Articles

Tue 27 Nov, 2012

Understanding and Maintaining a Balanced Diet


Embarking on a regular fitness regime is vital when it comes to leading a healthy and active lifestyle, but nutrition is also a fundamental aspect you need to take into consideration.

Creating and maintaining a balanced diet can seem like a daunting task, but once you know the basics of nutrition you will soon realise that it really doesn’t have to be, so making the right choices will eventually become second nature!

To help you on your way to a healthy lifestyle all round, we thought we would run through some of the important aspects of nutrition.

A Little Bit of What you Fancy…

chocolate

A balanced diet means you can enjoy the foods often considered bad without feeling guilty. Omitting foods completely can actually have an adverse effect and leave you feeling deflated (and more likely to crave these foods in excess). If you enjoy a packet of crisps every now and again there is no need to cut them out provided you are consuming foods across the board of food groups in appropriate proportions.

Getting your Five a Day

We all know that we should be eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day, which equates to a third of our daily food intake. What is not so well known is the sheer variety of what is considered to count towards this system; tins of soup can contain 2 portions and beans and pulses count towards one of your five a day. This wide variety means you don’t have to eat endless apples and broccoli to achieve this important part of a balanced diet.

Don’t Cut the Carbs

Many tend to shy away from foods such as pasta, potatoes, bread and rice due to their carbohydrate content as people link this with gaining weight. Carbohydrates should make up a third of your diet and their slow release energy makes them very important for those working out. Unrefined carbohydrates should be considered over refined alternatives as this will give you the whole of the grain. Whole grain foods are rich in fibre and have been linked to a reduction in certain cancers as well as heart disease.

Taking a Tip from the Professionals

The Food Standards Agency has a set of 8 guidelines to follow which will help ensure you maintain a healthy balanced diet;

1) Base meals on starchy food
2) Eat plenty of fruit and veg
3) Increase you intake of fish
4) Limit saturated fat and sugar intake
5) Do not exceed 6g of salt a day
6) Try to maintain your ideal weight through an active lifestyle
7) Choose water as your primary drink throughout the day
8) Always eat a sensible breakfast

By following these guidelines you can rest assured you won’t go too far wrong in putting a balanced diet into place for you and your family.

Image Sources:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/chocolate-high3.htm

http://www.chilliandchocolate.com/local-food-heroes/tell-us-about-your-local-food-heroe/

http://womansday.ninemsn.com.au/health/diet/994537/cous-cous-vs-rice.