Balanced diet

What is balanced diet

A balanced diet is one which provides us with the right nutritional needs while still being within the recommended daily calorie intake. We require certain amount of energy (calories) and nutrients to remain healthy.

Balanced diet chart

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables a important part of a balanced diet as they are good sources of fibre and also contains many important vitamin and minerals. It is recommended that you eat no less than 5 portions of a different of fruit and vegetables everyday. About a third of the food you eat each day should be fruit and vegetables.

balanced diet
What makes up a balanced diet? -Credit:  udaix/Shutterstock

Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are the bodies main source of energy. Sources of carbohydrates include grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy etc. Carbohydrates also supply fibre to the body. Carbohydrates can be part of a balanced diet and while the amount of carbohydrate is important, the type of carbohydrate you eat determines how healthy your diets is as some carbohydrates are healthier than others. A diet containing carbohydrates such as rye, whole wheat bread, quinoa and barley are better than that containing white bread or potato chips.

Proteins

Proteins are the body’s building blocks which the body uses to build and repair tissues. They are an important part of a healthy diet. Try to get your proteins from plant sources as the tend to be lower in saturated fat and contains fibre with no cholesterol. Plant based protein sources include legumes (such as beans and peas), nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Fats

Fats are a great source of energy and play a role in the absorption of some vitamins. We need a small amount of fat as part of a balanced diet but just like carbohydrate, some fats are healthier than others.  Food that contains fats include, dairy products, meat, nuts, seeds, eggs etc. Fats can either be saturated or unsaturated.

The consensus is that saturated fats are unhealthy while Unsaturated fats are healthier. Saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature while unsaturated tend to the liquid and room temperature. Sources of saturated fats include cheese, ice-cream, palm oil, butter etc. Sources of unsaturated fats include avocados and olive and their oils, other vegetable oils e.g., sunflower oil, fatty fishes, nuts, seeds etc.

About the author

Nwasom is a pharmacy graduate and a pharmacist currently practising in the United Kingdom. I have great experience communicating with patients and their family as gained through working as a pharmacist in both the hospital and community pharmacy sector. I love writing so it was a natural thing to try and pass medical and health information on through writing.