How To Maintain A Balanced Diet [8 Tips]

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Most people believe that they are following a proper and balanced diet. In fact, the opposite is true: a nutrient-poor diet. Let’s see how we can structure our diet properly!

The golden rule for a healthy & balanced diet is variety and measure .

1. The portion size

Each food portion should contain foods of high nutritional value and it is good to include all the macronutrients in appropriate quantities:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fat

1/2 of the portion should include seasonal salad (raw or boiled), 1/4 starchy foods (potato, rice, legumes, spaghetti, bread) and the remaining 1/4 should be protein foods (chicken, fish, meat).

2. Fibers

The recommended intake of fibers per day is 20g – 30g or 14g per 1,000 calories. Fiber-rich foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

3. Mediterranean Diet

It includes daily consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, good fats such as virgin olive oil and unsalted nuts. It is recommended to consume low fat dairy products on a daily basis. Consumption of processed carbohydrates such as white bread, sugar, processed foods, soft drinks and alcohol should be limited. As far as the consumption of red meat (beef, pork) and white meat (poultry, fish) is concerned, you should limit it to 2-3 times a week.

4. Small and frequent meals

Studies show that small and frequent meals have multiple health benefits. Eating meals every 3-4 hours seems to contribute to better weight management, metabolism, digestion and better bowel function. The number of meals should be 5-6 in order to maintain the feeling of repletion and boost your metabolism.

Balanced Diet

5. Slow chewing

Enjoy your meals by eating and chewing slowly. According to research, fast consumption of food leads to overconsumption, and consequently a higher calorie intake and a gradual weight increase. Adopt healthier eating habits when eating (e.g., without watching TV or using a cell phone at the same time).

6. Hydration

Adequate daily hydration is essential for optimal body function. The amount of water you should consume daily depends on many factors such as physical activity, environmental temperature, health status, some chronic conditions and taking medication. The general recommendations for a healthy population state a daily consumption of 1.5 – 2 liters.

7. Nutrition rich in antioxidants

A diet that contains foods with strong antioxidant activity, vitamins and minerals can boost the immune system. The role of antioxidants in our diet is to help fight free radicals, which are natural elements and products of metabolism, and lead to the decaying of cells. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation, smoke, and air pollution are factors that trigger the production of free radicals.

The most well-known antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, beta carotene and selenium. These important micronutrients are found mainly in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, red peppers, spinach, broccoli, as well as in whole grain products and cereals.

8. Healthy body weight

Normal body weight, depending on gender and age, is considered an important health factor. A prevention indicator that shows the risk of developing some chronic diseases is the Body Mass Index – BMI. It is a simple calculation of kilos to a height of 2 and the result ranks an adult whether he has a normal weight or not. The higher this index is, the higher the chances of developing diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, etc. Body composition such as muscle mass cannot be assessed in this method. A developed muscular system occupies more weight and volume and as a result the BMI appears increased despite the fact that the person has a normal weight.

Consult a health professional such as a Dietitian-Nutritionist to make the necessary measurements regarding body composition. A simple fat measurement will assess your body fat percentage, muscle mass and body fluids.

BMI categories according to the World Health Organization

Deficient

<18.5 
kg / m 2
Normal

18.5- 24.9
kg / m 2
Overweight

25 – 29.9
kg / m 2
Obesity
type I
30 – 34.9
kg / m 2
Obesity type II
35 – 39.9 kg / m 2
Obesity type III
≥40
kg / m 2

Adopt a healthier lifestyle and diet without deprivation diets that promise fast weight loss. It is very important to maintain a healthy body weight as well as fat, depending on your gender and age.

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