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What is a Balanced Healthy Diet? Sample plan inclusive.

Maintaining a healthy balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and well-being. It is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle and is essential for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

A balanced diet is one that provides the body with all the necessary nutrients in the right quantities to maintain good health. This includes a variety of whole foods from all food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats. Consuming a variety of foods ensures that the body receives all the essential nutrients it needs to function properly.

Importance of Having a Balanced Healthy Diet.

The importance of a healthy balanced diet cannot be overstated. Here are some of the benefits of maintaining a healthy balanced diet:

  1. Improved Heart Health: A diet that is low in saturated and trans fats and high in fibre, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can lower the risk of heart disease. This is because a healthy balanced diet helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease.

  2. Healthy Weight Management: A balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and low in calories can help maintain a healthy weight. This is because whole foods are typically lower in calories than processed and junk foods, and are also more filling, which can help reduce overeating. I have written a handbook on weight management. Get it as a free tool here.

  3. Better Digestion: A diet that is high in fibre can help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. Fibre also helps to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which is important for overall gut health.

  4. Stronger Immune System: A diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can strengthen the immune system and prevent illnesses. This is because these nutrients help to support the body's natural defences against pathogens and other harmful substances.

What Makes a Balanced Diet?

When thinking of a balanced diet, it is important to consider a number of factors. These include nutrient density, variety, portion, and hydration.

Nutrient density refers to the number of nutrients that a food contains relative to its calorie content. Foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories are considered to be nutrient-dense and should make up the bulk of a healthy balanced diet.

Variety is also important when it comes to a healthy balanced diet. Eating a variety of foods from all food groups helps to ensure that the body receives all the essential nutrients it needs.

Portioning is key when it comes to consuming foods generally. Overeating will soon ruin your goal of a healthy weight and fit body. Serve your meals in small plates and packs. This will help you control how much you eat at a time. Eat in portions and never overindulge. Especially those that are high in fat, sugar, and salt. These foods should be consumed with much caution to maintain a healthy balanced diet. And avoided if there are raised risks of diseases.

Finally, hydration is essential for maintaining a healthy balanced diet. Drinking plenty of water is important for regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients, and removing waste products from the body.

What a balanced diet should look like.

Here is a five-day meal plan template to help you start your journey into eating a healthy balanced diet. This wholefood plant-based meal plan will provide all the necessary nutrients in the right quantities to maintain good health in a normal adult:

Day 1:

Breakfast: Cooked oatmeal with banana and berries topping

Snack: Mixed fruit salad

Lunch: Beans stew with flatbread

Snack: Carrot

Dinner: whole wheat spaghetti with mixed vegetables and tofu

Day 2:

Breakfast: Bread vegetable stir fry with spinach and tomatoes

Snack: Banana

Lunch: Sweet potato and black bean bowl

Snack: Oranges

Dinner: Mushroom stir fry with rice

Day 3:

Breakfast: Blueberry and banana smoothie bowl, topped with seeds and nuts

Snack: Roasted/ boiled chickpeas

Lunch: Quinoa with lentils and grilled tofu

Snack: Almonds

Dinner: Mixed vegetable salad with avocado dressing.

Day 4:

Breakfast: Overnight oats with chia seeds and berries

Snack: Apple slices with almond butter

Lunch: Chickpea and vegetable salad

Snack: Carrot sticks with hummus/peanut butter

Dinner: Lentil and vegetable stir-fry with brown rice.

Day 5:

Breakfast: Bread with avocado spread and banana

Snack: Roasted groundnuts (peanuts) or cashew nuts

Lunch: Vegetable stew served with polished rice

Snack: Fresh oranges

Dinner: Boiled plantains with vegetable stir fry

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