There is a famous saying- ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. But besides the fact that it rhymes, which makes it fun to say and easy to recall, does it really have any value? Let’s just be realistic it’s not apple that keeps doctor away, it’s “Good nutrition- an adequate, well-balanced diet combined with regular physical activity- is a cornerstone of good health” (World Health Organization).
Let’s understand balanced diet and some tips to make it lifestyle to boost immunity, help support a healthy weight and help prevent chronic diseases like obesity or diabetes and live a healthy life.
A diet that provides all the essential nutrients required by the body for effective functioning is known as a balanced diet. Eating a variety of food from all food groups most of days provide us all essential nutrients. Just to make this simple, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a new food guide, MyPlate.
The My Plate logo divides a plate into four sections for vegetables, fruits, grains (whole), and proteins (pulses, egg and meat) with a fifth smaller plate to one side for dairy. The fruit and vegetable portions make up half of the plate to emphasize the recommendation to include fruits and vegetables as half of every meal.
Starting something is easy. Maintaining it over time is the most difficult task. But, here’s a quick checklist to help you continue with a healthy diet.
1.Eat less but more frequently – up to five-six times a day, with three main meals and two healthy snacks. Don’t starve, it never does any good.
2.Try to get the major nutrients from each meal by eating meal including all food groups.
3.Eat home cooked simple food.
4.Limit salt and sugar intake. Replace processed, packaged food with fruits, nuts, and fresh food.
5.Control your water balance; drink 1.5-2 liters of water daily.
6.Be physically active.
7.Don’t eat late at night. Save the last meals for three hours prior to sleep. Choose light foods for dinner.
8.Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol.
9.Last but not the least: sleep well.
Food has a positive effect on us when we listen to our body and not just our taste-buds. A healthy diet, with exercise, good sleep, and positive thinking can comprise a balanced diet in its truest sense.