Essential Foods For A Balanced Diet

We are all familiar with the notion of eating right. There is so much information about all sorts of healthy foods and their calorie values. There is enough being written about how vitamins are good for us and what are the rich sources of this nutrient. But rarely do we get to know the approximate quantity that is required by human body on daily basis. What makes a balanced diet? To make it a little simple let’s get an overview of what should make your daily dietary intake.

The key nutrients that are required for smooth functioning of the diet are proteins, fat, fiber, minerals, iron, carbohydrates, vitamins and calcium. A diet that includes all these essential nutrients, in proper portion, is known as a balanced diet. Based on the average calorie requirement for a male weighing 60 kilograms it is 2700 and for a female weighing 55 kilograms it is 2100.

Different age and lifestyles demand more intakes of certain nutrients to counter the deficiency and restore the balance. The following is the list of essential foods and nutrients that are recommended in the general dietary intake for an average person –

Chapatti/Rice: Carbohydrate is the most important fuel for human body. It is the refined carbohydrates like sugar, white bread, sodas and other processed foods that make you gain weight and make you prone to diabetes and heart diseases. A daily meal should consist of 4-5 portions of carbohydrates in a day.

Milk or Dairy Products: Dairy is an essential for calcium, protein, phosphorous and magnesium. In fact some recent studies even suggest that dairy can help you cut belly fat. A minimum serving of 1-2 glasses of dairy is required every single day.

Vegetables: Vegetables are the most important part of a balanced diet. A minimum of 3-5 servings of vegetables are required daily to get minerals, fiber, iron and most vitamins. The fiber in vegetables also helps regulate the use of sugars in human body while helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check. Eating vegetables is also linked to weight loss.

Fruits: One should eat at least 2 fruits a day to fulfill the requirement of vitamins in human body. Fruits besides providing essential vitamins boost immunity to keep away from infections with its anti-oxidant properties to destroy free radical.

Pulses/Poultry and Other Meat: They are the main source of protein. If you believe in the myth that eating extra protein will add muscle mass then you are wrong. The human body rather process according to the requirement of the muscle and the extra protein gets saved as fat in the fat cells. 2-3 servings are more than sufficient for daily protein intake.

Water: Human body is 70-75% water and forms the bulk of blood and tissue fluid and is therefore essential for transporting nutrients, hormones and waste products around the body. Water is also essential to help digest the food and generate the energy required for body movements and other physical activities. Minimum of 10-12 glasses are important for normal functioning of the body.

Fat: Extremely important for absorption of vitamins in the body. It also helps maintain the elasticity of skin. A person requires at least 4-5 teaspoons of oil/butter every day. So for all those people who consider fat as their enemy should start reconsider and add it to their diet. In fact the real enemies are the Trans-fat and Saturated fat usually found in processed food. Fat can also help you improve memory and build muscle.

What To Look For In A Healthy Weight Loss Diet

These days, people are considering the benefits of healthy nutrition for overall wellness, but they don’t necessarily know how to combine good eating habits with a weight loss plan. The information that is available about dieting is somewhat overwhelming, and deciding on a diet plan can be a daunting task.

In some diets, fat consumption is acceptable as long as you avoid carbohydrates. Then there are other diets that allow carbohydrates, but restrict fat intake. There are a plethora of diets to choose from: meat diets, vegetarian diets, and diets where one eats a single food (i.e., the cabbage soup diet).

Most people know that fad diets are not a good plan. You may lose weight quickly, but over the long term, they are not necessarily healthy and you probably will not keep the weight off for good. When you finish one of those diets, you usually gain back the weight — even worse, you usually gain back extra!

So, how do you figure out which diet is best for you? Knowing what makes up a healthy diet is vital. If you want to have a healthy diet, keep in mind that disallowing certain foods or food groups entirely is counterproductive. The reason for this is that your body needs different foods to stay healthy.

Smaller portions are vital to weight loss. For instance, if you are out for a special occasion and want to have a cheeseburger, have only a regular one, not a double cheeseburger — and leave off the bacon. You can fill yourself up with a little yogurt or a salad.

