Eating with Balance and Moderation

Living Healthy and Balanced

Living Healthy
Living Healthy | Source

Food Groups

Which of these food groups are you consuming more?

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We are accustomed to eat all kinds of food every day. The abundance of food products offered at stores makes it hard for us not to fall in the temptation to satisfy our appetite.

It´s because of this overabundance of food products and the gluttony of our unhealthy eating habits that many times we are not aware of the quality and quantity of the food we ingest.

The consequences of this come over the years when illnesses, including obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease and others overwhelm us. Commercially prepared and fast food regularly lack the nutrients our body need; moreover, they contain increased amounts of saturated and Trans fat, sugar and salt.

The Calorie (a measure of energy in food

Calories are used to measure the body´s energy. One calorie equals the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water to 1° celcius.

The measure of energy in food is the kilo calory and is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water to 1° celcius.

Achieving a Healthy Diet

For a diet to be healthy, it must be balanced, that is to say, it must provide sufficient quantities of the essential nutrients, as well as fiber and calories. A healthy diet must also be varied or contain different kinds of foods, including fruits vegetables, dairy products, meat and fat. The food ingested in a healthy diet musty also be consumed with moderation.

Whole Foods
Whole Foods | Source
Dairy Products
Dairy Products | Source

What are Whole Foods?

A healthy and balanced diet should include fresh whole foods. Whole foods contain the greatest amount and variety of nutrients. Nutrient dense foods are those that our ancestors used to eat before the industrial revolution.

They are the opposite of processed foods. Nutrient dense foods are those that are found naturally either at the supermarket or on a farm and they include the different food groups; fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, protein and dairy products.

All of these foods contain all essential nutrients per calorie content. Not all the food groups contain the same nutrients. Some may contain more protein, while others may contain more fat. In order to get the needed amount of calories, the food you ingest from whole food products should be varied.

Nutrient Dense Foods

Fruits

While I´m recommending whole foods in the diet, not all whole foods are healthy foods as some may contain more of something than others. For example cheese butter, milk, beef, pork and lamb contain little amounts of Trans fats, which are not recommended in great amounts.

The foods that naturally contain trans-fat are butter, milk, cheese, beef, lamb and pork. Trans fat is semi solid at room temperature. These foods contain small amounts of Trans fat and consumption should be limited, but not excluded.

This is where balancing the diet comes into place. Eating a variety of the groups of foods along with a moderate amount of each one in your diet is important in order to get all the nutritional benefits from it.

Calories

What are your Caloric Needs?

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Balancing the Diet

Balancing the diet comprises not including one nutrient and excluding another. For example, you could be eating too much vitamins but not too many minerals. Sodium is an essential nutrient, but an over load of calcium may lead to illnesses, such as kidney disease or heart failure.

Sometimes, you may find it useful to look at the food´s nutrition level of a particular type of food to get a better idea of the amounts of nutrients per serving.

Widening your Food Plate

Including a wide arrat of foood into your food plate may increment ingestion of essential mutrients

Food Plate
Food Plate | Source

Eating with Moderation

Based to what´s been said until this point. A balanced diet that includes the different food groups may provide the greatest benefits and variety may assure that you are obtaining all the nutrients into your body.

Moderately eaten food is important for optimal health. Overindulgence may lead to health complications. To satisfy the natural inclination to a voracious appetite, it is better to leave our enjoyment for food for the holidays or for others out of control days.

Calorie ]Control
Calorie ]Control | Source

The number of calories consumed should always match the amounts of calories expended by the body to maintain weight.

The amount of calories consumed should be greater than the amounts wasted if trying to gain weight

The amounts of calories consumed should be less than the amounts expended if trying to lose weight

Calorie Control

Depending on whether you intend to lose, gain or maintain your weight, you should monitor the calories consumed. While every person needs a certain amounts of calories for optimal daily performance, not all people require the same amounts of calories.

The caloric amounts vary based on gender, age weight, height and the types of activities practiced. For example, a man between the ages of 20-30 who lives a sedentary life may require around 2,300 calories a day, while another man of the same age will need from 2,500-3000 based on his physical activities.

For a woman of the same age the caloric amounts if she follows a sedentary life are around 2,000 calories a day; however, the calories needed will increase to about 2,000 if she follows an active lifestyle.

If losing weight is your goal, then, you need to insure that more calories are burned than the one consumed. On the other part, if gaining weight is in your plans, you should be ingesting more calories than those that are being expended.

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Adding Variety in your Foods

Our aim in a balanced diet is the acquiring of all the essential nutrient into our body. One of the disadvantages of eating an unvaried diet is the risk of consuming more quantities of some of the nutrients and not as much of others in our diet.

In the quest of nutrition, we should include some foods that are familiar to us, but which are known to provide some nutrients; for example, soy meat is more consumed in Asia; however, soy meat and its derivatives are known to provide sufficient amounts of protein.

Fruits of any variety and vegetables are very rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Some of them also provide carbohydrates and protein. Trying new foods can provide you with new taste into your dishes.

A balanced diet is not balanced until you balance it by including a variety of foods from the different food groups. By eating a variety of foods in your diet, you will be ingesting all the essential nutrients, some in more quantities than others; however, it is the quality and moderation of the foods which is going to determine that you are ingesting the right amounts of nutrients

Food Products

Vegetables
Fruits
Protein
Low-fat dairy products
Whole grains
Dark green vegetables
Apples
Chicken
Low-fat milk
Whole grain products
Spinach
Bananas
Truky
Fat-free milk
Oats
Broccoli
Apricots
Duck
Fortified soy milk
Rye
Kale
All kinds of berries
Fish
Cheese
Corn
Collards
Grapefruit
Lamb
Yogurt
Amaranth
Turnip
Kiwi fruit
Beef
Cultured milk
Kasha
Lentils
Mangoes
Veal
Fermented milk
Quinoa
Sweet potatoes
Lemon
Ham
Ice cream
Millet
Black beans
Watermelon
Pork
 
Brown rice
Black eyed peas
Oranges
Almonds
 
Wild rice
Peas
Pineapple
Peanuts
 
Sorhum
Soybeans
Peaches
Pumpkin seeds
 
BArley
Green peas
Papaya
Walnuts
 
Wheat
Mushrooms
Plums
Nuts
 
Spelt
Celery
Prunes
Pecans
 
Bulgur

What is a Balanced Diet?

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