A balanced diet is one, which includes food from all groups that is vegetables, fruits, dairy products, oils and grains. One can lose weight in a healthy way by following a balanced diet. Our body needs about 5 – 7 ounces of grains daily and half of these must be from whole grains.
In order to provide sufficient minerals and vitamins, you need to eat 2 – 3 cups of fruits and 4 – 5 cups of vegetables daily. Besides these, 3 cups of milk along with other dairy products and 6 – 8 ounce of meat must be included in your daily diet.
Components of a Balanced Diet to Lose Weight
There is a misconception among people that carbs make them fat. However, they are the most preferred energy source of your body and should make at least 50 to 60 percent of the total calorie intake. This should primarily come from complex choices such as wheat bread, whole grains cereals etc.
This means an average person must include about 6 to 10 servings of carbs depending upon the energy expenditure and portion sizes. Although, sugar is also a carbohydrate, it is usually known as empty calories and must be limited to less than 10 percent of your entire calorie intake.
Don’t leave the Vegetables Out
It may not be exciting to select between Brussels sprouts or broccoli and indeed veggies are not a popular palette choice. However, you need to get used to the taste and texture and over a period of time you might begin to crave for them. Shoot about 3-5 servings every day. It is best if vegetables are eaten raw.
Fruits are Best for you
About 2 to 3 servings of fruits must be included daily. It is best to consume them raw or in their natural state. They are loaded with minerals, vitamins and numerous other vital nutrients, which your body would love.
As vegetables and fruits contain plenty of water they help in controlling the intake of calories.
Moo for Dairy
Besides calcium, the dairy products have other vital nutrients such as proteins too. The Food Pyramid suggests about 2 to 3 servings of these products daily. This is especially important for women, who are prone to ailments such as osteoporosis.
Beans, Fish, Eggs and Meat
These foods are packed with protein, which is necessary for repair and growth. They are also excellent sources of Vitamin B, zinc, iron and selenium. However, they are high in saturated fats, so it is always recommended to go for leaner choices and cook the foods in a healthier manner.
For instance, the best way to cook meat is by baking and before that do not forget to remove the skin. Try to include 2 portions of fish in a week, especially those that are good source of omega-3 fatty acids like sardines, trout or salmon.
Avoid Sweets and Fats
Sugary and fatty foods such as creamy dressings, cakes, and biscuits, chocolate, oils, spreads, crisps, sugar rich drinks, which also includes alcohol, are loaded with calories. Besides, they are relatively low in minerals and vitamins. Hence, they should be limited in your daily diet.
A word of caution about Salt
Various studies show that we actually consume twice the amount of salt than we need. Processed foods contain plenty of salt, so always look for varieties with low-salt and check for the content of salt on the label.
A well-balanced diet and weight are connected and hence for weight maintenance and general wellness it is vital to follow a healthy balanced diet.