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What is a Balanced Diet and Why is it Important?

how-tos mindful eating Mar 01, 2021

What is a balanced diet and why is it important? The word "balanced diet" gets thrown around a lot, but you might be wondering what does that really mean.

Essentially a balanced diet is one that provides you with the nutrients that your body needs to function properly and generally includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and lean proteins. [1

The reason that a balanced diet is important is that when your body isn't getting the essential nutrients that it needs it can really impact your health by increasing the likelihood of disease, infection, fatgiue, and unhealthy eating habits. 

The great thing is that a balanced diet is not difficult to achieve. In this post, I'm sharing with you three simple ingredients for a well-balanced diet!  

3 Simple Ingredients for a Well-Balanced Diet

1. Prioritizes Nutrition

It's not about the number of calories you eat or the rules you follow, but ensuring you're getting the nutrients that your body needs. Those nutrients include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. 

Whether you're following a Mediterranean Diet or you're Plant-Based, the key thing to remember is that what works for someone else might not work for you. For that reason, as it's not just ensuring your getting the right amount of nutrients, but being mindful of how your body is responding to what you are eating. 

That might mean keeping a food journal when you're first getting started to ensure you're maintaining a well-balanced diet that works for your body, your wellness goals, and your lifestyle. 

2. Satisfies Cravings  

Ensuring you're eating foods that you enjoy is just as important as providing your body with proper nutrition. When you make satisfaction a part of your menu planning you will find that you tend to feel more in control when it comes to food. 

The reason many people feel out of control with food is that they are constantly restricting themselves from eating foods that they actually enjoy. Giving yourself permission to eat the foods you love, makes these once-forbidden foods less tempting. 

Interestingly enough, when you aren't constantly depending on willpower to keep you from eating something you'll find that it takes a lot less effort to maintain a well-balanced diet.

3. Varies Widely 

Eating a variety of different foods is essential for providing your body with a wide range of nutrients. If you're eating the same things all the time you're limiting the nutrients that your body is able to consume. 

If you're not getting the right amount of essential nutrients that your body needs for optimal health, you may become nutrient deficient. That's why consuming a variety of different foods from different food groups can help avoid nutrient deficiencies. 

This is not to say that you absorb everything that you consume, but making it a point to eat a variety of different foods is essential for maintaining a well-balanced diet.

In essence, a well-balanced diet is one that prioritizes eating nutritious foods, satisfies your hunger cravings, and includes a wide variety of different foods.  

As long as you're keeping these three simple ingredients of a well-balanced diet in mind, you'll be well on your way to healthy eating habits you can maintain long-term. 

Source

  1. Buter, N. (2020). Balanced Diet. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/balanced-diet

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