Good nutrition does not have to be difficult. From getting the daily calorie intake to drinking more water, most know the basics of a balanced diet. However, the source of daily calories is as important as the amount of calories we consume, and that is where the equation gets a bit more complicated.
A balanced diet is important because organs and tissues need proper nutrition to function effectively. Without good nutrition, our body is more prone to diseases, infections, fatigue and poor performance. Children with a poor diet are at risk of growth and development problems and poor academic performance, and poor eating habits can persist for the rest of their lives.
A healthy diet should provide the right amount of energy (calories or kilojoules) of food and drinks to maintain energy balance. The energy balance is where the calories taken from the diet are equal to the calories used by the body. We need these calories to carry out daily tasks such as walking and moving, but also for all the functions of the body we don’t even think about. Processes such as breathing, pumping blood around the body and thinking also require calories.RELATED
As the graduate in Nutrition Delfina Fahey (MP 3438) could explain to Infobae, a balanced diet should be sufficient, complete, harmonious and adequate for each individual. “Food intakes must be neat and it is important not to skip meals,” he said.
By eating a balanced diet, people can get the nutrients and calories they need and avoid eating junk food or food with no nutritional value. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) used to recommend following a food pyramid. However, as nutritional science has changed, they now recommend eating foods from the main groups and building a balanced dish.
For the nutritionist Paula Analía Basili, creator of Poulin, an ideal office tool for nutritionists, so that our food is complete, you must have all the food groups and to make it easier to understand we talk about dishes, because the most everyday thing is serve the preparations or what we consume in them.
“For a dish to be complete, it must have 4 food groups and it can be in the following distribution: 1/2 vegetable dish always (raw, cooked or a mix) that will provide us with fibers, water, vitamins and minerals; 1/4 plate carbohydrates, here we group the cereals (wheat, corn, rice, quinoa, flour such as pie dough or pasta and legumes; dried peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas, in addition to potatoes, sweet pota toes and corn, not for being a cereal but for the amount of starch they contain; 1/4 protein: lean meat (low fat), vaccine, skinless chicken, fish, pork or as an egg or cheese replacement; and 1 serving of fat : oil (1 tbsp for half a plate of vegetables), ”said the expert.
According to USDA recommendations, half a person’s plate should consist of fruits and vegetables. The other half must be composed of grains and proteins. They recommend accompanying each meal with a serving of low-fat dairy or another source of the nutrients found in dairy products. The same specialists recommend limiting the consumption of empty calories, that is, those that provide little or no nutritional value. The USDA defines empty calories as the calories that come from sugars and solid fats, such as butter and butter.
“We demolish the myth that meats are not combined with flour or rice or pasta. Why? Because the problem is not that they are consumed together, the importance is in balancing the quantity. They can be combined but in fair quantities. So can you have a sandwich for lunch? Of course, you just have to check its size and what proportion of vegetables it has, ”Basili said.
Regarding its benefits, the specialist warned: “Vegetables provide fiber and volume, this makes us more satiety, in addition to providing water, vitamins and mining. Whole grains, provide us with fiber, this allows them to be digested in a slower way and prevents spikes of blood glucose in addition to feeling more satiety. The meats provide us with complete proteins, of good quality and saturated fats so we have to choose the ones with less content. The oils provide healthy fats, which favor cardiovascular health, lowering the bad cholesterol and increasing the good ”.
1. Breakfast: a true source of nutritional power
It is a meal that, done correctly, can be a true source of nutritional power. “With a good breakfast we face the day better, we avoid hunger and the consumption of foods of high energy density, with the contribution of sugars and fats, associated with an increase in body mass index, waist circumference and obesity,” he said. Fahey
When a diet is delicious and healthy, it is worth following. The Mediterranean diet, for example, includes many fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, cereals, beans, peas and other legumes, and unsaturated fats in the form of olive oil.
3. Opt for healthier snacks
Often, all we really crave when we feel like a snack is just that something sweet or salty. It is better to satisfy that desire with fresh fruit, olives, pickles or a cup of homemade vegetable soup instead of looking for packages of chips or chocolate chip cookies. Healthy snacks, such as dried fruits, contribute to a balanced diet.
“To choose healthy snacks,” said the expert, “it is necessary to prioritize the quality of the food to be consumed, in this case I am talking about selecting those crunchy foods, high in fiber, that provide satiety, the best options are fresh fruits, fruits dried and cereal bars, if possible homemade. ”
4. Consider buying online
It is very easy to be tempted to get off the list in the supermarket and succumb to processed foods, treats, and unhealthy soft drinks. When we place an order online, we are less inclined to buy on impulse. We can think about what you are asking for, far from the psychological tricks of supermarkets to make us buy things.
5. Do not skip meals if you can
When we skip a meal, we are likely to feel hungry, tired and tempted to buy some take-out food loaded with fat and sugar on the way home instead of cooking a nutritious meal. Carrying some fruits or nuts on top could mean that we at least have something healthy to snack when we need it. With the best will in the world, we are all busy and sometimes we just don’t have time to eat properly.
6. Batch cook and freeze
Frozen foods are as good as fresh ones. Fish, vegetables and many prepared healthy foods can be cooked quickly frozen. You can also batch cook your favorite healthy foods and freeze them in individual portions.
7. Choose whole grains
Eating a lot of dietary fiber can help keep the composition of our intestinal microbiota varied and well nourished, which can have a positive effect on our health. Whole grains are an excellent source of that dietary fiber; and vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, phytochemicals and other good things that are otherwise eliminated when grains are processed. We also digest whole grains more slowly so that we feel full longer.
8. Enjoy the food!
In a healthy and balanced diet, no food is completely prohibited. It’s a matter of balance: if we try to eat healthy most of the time, the occasional indulgence will make no difference.