Importance Of Balanced Diet: Tips, Components, Food List And Diet Plan

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Published on: 21-Dec-2023

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Amrita Sandhu

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Importance Of Balanced Diet: Tips, Components, Food List And Diet Plan

Importance Of Balanced Diet: Tips, Components, Food List And Diet Plan

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Welcome, readers! You must have heard a popular saying, “You are what you eat”, and so, it goes without saying that a balanced diet determines our optimal body function and well-being. 

A balanced diet is not just about satisfying your hunger but is a strategic approach to fuel your body for its continuing vitality. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a healthy and balanced diet will protect against malnutrition in all forms and prevent diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and cancer. 

Beyond mere sustenance, our food influences everything – from energy levels to organ function and even mental health. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of a balanced diet and understand how to have balanced meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

So read on as this exploration navigates through various components of a balanced diet and some amazing tips for maintaining it. 

Table Of Contents

  1. What Is A Balanced Diet?

  2. What Is The Importance Of A Balanced Diet?

  3. Balanced Diet Food List 

  4. Sample Balanced Diet Plan

  5. What Are The Components Of A Balanced Diet?

  6. Tips For Maintaining A Balanced Diet

  7. The Final Say

  8. FAQs

  9. References

What Is A Balanced Diet?

Imagine your body as a biological machine, just like you refuel your vehicle from time to time, your body requires fuel in the form of the food you consume to function. For the smooth functioning of the body, we need essential nutrients that promote healthy living and curb the risk of getting any health issues. So, consuming a balanced diet containing an even mixture of nutrients is crucial. 

A balanced diet contains all vital nutrients in the right amount to support bodily functions, prevent diseases, and for proper growth and development. Your daily routine balanced diet should include:

  • Macronutrients: Fats, proteins and carbohydrates for energy, building and repairing the body.

  • Micronutrients: Minerals and vitamins that bolster immunity and metabolism.

  • Dietary Fibre: Boosts digestion and improves gut health by nourishing the gut microflora.

  • Water: An important ingredient that ensures complete body vitality and takes part in all metabolic processes.  

The World Health Organisation says that at least 80% of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and stroke and up to 40% of cancers can be prevented through consuming a balanced diet along with some physical activity and non-usage of tobacco. Now, let’s understand this in a bit more detail. 

Also Read: What Is Balanced Nutrition: Tips, Tricks And More 

What Is The Importance Of A Balanced Diet?

Now that you have understood what a balanced diet is, let’s explore the importance of a balanced diet: 

1. Weight Management

If you are embarking on a journey to shed a few pounds, the importance of a balanced diet for weight loss cannot be overstated. A balanced diet sustains the body’s healthy weight for longer, maintaining the metabolic rate and smooth body functioning. The metabolic rate regulates weight, and a healthy diet can aid the process.

According to studies by the National Weight Control Registry, people who had balanced diets in their routines could maintain a healthy weight for a longer duration compared to the other groups who hardly had a balanced meal during the day. 

Also Read: Quick Ways To Lose Weight Naturally 

2. Disease Prevention

A balanced diet is rich in the right amount of fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, minerals and fibre can help control sugar levels and curb the risk of diabetes, heart conditions and heart stroke. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlights the link between a balanced diet and a lowered risk of cancer, hypertension, thyroid, and many other cognitive illnesses. 

3. Mental Well-Being

A balanced diet is rich in micronutrients that help to regulate cognitive function thus, mood swings, irritability, anxiety and depression are reduced, and mental well-being is restored and sustained. Essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids are equally important for supporting mental health.

Also Read: Effect Of Happy Hormones On Weight Loss: The Link & Insights 

4. Optimal Growth And Development

Having a balanced diet ensures your development and growth are being taken care of and the nutrients needed for proper body development, especially growing babies, are available. Body cells require good nutrition for proper functioning, growth and repair. A bad diet can lead to stunted physical and mental development.

Balanced Diet Food List


The balanced diet food listed below should be a part of your daily diet but in recommended quantities as stated below:

1.  Whole Grains And Starchy Vegetables

  • These are the body's primary source of energy.

  • Daily serving recommendation: 6-11 servings.

  • Examples: Potatoes, barley, quinoa, brown rice, oats, whole grain bread

2.  Fruits And Vegetables

  • Packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

  • Daily serving recommendation: 2-4 servings of fruits and 3-5 servings of vegetables.

  • Examples: Carrots, oranges, spinach, apples, bell peppers, bananas, broccoli

3.  Protein 

  • Help in building and repairing muscles, hair, nails and so on.

  • Daily serving recommendation: 3 servings in a day.

  • Examples: Nuts, tofu, fish, eggs, lean meats, poultry, legumes

4.  Dairy Or Dairy Alternatives

  • They are primary sources of vitamin D and calcium.

  • Daily serving recommendation: 2-3 servings in a day.

  • Examples: Paneer, cheese, curd, yoghurt, milk, soy milk, oats milk and almond milk

5.  Fats And Oils

  • They are needed for hormonal functions and nutrient absorption

  • Daily serving recommendation: Consume sparingly.

  • Examples: Seeds, avocado, nuts, and olive oil.

6. Sweets And Added Sugars

These are often low in nutrients and high in calories.

Daily serving recommendation: Limit as much as possible.

Try to consume healthier alternatives such as fruits, stevia, jaggery, and dates to satisfy your sugar cravings and for energy.

Examples: Candies, sodas, pastries, and other sugary treats.

