What is Balanced Diet and Why Is It Important | Criteria of a Healthy Diet

What is Balanced Diet?

A balanced diet is one which contains all the proximate principles like protein, fat and carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins in due proportions and at the same time meeting the total energy requirements for keeping health, vitality and well-being of a person.

A balanced diet is that which contains a variety of foods in such amount and proportion that the needs for energy, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates and other nutrients are sufficiently met for maintaining health, vitality and general well-being.

Balanced diet
Fig: Balanced diet

A balanced diet provides the followings:

  • A sufficient number of calories,
  • Adequate amounts of protein, fat ad carbohydrate,
  • A sufficient amount of minerals and vitamins for maintaining health, vitality and general well-being.

Importance of Balanced Diet:

Balanced diet is so much important due to the below reasons:

  1. It maintains health, vitality and general well-being.
  2. It safeguards a population from nutritional deficiencies.
  3. It helps growth and development of any person.
  4. It protects the body against any infection.
  5. It prevents mortality and morbidity.
  6. It prevents infant mortality rate and low birth weight.
  7. It regulates the whole body process.
  8. It protects malnutrition and other nutritional deficiency disease.

What are the Criteria of a Balanced Diet?

The following criteria should maintain in a balanced diet:

  1. It should be easily available.
  2. It should be sufficient to satisfy taste and appetite.
  3. Diet should be palatable.
  4. A balanced diet must be easily absorb-able, digestible and assimilable.
  5. Fat and protein should be obtained both from vegetable and animal sources. At least one third of protein and fat should be of animal in origin.
  6. It should contain sufficient vegetables and fruits.
  7. Minerals and vitamins and minerals should be present in adequate quantity.
  8. To promote peristalsis certain amount of cellulose or roughage should be present.

Goals of Balanced Diet:

There are few key goals of a balanced diet which are presented in the below:

  1. Requirement of protein should be met. It should include 15 to 20 percent of the daily energy needs.
  2. Fat should be restricted to 20 to 30 percent daily energy needs.
  3. Include natural fiber in food to make up for the remaining energy need.
  4. For non-vegetarian, pulses can be reduced by 50 percent, add one egg or 30gms fish or meat in the diet.
  5. When pulses are not included in the diet then two eggs or 50gms fish or meat can be included.

Percentage of Food Items in a Balanced Diet:
Food items percentage in a balanced diet are presented in the following table:

SL No.

Food Items

Percentage (%)

01

Carbohydrate

50-70

02

Fat

20-30

03

Protein

15-20

More questions related to this article:
  • What do you mean by balanced diet?
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  • Why balanced diet is so important for all?
  • What are the criteria of balanced diet?
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  • Mention the food items percentage in balanced diet.

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