Time and again we’ve heard people say that having a good and healthy lifestyle is vital for a living longer and happier life. A “good lifestyle” consists of healthy habits and a balanced nutritious diet. Healthy habits are something that most people are aware about and choose to implement or not implement based on their comfort/ needs, but when it comes to a nutritious balanced diet, that’s not the case. Most of us are confused about a good balanced diet due to the abundance of information available on the internet. Are carbs bad? Is rice fatty? Is dairy bad for health? Etc. In this blog we are going to outline the most basic balanced diet and throw some light on the importance of a good lifestyle and a nutritious diet.
Importance of a good lifestyle and a balanced diet
- Good heart health
According to many health professionals, the rising risk of cardio vascular diseases is due to the lack of the right nutrition for the body. Some studies have shown that that it is possible to prevent up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke diagnoses with lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity and healthful eating.
Mood and Energy management
Many researches have shown that there is a direct relationship between your diet and mood. For example, diets with a high glycemic load may trigger increased symptoms of depression and fatigue. A good nutritious diet can help up your energy levels and thereby helping you get through your day with more ease.
A balanced diet is the best way to manage a healthy weight while not giving up any food group. Basically, eliminating carbs completely or avoiding dairy is not necessary to maintain a healthy weight. A nutritious balanced diet will make sure your body weight is maintained while still providing the energy required by your body to function actively.
Avoid diseases and create good foundation for future generations’ health
A well-rounded diet which include vegetables, fruits, protein etc., helps keep chronic diseases off the bay. It also helps avoid all gut, bones and teeth related health issues. Your off-springs are most likely to pick up their health-related habits from you so it is advisable to develop a habit of cooking at home more and ordering in less as that is the habit that will stick to your children as well. Consuming a balanced diet will also ensure that you do not end up transferring any disorders to your off-springs genetically.
Aid for mental health
Apart from managing your mood, a healthy diet also helps with other mental health related issues. For example, it is proven that people who eat a nutritious diet sleep better than those who don’t. It also helps in improving focus and memory and thereby avoiding cognitive damage through diseases like dementia.
Components of a balanced diet?
5 components of a balanced diet are:
- Healthy fats
- Vitamins and Minerals
A balanced diet basically means the right proportions of all these components. On an average a person requires 2,000 calories on a daily basis to function efficiently however this may vary based on age, sex, functionality etc. It is of importance to note the source of these calories. Calories that come from things like cakes, pastries, processed food, fried food etc. are known as ‘empty calories’ as they don’t add any nutritious value to your meal. Your balanced diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein rich foods.
- Fruits: Fruits are high in natural sugars which help regulate glucose and insulin levels without adding unnecessary fats. They are also rich in fiber which is great for gut health.
- Vegetables: Vegetables are rich in many vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. They round up all the necessary nutrients for the human body.
- Grains: Refined white flour is deprived of most nutrients from the grain as the husk/outer part of the grain holds all the good things which is removed by manufacturers while making refined white flour. Choose whole grain foods and products which retain all the original nutrients of the grain.
- Proteins: Proteins are arguably the most important part of your diet as they are responsible for healing, muscle development and other important functions. Great sources of protein include red meats, poultry, fish and egg whites. However, if you are vegetarian or vegan then beans, lentils, almonds, walnuts, soy products (tofu, tempeh etc.) are great options for your protein intake.
- Fats: Make sure you include a good amount of healthy fats in your diet daily. Healthy fats include fish oils, ghee, vegetable oils, peanuts, avocados etc. Avoid trans fats (which usually exists in packaged and processed foods). You can also include limited quantities of dairy-based fats like butter, cheese etc.
As much as a balanced diet is crucial for a good lifestyle, it is also important to incorporate some habits in your daily life which will help maintain the lifestyle. Some of these habits include walking, exercising or including any kind of movement for at least 20-30 mins in your day. Limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption as they mess with the system and contribute to many mental and physical issues. Remember to not skip meals and not eat massive amounts at one time. Try to cut down on snacks and avoid eating your way out of emotions, which basically means to eat according to how you feel. It is highly unhealthy and affects the body majorly. A good lifestyle is really not that difficult to maintain, it is not a rigorous crash diet, it is a long-term health commitment.