Balanced Diet: Definition, Benefits & Diet Chart | Sparsh Hospital

Published in : Nutrition | July 4, 2024 |

Balanced Diet - Definition, Importance, Benefits & Diet Chart

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What is a Balance Diet?

A balanced diet is often ignored but is one of the most essential components of a healthy lifestyle. It provides the body with the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to function optimally.

It is a way of eating that ensures a person receives all the essential nutrients they need to maintain good health without consuming too much or too little of any one nutrient.

A balanced diet is not about depriving oneself of or following restrictive eating plans. Instead, it is about making mindful choices and incorporating various nutrient-dense foods into daily meals and snacks.

By adopting a balanced diet, individuals can experience multiple benefits that positively impact their overall well-being.

What Are The Proven Benefits of Eating a Balanced Diet?

In adults:

A balanced diet offers many benefits for adults.

  • First, it supports a healthy immune system, effectively keeping your body safe against infections and illnesses.
  • Second, it can aid in maintaining a healthy weight, as it provides the body with the optimal amount of calories and nutrients, preventing excessive weight gain or loss.
  • Furthermore, a balanced diet has been linked to improved heart health, reducing the risk of diseases, high blood pressure, and stroke.
  • Studies suggest that it can also help to optimise blood glucose levels, thus helping individuals with or at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Lastly, a balanced diet can enhance cognitive function, concentration, memory, and overall mental well-being. A balanced diet can support healthy brain development and function by providing the brain with the necessary nutrients.

In Children:

Highlighting the importance of a balanced diet in children, Ms. Sheela Joseph, Consultant Nutrition, at SPARSH Hospital, says that a well-rounded diet ensures children receive the essential nutrients to support their physical, cognitive, and emotional development.

  • A balanced diet can help your children maintain an optimal body weight, reducing the risk of childhood obesity and the associated health problems.
  • It also supports the development of strong bones and teeth and improves the immune system.
  • Moreover, a balanced diet can improve children’s academic performance by providing the necessary fuel for their brains to function optimally.
  • It can also positively impact their mood, behaviour, and overall well-being, as proper nutrition is closely linked to mental health.

Essential Components of A Balanced Diet

A healthy and balanced diet consists of several essential components that work together to provide the body with the necessary nutrients. These components include:

1. Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source and should comprise 45-65% of one’s daily caloric intake. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are readily available sources of complex carbohydrates.

2. Proteins:

Proteins are the building blocks of our body and are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. They should make up 10-35% of one’s daily caloric intake. Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, and dairy products are good protein sources.

3. Fats:

Fats are responsible for hormonal synthesis, nutrient absorption and other essential body functions. They should comprise 20-35% of one’s daily caloric intake. Healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil, are recommended.

4. Vitamins and Minerals:

Vitamins and minerals are key to your overall health and well-being. Easily available items like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains are full of these essential elements.

5. Fibre:

Fibre promotes a feeling of fullness and maintains a healthy digestive system. They are abundant in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

6. Hydration:

Staying hydrated by drinking an optimal amount of water is essential to a balanced diet, as it supports various bodily functions.

By incorporating these essential components in the right proportions, individuals can create a balanced diet that meets their unique nutritional requirements and supports their overall health and well-being.

Foods to Avoid For a Healthy Balanced Diet

While a balanced diet emphasises including nutrient-dense foods in your meals, it is also essential to be mindful of the foods that should be limited or avoided for optimal health. These include:

  • Processed and Fried Foods:

Foods high in saturated and trans fats, such as baked goods, fried foods, and processed snacks, can contribute to weight gain, higher cholesterol levels, and an increased risk of chronic diseases.

  • Added Sugar:

Excessive consumption of added sugars, found in sweetened beverages, candies, and baked goods, can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • Refined Carbohydrates:

White bread, pasta, and other refined grains lack the fibre and nutrients found in their whole-grain counterparts and can spike blood sugar levels.

  • Excessive Alcohol:

Consuming alcohol in moderation is generally acceptable, but excessive alcohol intake can have negative impacts on overall health and well-being.

  • High-sodium Foods:

Processed and canned foods often contain high amounts of sodium, contributing to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues.

Individuals can boost their overall health by limiting or avoiding these food products and focusing on a balanced diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense ingredients.

7 Days Balanced Indian Diet Chart

To help individuals achieve a balanced diet, a 7-day meal plan that incorporates a variety of nutrient-dense foods can be helpful:

Day Breakfast Mid-Meal Snack Lunch Dinner
Monday Oatmeal with berries and nuts 1 cup Fruit salad Grilled chicken salad with 1 cup rice
1 cup moong dal, 1 cup vegetable, 2 chapati, and salad
2 Chapati and vegetable curry
Tuesday Scrambled eggs with whole-wheat toast 1 cup Fruit salad or roasted lotus seeds Lentil and vegetable curry with brown rice 2 Chapati and fish curry or your favourite vegetable
Wednesday Poha and raita 1 cup Fruit salad or nuts Grilled chicken with rice
1 cup white chana, 1 cup rice, 1 chapatti, and salad
Quinoa and vegetable stir-fry with tofu
1 cup tofu curry and 2 chapati
Thursday 2 besan cheela and 1 cup curd 1 cup Fruit salad or nuts Vegetable & bean soup with a side of whole-grain crackers 1 cup fish curry or 1 cup matar mushroom curry and 2 chapati
Friday Avocado toast on whole-wheat bread with a side of sliced cucumber
Peas and dalia pulao
1 cup Fruit salad or roasted lotus seeds Grilled chicken kebabs or mixed vegetables and brown rice
Daal and brown rice
1 cup palak paneer and 2 chapati
Saturday Smoothie with mixed berries, spinach, and chia seeds
1 bowl Upma and raita
1 cup Fruit salad or nuts Fish curry or paneer gravy with 2 chapati Roasted vegetable and quinoa
Sunday Egg and whole-wheat toast
3 pcs idli with a bowl of sambar
1 cup fruit salad or roasted lotus seeds Grilled chicken, 1 cup rice
Mixed vegetables, 1 cup raita, and 2 chapati
Baked salmon and brown rice
1 cup soy bean curry and 2 chapati

This 7-day balanced diet chart provides a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. By following the above diet plan, individuals can ensure they are getting the vital nutrients their bodies need to thrive.

Remember, it is always recommended to consult an expert before starting a particular diet, especially if someone is suffering from an underlying disease.


Ms. Sheela Joseph

Consultant Nutrition

5 Mins Read

Categories: Nutrition

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