Balanced Diet

Balanced diet in simpler terms refers to eating a variety of foods that keep you healthy and give pleasure while eating. There is a traditional way of getting a balanced diet, which advises to eat a certain number of portions from certain food groups.

There are five basic groups that make up a balanced diet. These are:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Bread and Cereal
  • Dairy
  • Meat and legumes (beans, pea’s lentils etc)

Vegetables

Doctors recommend that you will need to have four servings from the fruit and vegetables group as a hundred percent necessity.

A cup of raw leafy vegetables with lots of green and shades of yellow are highly recommended as they provide VITAMIN A that is highly important for eyes. A cup of cooked vegetables alternatively with another cup of uncooked vegetables set up a good diet from the vegetables group.

Fruits

Citrus fruits contain VITAMIN C and also fiber that plays a vital role in digestion and excretion. However, you can include at least one of the following in your diet every day:

  • An apple, a banana or an orange.
  • A melon wedge
  • Half a cup of dry fruits.
  • A cup of grapes
  • Though not a fruit, a glass of fruit juice is a very good replacement to fruits if fruits are not available.

Bread and cereals

Bread and cereals can be considered the most important in the group of five. Dieticians recommend that a balanced diet should include six basic servings of cereals and bread. The following can be used in any of the six servings:

  • A slice of bread
  • A small roll, biscuit, or muffin
  • Hamburger bun or English muffin
  • Half cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta
  • Large crackers (2)
  • An ounce of ready-to-eat breakfast cereal.

Dairy

Many people consider dairy as a root for causing fat. However fat is an essential part of a balanced diet, as long as it is kept in control. The servings of milk, cheese and yogurt is different for different for ages. Infants rely mainly on milk and other dairy products. Children, Teens and Nursing mothers will need four servings of dairy products, as they need more levels of energy to tackle complicating and yet new things for them. Other adults need one serving per day.

Of the following list one ingredient can easily be replaced with another:

  • cup of milk
  • Eight ounces of yogurt
  • One and a half ounce of natural cheese
  • Two ounces of processed cheese.

Meat, Fish, Egg and alternatives

Eating fish twice a week is good for anybody, especially if it is either sardines, mackerel or salmon. Red meat is a very good source for iron and vitamin B12. Two eggs per day is such a good food that you can and will have to avoid any other food from the meat group that particular day. The surprise ingredients in this group are lentils, nuts, peas and beans. Make sure that only one among the following is taken per day for a balanced diet:

  • Seven Ounces of cooked lean meat or fish
  • Two eggs
  • One and a half cup of cooked beans or lentils or peas.

The foods in the above groups form a wonderful diet when taken in the way prescribed. However there is another group, which is not of importance. But recent research has shown that when taken in a very controlled way the foods in this group support your brain in making the best use of a balanced diet. You guessed it right. The sixth group contains Sweets and Alcohol.

Happy dieting.