A balanced diet is a healthy diet
To be able to function properly, our body needs all the nutrients that come from foods, that is proteins, carbohydrates (sugar) and fats, plus vitamins and minerals. To help maintain a healthy weight and have the best chance to stay in good health, balance is key.
The WHO (the World Health Organization) has given recommendations in 5 points that summarize the basis of nutrition:
- Eat roughly the same amount of calories that your body uses. Healthy body weight = “calories in”- “calories out”.
- Eat a lot of plant foods: vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruits and nuts.
- Limit your intake of fats, preferring the healthier unsaturated fats to saturated fats and trans fats.
- Limit your intake of granulated sugar, ideally less than 10g/day.
- Limit salt / sodium consumption from all sources
A balanced diet is pleasure
Pleasure and variety are important in a balanced diet. Fatty and sweet foods are usually the most delicious and can be part of a balanced diet if eaten in moderation. A balanced diet should bring us our body needs, no more, no less, but it must not be strictly followed every day; equilibrium can be achieved over several days.
A balanced diet is for everybody
At all stages and conditions of life, we need a balanced diet that can be adapted while following the same principles, for example:
- Children, elderly people need a little bit more protein and calcium for growth, maintenance or repairing. Think of eggs, fish, white meat, legumes and dairy products.
- Students and families might find it expensive and practically difficult to eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Think of tinned or frozen fruits and vegetables that are cheap and nutritionally as good as fresh ones.
Did you know that tinned sardines are a good source of calcium? They are cheap and bring also proteins and omega-3 fatty acids.