Having a balanced diet can prevent many health problems that include heart diseases and even some types of cancers. One of the benefits of taking a well-balanced diet is that you are able to maintain healthy weight, which in turn has several benefits.
You can follow the guidelines given in the Food Pyramid or the Vegetarian Food Pyramid for getting nutrition from all the main food groups. It would not be advisable to take to fad diets for losing weight. This is because some categories of foods essential for your health are excluded from these diets.
A balanced diet means the right proportion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates and their various components.
This is explained in detail below…
Complex vs. Simple Carbohydrate
There are two types of carbohydrates â€“ complex carbohydrates and sugars. The first ones are found in potatoes, cereals and pulses. Sugars can be found in fruits and vegetables, and also in cakes, candies and other sweets. You should aim to have more of complex carbohydrates as well as fruits and vegetables. Having sweets such as candies should be avoided as they are not the healthy forms of carbohydrates.
If you must, have them along with meals to avoid staining of teeth. Whole grain, high fibre or brown variety of rice, chapattis, oats, corn and maize millet dishes, pasta, bread and breakfast cereals should be preferred for complex carbohydrate content. Sweet potatoes, green bananas, lentils, plantains and beans are some fruits and vegetables that contain healthy sugar. 30 to 40 percent of the food you eat should be comprised of carbohydrates. Since it is a source of energy, you can work out how much your body needs based on your level of physical activity.
We need protein for building our body tissues and also their repair. Proteins are built in the body by amino acids. Some of the rich sources of protein are pulses, nuts, milk, yoghurt, cheese and milk. Meat, fish and eggs also contain protein but they also contain saturated fats. Non-animal protein-rich foods mentioned above give you various nutrients that are not provided by foods with an animal source. If you reduce the amount of animal products in your diet, the chances of heart diseases decline. 15 percent of total calories intake of your diet should come from protein. It works out to be about 40 to 50 grams of daily food intake.
Managing Fats and Sugars
You need to take the following in moderation – butter, low-fat spreads including low-fat spreads, cooking oils, Margarine, salad dressings in oil, biscuits, mayonnaise, cream, crisps, chocolate, pastries, puddings, cakes, ice cream, heavy sauces and oily gravies.
You can eat fat but look out for the low-fat alternatives. You should avoid high sugary foods and drinks because they contain ingredients that cause tooth decay. Some amount of fats in food stuff such as margarine, butter, salad dressing in oil, mayonnaise and some others should be taken. This is important because maintaining a minimum level of fat in your body is desirable. But given the current trend of obesity, it is prudent to stick to low-fat versions of all your fatty foods.
If you follow the weight loss diet advice mentioned above, you can save yourself from the trouble of gaining excess weight. With conscious effort to maintain the weight loss diet plan, you can prevent the onset of many lifestyle diseases.
Chart Your Calorie Intake!
You would do well to maintain a calorie chart and mark down your calorie consumption and the amount of various nutrients, i.e. carbohydrates, fats and proteins you had. This would help you stick to your weight loss diet.