A diet that contains the proper proportions of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water necessary to maintain good health.
A balanced diet includes
Plenty of fruit and vegetables.
According to NHS guidelines, getting your five-a-day means eating at least five 80 g portions of fruit and vegetables – which is easier than you might think. Fresh, canned, dried, and frozen vegetables all count towards this aspect of a healthy balanced diet, and it’s simple to up your intake by stirring vegetables into stews, curries, soups, and casseroles, or topping your breakfast, snack, or dessert with a portion of fruit.
The main exception to the five-a-day rule is potatoes – they are considered starchy foods (see below).
Starchy foods, including bread, pasta, rice, grains, and potatoes.
In the balanced diet chart, starchy foods cover about a third of overall food consumption. Providing energy and essential nutrients, starchy foods can also be a good source of fibre, particularly the wholegrain or brown varieties and potatoes eaten with their skins. Studies on oats suggest that a daily intake of 3g beta-glucan (a kind of fibre found in oats) can lower cholesterol as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle*.
Non-dairy protein, including fish, pulses, nuts, eggs, and meat.
Protein contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscles. When it comes to maintaining a desirable cholesterol level, the type of fat contained in the protein we eat is important. Nuts and oily fish are good sources of unsaturated fat, which can help reduce cholesterol levels when used as a replacement for saturated fats as part of a healthy balanced diet.*
Foods within this group can also be a great source of fibre: pulses (such as beans, lentils, and peas) and nuts are all good options for increasing the amount of fibre in your diet.
Milk and other dairy foods.
Milk and other dairy products like cheese, cream, and butter are also good sources of protein or minerals like calcium, but are often high in saturated fat – especially full fat variants. For a healthy balanced diet, opt for reduced fat or reduced saturated fat versions, such as skimmed milk or vegetable oil based soft spreads.
Fat and sugar.
As you can see from the healthy balanced diet pie chart above, visible fat (fat you can see, such as oils, butter, or the fat you can cut off meat) and sugar should account for a quite small portion of our overall diet.
Fats supply us with energy and essential fatty acids the body needs, but cannot produce. However – as with the “invisible fat” found in other kinds of food – the visible types of fat we eat need to be as good as possible. Total fat and total saturated fat intake through our diet needs to be within the recommended limits.
Factor Effecting Balance Diet
According to the NHS:
The average man should eat under 30g of saturated fat a day, 95g of fat in total.The average woman should eat under 20g of saturated fat a day, 70g of fat in total.
People who have a lower income are more likely to eat unhealthy foods, points out the British Food Standards Agency. They are less likely to choose whole grains and fresh foods, and more likely to indulge in soda and processed foods. Unfortunately, unhealthy foods are often the most affordable, leading low-income families into a life of unhealthy eating and obesity along with poverty.
A time-crunched schedule can lead people to make poor diet choices, sacrificing healthy foods for quick and convenient ones. A working mother who is short on time, working outside of the home and running errands may stop at a fast food restaurant to feed her children, whereas someone who has less responsibility has more time to cook wholesome foods from scratch.
If your parents always cooked you comforting but fatty meals, there’s a good chance that those are the foods that you love and are comfortable with. Your parents and family life are a lead factor in your diet choices, as some of your food preferences were likely formed when you were a small child. Your preferences are then passed onto your children, which is why it is so important to choose healthy foods to perpetuate a cycle of healthy eating.
A study completed by Cambridge University found that education was a factor in the diet of choice. In fact, 59 percent of middle-aged, educated individuals ate a healthy diet, while only 47 percent of older, less-educated individuals ate healthily. Education, especially when it comes to education of health sciences and food choices, is an important way to learn about healthy diets and caring for your body.
The older you become, the less likely you are to indulge in an unhealthy diet, notes the Journal of the American Diabetic Association. When you’re young, you’re likely to eat a diet of foods high in sugar, saturated fats and artificial flavorings; however, older people eat fewer convenience and junk foods. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that the older you are, the better your diets are overall.
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