Healthy Food For a Balanced Diet
Food is any material taken from the earth to provide nutrition to the organisms. It can be in the form of seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits, or cooked or raw food. Generally, food is categorized into three, and these are carbohydrate, protein and fat. Usually food is of animal, plant or fungi source, and has vital nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, or fats.
Generally there are five main groups of food, which are carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, fruits and fibre. The carbohydrates include all sources of sugar that are digested, such as breads, cereals and pasta; starches, including potatoes and noodles; and fruits and vegetables which are high in both vitamins and minerals. Most foods are rich in carbohydrates, which are broken down to glucose and used as energy by the body. However, the amount of carbohydrates you eat greatly depends on your age, general health, height and weight and the amount of exercise you get.
Generally a healthy diet consists of food with a high nutritional value. A diet that is high in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain foods, legumes and nuts is considered to be a healthy diet. Foods with a high nutritional value are known as fibres. Fibre rich foods are necessary for keeping the body hydrated, for the production of hormones and for the growth and development of tissues. Thus fruits and vegetables should form a part of any balanced diet.
Fats, on the other hand, are fats that come from plants or animals. They are mainly obtained from meat, dairy products and some oils. Major dietary sources of fats are oil, peanuts, palm oil, butter, hydrogenated oils and butter. Some oils are Omega 3s that are necessary for the human body, but others are not, thus they are important for a healthy diet as well.
Lean meats such as low-fat beef, chicken, fish and turkey make up a good percentage of the diet. It is recommended to avoid red meat at all costs, though you can eat lean meats in small portions. Dairy products are the main source of calcium and vitamin D. Therefore milk, cheese, ice cream and yoghurt are highly recommended food items. Sources of protein can be nuts, seeds and beans. The best sources of protein are beans (such as black beans) and lentils; beans are also very good for your health.
To improve the flavour of your cooking, try blending some cooked meat with some of the dairy products instead of using them directly in your recipes. You can add some potatoes, pea protein or rice in your stir fries or curries, if you don’t like having meat or other animal protein. There are many ways in which you can prepare meat and dairy products and still have a low fat, tasty and nutritious diet. Try out new dishes today!