There are many balanced diets and one is not necessarily better than another.
Here you will find general guidelines on how balanced diets are constructed.
The advantage of balanced diets is that they allow you to maintain weight control naturally rather than having to resort to fad or crash diets.
What are Balanced Diets?
Most nutrition professionals agree that balanced diets are based on three basic concepts:
Most health professionals recommend a diet consisting of a balance as follows:
· Carbohydrate: 55-65%
· Protein: 10-15%
· Fats Up to 30%
Many dieting programs are successful simply because they are very good at helping people learn to plan their food portion size - as the feeling of fullness in the stomach can take as long as twenty minutes to register to the brain.
Moderation, therefore, involves learning the difference between hunger satisfaction and fullness.
Generally the accepted norm is that meals should be at least 3 - 5 times a day and this will have the affect of decreasing hunger pangs and the need to over eat.
All healthy diets involve the inclusion of several food-types.
The primary reason for this is by including a wide-variety of foods, you increase your chances of obtaining the required amounts of essential nutrients.
It is a well-known fact that vitamin and mineral composition is food-specific, so you need to eat a wide variety of foods to get all the essential nutrients for overall health and vitality.
Variation also helps to avoid food-boredom, and allows you to enjoy a variety of different foods.
The Composition of a Balanced Diet:
. Fruit and Vegetables
Eating healthily means at least 5 portions a day - this includes frozen, canned, dried and pure juices as well as fresh. Also included in this group are beans, including baked beans, pulses and lentils.
· Bread, Cereals, and Potatoes
In this group you should also aim for 5 portions daily.
This group includes breakfast cereals, pasta, rice, noodles, oats, bread and potatoes.
You should aim to include at least one food from this group at each meal.
· Dairy Foods
In this group, 2-3 servings daily is the recommended healthy eating level.
Milk, cheese, yogurt are examples of foods to be included, but go easy on butter, eggs and cream.
· Meat, Fish, and Alternatives
In this group aim for 2-3 servings daily.
This group includes eggs, poultry, meat and fish products such as beef burgers and fishcakes.
Some of these products can be high in fat - so you should choose lower fat versions of products, and trim fat from meat and poultry.
Alternatives are non-meat sources of protein such as nuts, tofu, mycoprotein, textured vegetable protein and kidney beans.
· Foods Containing Fat, and Foods Containing Sugar
Eat these in small quantities only.
These are foods high in fat and/or sugar.
Butter, mayonnaise, cream, crisps and fried foods are high in fat.