Although it is vital to control your portions, you must avoid starving yourself. This will actually make your weight loss slower by slowing down your metabolism. Your body will be tricked into thinking it’s starving and, instead of letting you lose the fat by burning it, it will store it.

A healthy diet should include 3 meals per day. There are some weight loss plans that suggest you eat four to five small meals daily. This lets you lose weight and improve your health while avoiding being hungry. If your weight loss plan leaves you feeling constantly hungry, you will probably give up.

Physical activity is another essential element for any diet. In order to lose weight in a healthy way, you will need to reduce the amount of food that you eat and increase your physical activity. An hour-long walk or a ten minute exercise routine a few times each week will surely help you to lose weight quicker and feel healthier.

When you are just getting started, it is important to avoid working out too strenuously. You risk pulling a muscle or suffering a major injury.

Before beginning any diet or exercise routine, it is wise to get your doctor’s advice to make sure that you are healthy enough to do so. After you are told that it is safe to proceed, you can begin shedding the pounds and living a healthier life.

Importance Of Healthy Dieting

When you are trying to lose weight without proper supervision as most people do, you end up having poor nutrition. The downside of having poor nutrition is that sometimes instead of losing weight, you gain more, have mood swings, and become highly stressed. Before you get on a diet, you should at least know the importance of dieting and why it should be healthy.

Better physical shape and live healthy

For obvious reasons, it should be healthy so that you will be in good physical shape as well. If you get very careful about your intake of sugars, salt and fat, and start including plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and a lot more healthy foods in your diet, you will definitely have better health. You will also be granted a stronger immune system, fewer mood swings, and reduced stress caused by illnesses or poor overall health.

More energy

Having a healthy diet can also give you more energy, which is very useful with how fast everything is going nowadays. Changing diets may seem tough for most people, but overtime, when you start seeing the positive results, everything would seem so easy. When you are maintaining the proper diet, you can save a lot, not just financially, but also in terms of your physical condition. You can save more money since the more you take care of yourself, the less medical bills you have to pay.

What is the meaning of “proper dieting”?

A lot of people do not even know what proper dieting means anymore. When you mention the word “diet”, they just think about losing weight and all the other diet plans out there. Most people neglect the fact that diet actually means having a nutritional meal plan everyday.

Healthy eating habits

The best diet a person can have is one that is well-balanced, meaning you have to have good servings of food from the main food groups, a lot of water, and a very limited consumption of junk foods that are high in salt, sugar and saturated fats. Sounds simple, right? Changing your eating habits may mean no more pizza or Chinese food every night, or gorging when you are over at your friends’ houses. It’s nice to indulge in these simple pleasures every now and then, but when you start to do it all the time, your health has nowhere to go but down.

People, especially the young ones, think that they don’t need to watch what they are eating because they feel healthy. They are not willing to give up their bad eating habits. Only when they no longer feel healthy will they start going around looking for fast remedies.

Enough Exercise

Dieting is something that every individual should take seriously. Every person has different speed of metabolism, eating preferences, and activity levels. When you diet, you have to seek out healthy living. Healthy living also includes getting enough exercise. So if you want to be in your best shape ever, get on the right track and start today.

Infant Health Dependent On Mother’s Diet And Lifestyle

“You should not wait until you have conceived a baby. You need to start having a healthy eating plan right now. Consuming food that is healthy before you get pregnant can help you to make sure that you, and the child 217within your womb, are properly supplied with the nutrients that you both require.

How much energy does a pregnant woman need?

For a woman who is not pregnant, the calorie requirement per day is 2100 calories. A woman who is pregnant, her pregnant diet requires, daily, about 2500 calories. This means that a woman who is pregnant needs to eat 400 calories more that when she was not pregnant.

