber: 25-30 grams per day

Protein: 10-35 percent of daily calories

Carbohydrates: 45-65 percent of daily calories

Sodium: No more than 2,400 milligrams per day

To calculate percent of daily calories, it’s important to know that protein and carbohydrate have 4 calories per gram, while fat has 9 calories per gram. So, for example, if you eat 2,000 calories a day, your daily total intakes should be: no more than 67 grams of total fat, 22 grams or less of saturated fat, and 225-325 grams of carbohydrates. However, try to remember that the goal is to build a nutritious pattern from nutritious meals. Not every dish needs to be low in fat or calories. Keep your sights set on an overall healthy pattern.