A balanced diet is an integral part of a human’s day to day life. In order to live a healthy and fit life , one is supposed to take a well poised diet. A balanced diet refers to the one which has all the essential nutrients required for the growth and sustenance of a human body . Also, Water is something which is given less credit but does wonders for the human body. It lubricates the joints and increases the metabolism. It boosts skin health and digestive health and it flushes out body waste as well.
Often dieting is referred to as a rigid system of only healthy foods in order to lose body weight. This is not the best definition of dieting because it is almost impossible to just eat healthy foods in the longer run. Your diet should be full of all the necessary nutrients required including carbohydrates, fats, protein . fibre and minerals.
BALANCED DIET OR DIET FAD?
There has been a huge trend of people obsessing over their weight and the want of staying thin. The term diet has transformed for many and is considered as a very strict plan to lose weight . But there need not really be a reason for you to have a diet. You can choose a diet plan to just stay fit and alter it to your preference. Being fit is not about eating only lean meats and raw unprocessed food. It is about attaining the right nutrients and in the right proportion.
This diet varies from person to person. Some people believe if their diet works for them, then everyone else should eat that way too. This is partly fueled by the media leading you to believe there may be one way of eating that is better than another. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to healthy eating.
Before indulging yourself into a diet , you should take care of a lot of things. Diets claiming that daily burnout of calories are not important do not work. Exercising is a big part of losing weight and they both work hand in hand. Also, quick weight loss is not good for your own body and is not sustainable in the long run as you are likely to regain the weight you have lost when you don’t follow the diet. Your diet should exempt you from eating what you like on a daily basis or you won’t follow it in the long run.
WHAT IS A BALANCED DIET ?
To choose a balanced diet which is sustainable , suitable and effective to oneself is essential and a tough job. You can even consult a dietician with your preferences and goals who can assist you and suggest you the best diet which can be customized to your own needs. Below are diets which are popular and effective:
- PLANT BASED DIETS
When you are following a plant based diet , you will mainly derive your nutrients from plant produce like vegetables, fruits , nuts, legumes etc. There is a common myth of confusing plant based diet with vegan diet, although plant based diet covers a huge variety of dietary patterns. These plant based diets mainly differentiate from each other on the basis of the level of animal products they consume. There are four main types of plant based diets which include:
VEGAN DIET : This diet excludes all the foods that contain meat, poultry and seafood . This diet is the most restrictive of all the diets . People resort to it because of the environmental concerns and the health benefits. There are mock meats which taste like meat available in the market. There are plenty of vegan alternatives to milk , butter and cheese as well in the market.
VEGETARIAN DIET : A vegetarian diet is a popular form of a plant-based diet which is more restrictive than a vegan diet. All types of vegetarian diets exclude meat and seafood compounds. But depending on the specific type, a vegetarian diet may allow other kinds of animal products such as dairy and eggs.
PESCATARIAN DIET : A pescatarian diet is a type of plant-based diet that is grouped together with vegetarian diets because it excludes all types of meat except for seafood.
You can have dairy and eggs according to your choice.
FLEXITARIAN DIET : A flexitarian diet is the most flexible of all diets and is sometimes known as ‘semi-vegetarian’, includes eggs and dairy and may include small amounts of meat, poultry, fish and seafood
It’s usual to think that any plant-based diet is healthier. Although , in order to make vegetarian and vegan food more nutritious or eatable , sometimes products are highly processed which is not the best way .
- MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The Mediterranean diet originates from the Mediterranean basin from the 1960s. The diet mainly comprises red meat and unprocessed food and is widely followed in the Western countries. A conventional Mediterranean diet includes a lot of olive oil that is extra virgin. It also includes a lot of leafy green veggies, fruits, cereals, nuts and legumes/pulses , moderate amounts of fish and other meat, as well as dairy and red wine and small amounts of food coming from eggs and sugary foods.
The Mediterranean balanced diet contains unprocessed and virgin plant-foods and heart-healthy fats from olive oil. It’s low in the less healthy saturated fat because less meat is eaten. This diet is considered really healthy because of the foundations of the very concept.
This diet is preferred by people with heart disease and has shown to lower the risk of heart disease in the general population as well. It improves risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels in people with a high risk of heart disease.
- LOW CARB DIET
Low carbohydrate diets consist of moderation of carbs and consumption of high healthy fat. This diet is also called a low carb \ high fat diet.Low carbohydrate diets have developed in the 1970s .Generally LCHF includes non-starchy ,vegetables ,meat ,poultry ,fish ,eggs ,nuts , seeds , full-fat dairy , natural fats (like avocado, butter) , legumes may/may not be included in some versions of this diet and fruit is usually limited. Processed food , sugar and refined carbohydrates and highly starchy foods are completely restricted .
- KETO DIET
A balanced ketogenic diet is a strict form of low carb diet that focuses on not involving any kind of carbs at all. In this type of diet , the body does not receive any kind of energy as there is a restriction on consumption of carbohydrates and hence the body moves into ketosis wherein it burns fat as there is no other way . This puts the body in shedding fat. It includes a lot of meat , eggs, cheese, nuts, fishes , oil , seeds and veggies. This diet should only be followed under guidance by a professional .
Intermittent fasting involves you eating during a fixed duration of time. There are different ways in which you practise intermittent fasting. Usually people follow this regime almost everyday by restricting their food consumption to just 8-10 hours in a day and not eating in the remaining time of the day .By this type of method your body will utilize the calories you have had throughout the day and it will lead to major burning of calories .There is one another way of Intermittent fasting and that has you eating normally on five days and then eating less on two days . This results in shedding of weight . It is essential to know the kind of foods you are allowed to eat . You cannot eat whatever you like . The time constraint adds up to this diet . The food plays an integral part and whatever goes in matters. As there is an uneven supply of food , it can cause extreme hunger , dizziness , low energy levels, headaches to many. People with diabetes should not follow this. YOU CAN EVEN HAVE A LOOK AT OUR ARTICLE ON STAYING ACTIVE DURING WINTERS HERE.