For the organs of the body to function properly, energy from foods is needed. The energy requirement of each individual varies and is influenced by many factors. When energy requirements are met completely by calorie intake in food, people maintain their activity levels without weight change. Foods are sometimes described according to the density of their nutrients. Nutrient density is the proportion of essential nutrients in proportion to their total number of calories (Potter and Perry 1993). Meaning to say, foods with high density have the most nutrients in proportion to their total calories while foods with low nutrient energy provide an energy source but lack essential nutrients.
Balanced Diet – Definition
Also called a general diet, regular diet, full diet or complete diet, balanced diet is a food preparation which provides complete nutrients as well as supplies carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, mineral and fiber in their normal proportions. This food preparation is very important to know because it serves as the basis for all diet modifications.
Balanced Diet – Main goal
A well-balanced diet provides enough energy and nutrition for optimal growth and development. When an individual chooses to eat a wide variety of foods and drinks from all the food groups, he or she is eating a balanced diet. Aside from that, embracing the principles of a balanced diet means eating in moderation especially those foods that contain saturated fats, cholesterol, sugar, salt and alcohol. The main goal of this dietary regimen is to take nutrients that an individual needs for his or her health at levels required.
Some Tips on a Balanced Diet
B – Be sure to allot time for efficient digestion. Have at least a 5-hour interval between meals and the last meal of the day should be taken at least 3 hours before sleeping.
A – Avoid tea, coffee, alcoholic and carbonated beverages such as soft drinks.
L – Light supper, a moderate lunch and a heavy breakfast are advisable.
A – At least one serving of dark vegetables a day is good for the body.
N – Never skip a meal. Eat 3 meals a day instead of eating frequent ones or eating between meals.
C – Choose foods of the right kind, at the right time and interval, in the right amount and in the right condition of the mind. Eating in a relaxed atmosphere is ideal.
E – Establish a regular eating habit.
D – Drink at least 8 glasses of water in a day.
D – Do not hurry your meal. Take time to enjoy your food.
I – Include a variety of foods in each meal.
E – Eat more fresh fruits instead of rich desserts.
T – Take some time to refer food intake and amount eaten in the food guide pyramid.