Eating healthy is a rule that we all know we must follow. We know the basics: avoid sugar and say goodbye to junk food. And yet, even if we do manage to achieve this feat, optimal health is hardly ever achieved.
The world around us is abuzz with fad diets and so-called life-changing practices that promise a ‘new’ you. But what if we told you that you do not need to go to such extremes to be healthy?
We shall help you understand how you can achieve a healthy body and mind (because they always go together) with a balanced diet.
What is A Balanced Diet
For a sound mind and healthy body, we need to eat. You can’t trick your body into thinking that it is getting the nutrition it needs by substituting food with anything else. At the same time, eating your way through a food joint’s menu card isn’t ideal either.
A balanced diet is one that provides the human body with all the nutrients it requires in the right proportion. It should help to improve your health and overall well-being.
This means that the food you eat gives enough energy to your body that helps it to carry out all its daily activities and functions efficiently.
How to Create A Balanced Diet
There are a few things you need to learn about a balanced diet before you can achieve good health.
- A balanced diet is not homogenous for everyone.
- It differs from person to person depending on factors such as age, gender, amount of physical activity as well as physiological nature.
- You need to understand the four food groups and integrate them into your meals.
- Proportion is key here and should be followed to the T.
- Along with nutrients, a balanced diet should also provide dietary fiber, antioxidants, and essential vitamins.
What is A Food Pyramid
It is a chart or a representation of food items and beverages that contribute to a healthy diet. It also designates the optimal amount of food intake per serving. Alternately, it is also called the Eating Right Pyramid.
It is represented in a triangular (pyramid form), tapering at the top end. The food pyramid is divided into five main parts or shelves. The most important food items are found at the bottom of the base of the pyramid.
It allows an individual to choose a healthy diet based on their preferences by offering a plethora of choices on each shelf. Food items containing the same nutrient elements are grouped together.
A food pyramid is designed to make you eat better. The idea is for you to choose food items from each shelf which automatically creates a healthy, balanced diet. A comprehensive understanding of the components of this pyramid is essential here.
A food group is a collection of items that share similar nutritional or dietary properties. As mentioned earlier, the food pyramid defines five major food groups that must be included in a meal to make it a balanced one.
- Vegetables, legumes, and beans.
- Grains (mostly wholegrain)
- Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and/or legumes, beans.
- Milk, cheese, yogurt, or any milk substitutes or alternatives (preferably with reduced fat content)
The food pyramid helps individuals with the number of servings they should consume from each food group per day. Some also offer specialized advice for male and female genders belonging to different age groups.
Size of One Serving
It does not just tell you what you should eat in a day but also helps you calculate how much you should eat at a time. The serving size of each food group will differ from the other.
The food pyramid also encourages the consultation of nutrition labels to understand what we eat. It also recommends the consumption of one dark green and one orange vegetable per day for a healthy body.
10 Ways in Which A Food Pyramid Promotes A Healthy Diet
- A food pyramid illustrates the different types of food items that must be included for a healthy diet.
- The correct inclusion of these food items ensures a healthy body and also promotes the mental well-being of individuals.
- It displays the nutritional contents of each food group in a simplified manner, thereby encouraging individuals to adopt healthy eating habits.
- It teaches people about nutritional values, calories per serving, and the additional vitamins or antioxidants they can derive from a particular food group.
- Creates an optimal diet with proportionate amounts of carbohydrates, fats, healthy protein, and dietary fiber.
- A food pyramid makes suggestions to achieve optimal health by offering distinct diets to individuals belonging to different gender and age groups.
- Recommends a daily dose of sunlight, amount of water intake, and exercise motivation to help individuals stay healthy.
- A food pyramid understands your humanness and gives you the satisfaction of the occasional cheat meal in the form of the top-most shelf, which houses sugary, high-fat content items. These are not good for health but can be taken to diminish your cravings once in a (long) while.
- Promotes weight control through natural means and does not encourage pushing individuals to extreme limits to attain a healthy weight.
- Helps you plan your meals ahead of time which significantly promotes portion control while diminishing the eating of intermediary snacks for instant hunger pangs by keeping you full for longer.
It is often a great challenge to decide how much food you should eat and whether or not it provides all the nutrients that your body may need. This is where a food pyramid comes in handy.
Preparing balanced meals is a cakewalk with the help of food pyramids. Integrating different food groups into a single meal is essential to ensure that you eat healthier and thereby live a livelier and fuller life.
We hope that this article helped in giving guidelines on how you can integrate healthier eating habits into your daily schedule. After all, what is life without good food!