Food Pregnant Women Should Eat

A woman who is pregnant needs to have a well-balanced pregnant diet that includes all the major food groups. Best food for pregnant women include fruit and vegetables, dairy, fish, eggs, meat, carbohydrates and fats. About 10% of her calorie intake needs to come from proteins that are commonly found in eggs, dairy products, beans, meat and fish.About 35% of her calories need to come from fat which can be found in oils, dairy products like butter and margarine, and from nuts.The remaining 55% of her calories needed in her pregnant diet need to be sourced from carbohydrate rich foods like pasta, potato, bread, corn, rice and other grain products.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals During Pregnancy

For a woman who is pregnant, getting the right supply of vitamins and minerals is very crucial for her and her baby’s health. The vitamins and minerals commonly required by pregnant women are:

1. Folic Acid or Vitamin B9 – prevents defects in the neural tube. A pregnant woman needs 400 micrograms of this vitamin as a supplement daily which can be found in barley, lentils, fruit, orange juice, rice and peas.

2. Iron or Ferrous Sulfate – needed for blood production. Sources of iron include spinach, broccoli, strawberries, whole wheat bread and muesli.

3. Calcium and Zinc – for embryonic development. These minerals can be obtained by consuming a balanced diet.

Things That Must Be Avoided During Pregnancy

There are things to avoid during pregnancy and that includes the consumption of Vitamin A as it may cause damage to the embryo. Foods that have large amounts of Vitamin A include liver. Unpasteurized cheeses like blue-veined cheeses, and pate should also be avoided to prevent diseases like Listeria.
Other things to avoid during pregnancy include:

1. Stress
2. Tobacco smoke or smoking
3. Alcohol
4. OTC (over-the-counter) medication including Aspirin
5. Caffeine
6. Fish containing mercury (shark, king mackerel, swordfish, fresh tuna, tilefish, and sea bass)

Exercise is Important

Exercise is good both for the pregnant woman and her baby. The benefits of exercise include:

1.Fewer complaints of constipation and backache
2. Avoiding excess weight
3.Less risk of gestational diabetes
4. Less difficulty during labor
5.Quicker recovery time after giving birth”

Eating Out And Staying Healthy

Are you one of the many American families that love to eat out at your favorite restaurants? If so, then you probably think that this lifestyle is not good for a healthy diet and most of the time this assumption is right, but you can still dine out occasionally and still be able to maintain a healthy diet. What it all boils down to is making smart choices in the foods that you eat and knowing the nutritional values of the food that you need to stay happy, physically fit, mentally stable and live an active life.

The first thing that you should do while eating out is to not order a drink. It is very tempting to order a glass of beer or some other mixed beverage for dinner, but the problem with these are that they have many empty calories which are not good for your body. One of the exceptions to the rule when it comes to alcohol is wine. Red wine has been proven to actually prevent heart disease in some people. Always remember, you should only drink one glass and no more. When I go out to a restaurant, I always order a cold glass of water which is much better for your body and your wallet.

You should also not order any appetizers unless it is part of the salad bar. The problem with these foods are that they are usually high-fat foods that are not designed to fill you up and they can even cause you to crave even more high-fat foods. Some of the well known appetizers are mozzarella sticks, potato skins, and wings. Try to focus on your main course meal and if you must have an appetizer, share the single portion with your dinner guests.

Before you order your main dish, make sure that you know the ingredients in the meal. Dishes with cream sauces or high fat meats should be avoided and it is not a smart choice to order potatoes or onion rings. Instead, order some type of vegetables with your meal or just order the main course when possible.

One of the most important things is the size of your meal. If possible, try to order off the lunch menu as those portions are much smaller then the dinner portions. You should always ask your waiter for a doggie bag at the beginning of your meal. This way, you can split your meal in half and not be tempted to eat the whole entire meal in one setting. Usually, you will get enough food for two or three portions in one meal.

The last thing and probably one of the hardest things that you should do is to skip dessert. If you feel that you must order dessert, then split the single portion with your dinner party or split it in half. Some of the desserts that are served in restaurants contain more calories then your whole meal, so think twice before you decide to indulge yourself at the end of your meal. There are times when all of us tend to cheat a little when it comes to eating and that is completely normal, but healthy eating requires a lot of will power and commitment.

I hope that you found this information useful and if you would like more information on ways to live healthy, then please visit my healthy living web site where you will find great information to help you live a long and healthy life.