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Diet Plans and Programs Balanced Diet

Balanced Diet

A balanced diet doesn’t exclude any food groups, but it’s crucial to be informed about choices, especially when dealing with “energy-rich but nutrient-poor” options. There’s no universal diet as nutritional needs differ among individuals. The key is adopting a holistic approach, ensuring your diet embraces all essential food groups while minimizing intake of unhealthy elements. This personalized and well-rounded strategy is a solid foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

Definition

A balanced diet offers the body the right mix of nutrients for growth, health, and disease prevention. It meets energy needs, guards against deficiencies, and boosts immunity.

Why Is A Balanced Diet Important?

Eating a balanced diet keeps you healthy and feeling your best. For most people, diverse foods provide all the necessary nutrients without the need for additional supplements.

  1. Helps Control Weight: Fad diets come and go, but a balanced diet is the key to long-term weight control.
  2. Prevents Diseases and Infections: Safeguard yourself against chronic diseases and build a strong immune system with the vitamins and minerals in a balanced diet.
  3. Improves Your Mental Health: Studies suggest a link between diet and mental health, with a balanced diet promoting good mood and hormonal balance.
  4. Maintain Brain Health: Consistently following a balanced diet may protect against cognitive decline and dementia, thanks to essential nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Benefits Of Eating A Balanced Diet

A balanced meal supplies the body with essential nutrients for growth and repair.

Benefits of Healthy Eating for Adults:

  1. Boosts immunity
  2. Reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers
  3. Maintains a healthy weight
  4. Aids in quick recovery from diseases and trauma

Benefits of Healthy Eating for Children:

  1. Strengthens bones
  2. Supports brain development
  3. Boosts immunity
  4. Regulates growth functions

Balanced Diet Chart

A Balanced Vegetarian Diet Chart 

With careful planning, a vegetarian diet can ensure daily requirements for nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B12, healthy fats, and protein.

DayMeal
1Breakfast: Oatmeal bowl with fruit slices
Lunch: 1 cup of cooked brown rice with a bowl of dal, sabji, and salad
Snacks: 1 cup buttermilk + 5 almonds + 3 walnuts/multigrain fat-free khakra with tomato onion salad as a topping.
Dinner: 1 cup rajma + 1 cup cucumber raita + 2 chapati
2Breakfast: 2 Idlis with vegetable sambar + green tea without sugar and milk
Lunch: Low-fat paneer curry (3 pcs) + 2 roti or 1 bowl of rice + salad
Snacks: 1 cup watermelon + 5 almonds + dark chocolate (about six small pieces or two large squares)/ sprouts salad.
Dinner: 2 medium stuffed roti (vegetable/dal) + 1/2 bowl curd + salad
3Breakfast: 1 bowl of poha + 1 glass fruit yogurt smoothie (without sugar)
Lunch: Stir-fried vegetables with brown rice + roasted tofu
Snacks: 1 glass buttermilk 1 cup chana chaat/mixed vegetable tikki with curd dip.
Dinner: Stuffed eggplant + 1 cup cooked quinoa
4Breakfast: 2 besan chilla + 1 cup sprouts salad
Lunch: Vegetable rice with one bowl of soya curry
Snacks: Steamed corn with black tea or coffee/ tossed green salad with cottage cheese/ sliced apple
Dinner: Homemade vegetable burger with baked sweet potato fries
5Breakfast: Upma with chutney + bowl of cut fruit.
Lunch: 2 chapatis with a bowl of soya chunks curry + sabji + salad or 1 bowl of vegetable khichdi + 1/2 cup yogurt + sauteed soya chunks
Snacks: Fruits salad/ Boiled chickpea salad
Dinner: 1 cup quinoa with grilled veggies such as carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, broccoli and bell peppers
6Breakfast: A glass of lemon water + 2 Uttapam with coconut chutney
Lunch: A burrito bowl with brown rice, chickpea, salsa, flaxseeds, and other seasonings of your choice
Snacks: Brown bread sandwich with paneer filling/ Unsweetened fruit smoothie
Dinner: Bean soup with Greek yogurt
7Breakfast: 2 medium-sized dosa with chutney + sambar
Lunch: 2 whole wheat chapatis + mixed vegetables curry + grilled mushrooms or paneer
Snacks: Tea with less sugar and milk + 2 digestive biscuits/ whole wheat toast + mixed fruits salad
Dinner: Mixed vegetable rice with bean sprouts salad + tossed soya chunks

Foods To Eat And Avoid In A Balanced Diet

Foods To Eat

  1. Vegetables: Include leafy greens, legumes or beans, starchy vegetables, and colorful veggies in your diet.
  2. Protein: Opt for skinless poultry, lean beef and pork, fish, beans, peas, and legumes as nutritious protein sources.
  3. Dairy and Alternatives: Choose low-fat dairy and soy products like ricotta, cottage cheese, yogurt, soy, or low-fat milk.
  4. Whole Grains: Incorporate healthful whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley, and buckwheat.
  5. Fruits: Enjoy fresh fruits, not just juices—apples, berries, bananas, stone fruits, kiwi, melons, pomegranates, and other seasonal favorites.

Foods To Avoid

  1. Processed foods
  2. Refined grains
  3. Alcohol
  4. Added sugar and salt
  5. Fatty cuts of red meat and processed meat
  6. Trans and saturated fats
  7. Packaged foods and beverages

Plate Method for Balance:

  1. Half Plate: Fruits and vegetables
  2. Over One Quarter: Grains
  3. Just Under One Quarter: Protein
  4. On the Side: Dairy or a non-dairy replacement

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