- Your diet should include all food groups: fats, carbs, protein and fibre
- Calorie-restrictive diets are not sustainable in nature
- A balanced diet can help you with weight loss as well
Eat a balanced meal including all food groups is something that health experts recommend regularly. Eating calorie-restrictive diets or diets which restrict on limiting intake of food groups like fats or carbs are not sustainable in nature. They may help you lose weight quickly, but may put you at risk of nutritional deficiencies and may also lead to side effects like too much cravings or irritability and mood swings. In order to feel healthy, fit and happy, it is important to consume a balanced diet which includes proteins, carbs, fats and fibre equally.
When you consume a balanced diet, it can help you lose weight and maintain your target weight. A balanced and nourishing diet enables your body to perform all functions effectively and helps you be disease-free.
Balanced diet tips: How to make your meals balanced?
Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar’s 3:2:1 proportion of eating meals involves filling half of your plate with rice, roti or millets, 35% of it with dal/sabzi or meat, and 15% of with papad/pickle/salad/curd etc.
This pattern of eating may seem to technical, but when applied it in real time, you will realise that it is the age-old pattern of eating in a way which allows for maximum nutrients and enhances taste. “In simpler words – maintain a 3:2:1 ration between grains: dal/sabzi: pickle/salad/curd,” Diwekar writes in her Instagram post, while sharing the benefits of eating in this proportion.
Benefits of eating 3:2:1 proportion:
- It allows your diet to be diverse. You can include a variety of grains, pluses, vegetables
- It can help you have a colourful plate which appealing to your eyes and taste.
- It can help in improving digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
- It can help in getting relief from constipation, acidity and bloating.
- It can improve satiety and makes you feel light and energetic.
Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal, on the other hand, share another interesting way of eating a balanced diet. Ask her about should a plate look for a balanced meal and she says, “Fill half of your plate with vegetables, a little over a quarter of the plate with whole grains and 1/4th of plate with protein.”
- The vegetables may be raw or cooked, cut-up or mashed. “Keep varying your vegetables. Vegetables are naturally low in fat and rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals,” Agarwal tells DoctorNDTV.
- Whole grains provide you with fibre and other essential micronutrients. Whole wheat, unpolished rice, bajra, ragi, jowar, quinoa, couscous, barley and buckwheat make for good choices.
- 1/4th of your plate should be filled with protein, which help in building and development of muscles and also helps you have strong hair and healthy skin. “Choose lean meat, fish, eggs, beans or nuts, lentils, legumes, soy as protein sources. Avoid red meat and processed meat,” recommends Agarwal.
- In addition to this, your diet must also include good fats in the form of healthy cooking oils like olive, canola, sesame, flaxseed, soy, peanut, mustard, or coconut oil.
Other tips to make your meals balanced:
- You can also take low-fat/ skimmed yogurt with your regular meal. It provides you calcium, vitamin D, potassium, protein, and more.
- If you are lactose intolerant or avoid milk, switch to alternate sources like nut milk, soy milk, or include ragi, sesame seeds in your diet for calcium.
- Don’t forget to make water the drink of your choice to quench thirst.
(Rujuta Diwekar is a nutritionist based in Mumbai)
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.