7. Drinks And Hydration

Ensure you consume at least 2-3 litres daily. The intake of milk, detox water, herbal tea, juices and other liquids is very important to provide extra hydration to the body. But make sure not to choose sugary beverages.

Sample Balanced Diet Plan

If you are wondering what to include in your balanced meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the following are some sample diet plans that you can use and modify:

Vegetarian Balanced Diet Plan (1400-1500 kcal):

Morning

Warm jeera water with chia seeds

Breakfast

1 bowl milk with cornflakes and 1 teaspoon chia seeds.


Mid-Morning

4-5 almonds and walnuts.


Lunch

2 multigrain roti with 1 Katori dal, 1 Katori sabzi and 1 bowl salad. 


Early Evening

Tea/Coffee/A glass of milk.


Evening Snacks

1 small katori roasted chana.


Dinner

1 bowl moong dal vegetable Daliya khichdi with 1 katori kadhi.

Non-Vegetarian Balanced Diet Plan (1400-1500 kcal): 

Morning

Warm jeera water with chia seeds.


Breakfast

2 egg vegetable omelette and 1 toasted brown bread.


Mid-Morning

1 bowl of fruit.


Lunch

1 medium bowl of rice with spinach, chana dal with broccoli sabzi, and salad 1 bowl.


Or


1 bowl of rice with fish curry and 1 big salad bowl. 


Early Evening

Tea/Coffee/A glass of milk.


Evening Snacks

1 small katori roasted makhana and 1 cup green tea.


Dinner

1 bowl of chicken and chickpea salad with 1 bowl of soup.

What Are The Components Of A Balanced Diet?

The following are all balanced diet nutrients that help the body stay fit, healthy and active:

1. Water

Have a minimum of 6-7 glasses of water in a day for better processing of the body and try to have as much more water as possible. Water is a very basic and elementary requirement.

2. Carbohydrates

The primary energy sources are carbohydrates, so instead of refraining from them, you can always include them in the diet in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and pulses.

3. Fats

Include healthy fats in your diet, like seeds, nuts, olive oil, avocado, etc., which will help to absorb nutrients in your body and regulate hormone production and brain functions.

4. Proteins

Proteins are important to build muscle mass and for tissues and muscle wear and tear, which happens regularly. You can include protein sources in your diet, like whole pulses, beans, fish, eggs, chicken, milk, paneer, etc.

Also Read: Top 6 Protein Foods And Their Health Benefits 

5. Vitamins And Minerals

To boost metabolism and immunity, minerals and vitamins should be consumed. Also, these minerals and vitamins are available in fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, chicken, eggs, and dairy. Also grains and pulses are also rich in minerals and vitamins.

6. Dietary Fibre

Dietary fibre is essential for digestion, gut health and flushing out toxins in your body. Include fruits, whole grains, legumes, and vegetables to get optimum fibre, which improves digestion.

Also Read: How To Get Enough Fibre In Your Low-Cost Balanced Diet In India?

Tips For Maintaining A Balanced Diet

Here are some effective tips you need to follow in maintaining a balanced diet: 

1. Plan Your Meals: Planning ensures you incorporate various foods and resist the temptation of unhealthy snacks or takeout.

2. Limit Processed Foods: Prioritise whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods for better health.

3. Read Labels: When shopping, always read nutrition labels. Foods that are rich in additives, unhealthy fats, and added sugars should be avoided from consumption.

4. Stay Hydrated: Water is a magic potion that is a vital requirement for survival and better body processes.

5. Listen to Your Body:  Avoid overeating or try to eat 1-2 bites less than required and stop when full.

6. Diversify Your Diet: Eat different foods each week to ensure you get a wide variety of nutrients.

The Final Say

As we conclude this exploration, you now have a better understanding of the importance of a balanced diet for your overall health and fitness. It is essential to include all the food groups that nourish your body to avoid health issues. 

A balanced diet not only helps in the growth and development of the body but it also helps to maintain your mental health as well. So, try to eat healthy as much as you can and for a customised diet plan, visit ToneOp!

FAQs

1. Is a balanced diet the same for everyone despite of gender?

No, balance varies according to height, weight, gender, and medical conditions.


2. Can we eat eggs daily in a balanced diet?

Yes, you can eat 2 eggs per day daily in a balanced diet to get optimum high-quality protein.


3. Is a balanced diet healthy?

Yes, a balanced diet is healthy because it is rich in all the nutrients essential for the body.


4. What is the difference between a balanced diet and an unbalanced diet?

The required quantity of all the nutrients in a meal is known as a balanced diet. The opposite of this is when fewer nutrients or too many nutrients are present in the meal, making it an unhealthy, unbalanced diet.


5. How does a balanced diet vary with age?

The requirement for calories is less for older people compared to younger ones as they are more active, so the requirement varies, and that is how a balanced diet can be different for every age group.


6. Should I consume a balanced diet for weight loss?

Yes! Although you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight, you must still provide your body with all the necessary nutrients to keep it nourished and healthy.


7. What is a balanced diet pyramid? 

A balanced diet pyramid visualises recommended food intake, emphasising a balance of food groups for optimal health. It guides individuals on appropriate portions of essential nutrients, promoting overall well-being.

References

About ToneOp

ToneOp is a platform dedicated to improving and maintaining good health through a comprehensive range of goal-oriented health plans with up to 3 Coach support. With a range of Weight Management, Medical Condition, Detox Plans, and Face Yoga Plans, the app also provides premium health trackers, recipes and health content. Get customised diet, fitness, naturopathy & yoga plans and transform yourself with ToneOp. 

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