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What is a balanced diet?

By Ritika Samaddar in Nutrition And Dietetics

Jan 24 , 2022 | 2 min read

Balanced diet definition

A balanced diet is a diet that contains the right proportion of different food types so that your body gets the required carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, proteins, minerals.


Balanced diet- Importance


A balanced diet-

  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Meets the nutritional demands of your body functions
  • Prevents lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension
  • Strengthens your bones and supports muscle built

Balanced diet- 7 components 


Carbohydrates


Carbohydrates provide you with energy, which should constitute 50- 60% of your diet. Though it forms a significant diet component, you should not treat all carbs equally. 


Sources of healthy carbs are-

  • Whole grains like Oats , Quinoa
  • Whole wheat , Dahlia 
  • Legumes
  • Millets like ragi, bajra , barley
  • Vegetables

Protein


Protein helps you build muscles and develops skin and hair. It should constitute 10-12% of your diet. 


Sources of protein are-

  • Legumes and beans, soyabean
  • Poultry-Chicken, Turkey
  • Seafood- Fish, Crab, Prawn, Lobster
  • Eggs
  • Lean meat- Lamb, Beef, Pork
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Greek yoghurt

Fat


It is a misconception that fats are bad for your health. It would be best if you chose healthy fats as fats help you maintain your body temperature and help absorb fat soluble vitamins ADE&K. 


Sources of healthy fat are-


  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Extra virgin Olive oil
  • Fatty fish- Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel, Herring

Vitamins


Though there are 13 essential vitamins, you should take vitamins A, C, B, and D measures. 


Sources of vitamins are-


  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Poultry
  • Seeds
  • Nuts

Minerals


Minerals help release energy from the food you take and promote the growth of organs. Some essential minerals are iron, calcium, potassium, iodine, and sodium. 


Sources of minerals are-

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Beans
  • Cereals
  • Nuts & Seeds 

Fibre

Fibre helps in digestion and also helps in lowering your cholesterol levels and controlling sugar levels


Sources of fibre are-


  • Oats, dahlia, Quinoa and Brown rice
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts & seeds 

Water


You should take at least eight glasses of water as it hydrates your body and is used in body functions.


What to avoid


Avoid-

  • Red meat
  • Refined grains( cereals ) like maida, white bread, sewain, noodles, pasta
  • Alcohol
  • Trans fat, butter, cheese
  • Added sugar
  • Pastry
  • Aerated drinks
  • Processed foods

Balanced diet chart


Here is a sample 7-days balanced diet chart. Please note that each body’s requirements are different so contact your dietician to get a customized balanced diet chart. 


Day 1 


Breakfast- Bowl of oats + Glass of milk 

Lunch- Roti + Dal + Veggies + Curd

Dinner- Brown rice + Dal + Green salad

Snacks- Nuts/ Fruit/ Seeds / Smoothie / Yoghurt


Day 2


Breakfast- Omelette stuffed with veggies + Glass of milk

Lunch- Brown rice + Chicken/Paneer curry + Salad

Dinner- 2 multigrain Roti + Dal + Salad

Snacks- Smoothie/ Nuts/Fruit/ Seeds/ Yogurt


Day 3

Breakfast- Namkeen Dalia + Fruit

Lunch- 2 bajra roti + Dal + Veggies + Curd

Dinner- Brown rice + Dal + Salad

Snacks- Fruit/ Nuts/ Seeds/ Smoothie/ Yoghurt


Day 4


Breakfast- Moong dal Cheela + Glass of milk

Lunch- Brown rice + Salmon fish curry/ Soya Bean + Salad

Dinner- 2 Roti + Dal + Salad

Snacks- Fruit/ Nuts/ Seeds/Smoothie/ Yoghurt


Day 5


Breakfast- Besan Chilla + Glass of milk

Lunch- 2 Jowar Roti + Dal + Veggies + Salad

Dinner- Brown rice + Dal + Salad

Snack- Fruit/ Nuts/ Seeds/ Smoothie/ Yoghurt


Day 6


Breakfast- 2 Brown bread with an omelette  + Glass of milk

Lunch- Brown rice + Dal + Veggies + Salad

Dinner- 2 Multigrain roti + Dal + Salad

Snack- Fruit/Nuts/ Seeds/ Smoothie/Yoghurt


Day 7


Breakfast- Poha + Glass of milk

Lunch- 2 Roti + Mixed vegetable + Roasted Chicken + Dal

Dinner- Brown rice + Dal + Salad

Snack- Fruits/ Nuts/ Seeds/ Smoothie/ Yoghurt