We’ve all heard and learnt about a balanced diet and why it is important to maintain a balanced diet at each meal. Healthy eating is one of the key pillars of a healthy life. Essentially, a balanced diet refers to a diet of a wide variety of foods packed with essential nutrients, in the right proportions consumed at the right time. A balanced diet must contain starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta, protein-rich foods such as fish, chicken or legumes and lentils, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, and a few fatty foods.
In the light of organic foods, it isn’t a gargantuan task to follow a balanced diet of organic foods. A conscious choice between organic and conventional foods and the healthy practice of sticking to a balanced diet is all that you need to ensure that you gain the most out of your meals. Here is how you can follow a nutritious balanced organic diet for yourself and for your family.
1. Load on the carbs:
The main source of energy of body fuel, carbohydrates form an essential part of a balanced diet. According to leading nutritionists, half the calorie content should be derived from carbohydrates. Indian meals and cuisine are made up plenty of plant sources of carbohydrates, forming 70% to 80% of the meal. Opt for healthier options such as organic brown rice, organic oats and organic millets which are carbohydrate-rich. Therefore, a meal should include ample amounts of simple carbohydrate foods – glucose and fructose from organic vegetables, fruits and organic honey, sucrose in sugar and lactose from milk – and complex carbohydrate foods such as organic cereals, millets, organic pulses and root vegetables.
2. Choose fiber:
Your body requires ample amounts of fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Fiber-rich foods are essential as they aid in proper digestion and healthy bowel movements. The best way to procure dietary fiber is to skip drinking fruit juices and actually eat organic fruits and vegetables. It is recommended to consume at least five portions of fruit or vegetables in a day. A portion could be an apple, a banana, a pear or similar sized fruits, a slice of melon, or three tablespoons of vegetables.
3. Power on proteins:
It is recommended by nutritionists that about 30% to 35% of your daily diet should consist of protein-rich foods. One can consume protein foods such as milk, organic pulses, organic leafy vegetables, eggs, white meat, sprouts and organic whole dals. A diet rich in protein helps the body by repairing and developing new cells and muscle tissues, as well as aids in the repair of various organs.
4. Fats are important too:
Fats are an essential component of a balanced diet as they provide energy, synthesize hormones and store vitamins. It is recommended that about 20% of one’s diet should consist of fats – polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Consume foods such as butter, ghee, mustard oil, olive oil, soya bean or groundnut oil, and fatty meats such as salmon, tuna, and cod.
5. Don’t forget vitamins and minerals:
Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that aid in metabolism, healthy functioning of nerves and muscle, bone health maintenance and cellular production. Minerals and vitamins can be obtained from plant, meat and fish sources. Up your intake of organic nuts, oilseeds, green leafy vegetables and fruits.
An ideally balanced breakfast should consist of foods rich in dietary fiber and carbohydrates such as organic oatmeal, whole grain bread, wheat flakes or whole grain rotis, protein-rich foods including eggs, milk, yogurt and organic sprouts, and nuts such as walnuts, apricots, almonds, and figs. For lunch, consume a mix of high-fiber whole grain foods like organic brown rice, barley, starchy carb foods, protein foods such as organic pulses and dals, cottage cheese, or white meat. You can add yogurt or buttermilk to add probiotics to your meal, and a salad for fiber. Dinner should consist of foods that deliver on high satiety value to curb those midnight hunger pangs – organic green leafy vegetables for vitamins and minerals, a moderate amount of carb foods, and healthy fat foods such as fish, seed oils, and nuts.
For snacks, replace junk foods with fresh fruit, nuts or salads. Remember to keep your body hydrated and refreshed by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.