Food is essential for the functioning of the body. In fact, it is one of the vital functions of human beings. However, nutrition does not mean eating anything but carrying out a balanced diet.
A balanced diet is the one that contains the proper nutrients that our body needs to stay healthy and play a good performance. In this sense, a balanced diet is based on eating natural, healthy foods based on the key nutrients they bring.
Characteristics of a balanced diet
A balanced diet should provide enough calories to perform the metabolic process, should provide enough nutrients with plastic and regulatory functions (minerals, vitamins and proteins), and the ingredients of a balanced diet must be balanced with each other.
- Fats, oils and sweets: should be eaten in moderation because they tend to impair the metabolic process and cause various diseases.
- Milk, yogurt and cheese: the dairy must be consumed every day and is recommended to consume 2-3 servings daily. They are essential because they provide complete proteins, vitamins (B2, A and D) and minerals (calcium and phosphorus)
- Meat and meat products: is recommended to lower consumption to 6 times a week. These foods provide us complete proteins, B vitamins (B12, thiamine, pyridoxine, nicotinamide) and minerals (iron, zinc and phosphorus)
- Fish: should be eaten more than 4 times a week. This food is very beneficial to health because it provides Omega-3 fatty acids, whole proteins, vitamins (A, D and B12) and minerals (calcium, iodine, phosphorus, magnesium and iron)
- Eggs: it is recommended to eat less than 6 times a week. They are important because they provide us a considerable amount of complete proteins, water soluble vitamins and fat soluble, phosphorus, iron and sodium. The egg should always be eaten cooked to get more nutrients and to prevent salmonella.
- Legumes and nuts: should be eaten for 2-3 servings daily. These foods provide us with carbohydrates, fiber, vegetable protein, minerals (potassium, zinc, iron and calcium) and vitamins. Beware of its consumption because they have a high caloric content.
- Vegetables: it is recommended to eat 3-5 servings daily. They are beneficial because they are low in calories and provide a lot of nutrients such as fiber, magnesium, iron, provitamin A, vitamin C. Keep in mind that in all plants, the leaves have more vitamins when they are more external.
- Fruits: we should eat 2-5 servings per day. These foods are very beneficial because they are low in calories and provide us with a lot of nutrients like folate, magnesium, fiber and antioxidants.
- Cereals: the recommended amount is 6-11 servings daily. It can be consumed as bread, pasta or rice. These foods provide us complex carbohydrates, vegetable protein, vitamins B1 and B2, and minerals. It is recommended to avoid the bakery by the high amount of saturated fats and sugars it has.
Tips for a balanced diet
- Moderate the consumption of animal fat
- Moderate the consumption of sugary soft drinks
- Choose low-fat dairy
- Moderate the consumption of convenience foods
- Drink at least two liters of water per day
- Respect the five meals
Example of a balanced diet
- Breakfast: orange juice, 1 cup of milk and 60 grams of cereal
- Midmorning: nonfat yogurt with fruit
- Lunch: a bowl of rice with vegetables, tortilla chips, 40 grams of bread and fruit
- Snack: 2-fat yogurt and 2 slices of bread with jam
- Dinner: Fish with vegetables, 40 grams of bread and a serving of fruit for dessert
Follow these tips for a balanced diet and do not forget to do physical activity.