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How to Go on a Balanced Diet

Balanced Diet

A person going on a balanced diet should be getting sufficient vitamins. The trouble is that most of us don’t know what a balanced diet is. Unfortunately, doctors do not seem to be aware that many people are financially and otherwise unable to follow doctors’ rules. The restaurants and cafeterias don’t know either and that is why people have to use vitamins. What is the individual to do? How to go on a balanced diet?

Many recommendations in medicine are difficult for the public to follow, particularly in the food area. When you go to the grocery store, things are not packaged or labeled in ways that any person without a fairly good knowledge of nutrition will be able to follow.

A balanced diet is one that meets all the minimum daily vitamin and mineral requirements as well as the protein requirements. There are several different kinds of proteins which are essential to the body and for that reason you need a variety of protein sources.

Expressed in foods, that means that at least one meal a day should contain a major protein source, which includes lean meats, fish and poultry. For growing people, at least two meals a day should contain items of this group. Egg whites are an excellent source of protein and can be used liberally.

Fortified skim milk, low-fat milk and uncreamed cottage cheese are all excellent sources of protein and calcium. An equivalent of one quart of fortified skim milk should be used each day, particularly for older people to be sure they get enough calcium. Nonfat dry milk powder can be used in cooking also as a source of protein and calcium.

Mature bean seeds are also a good protein source and cereals contain some protein. Essential vitamins and minerals are found in fruits and vegetables. Accordingly, the balanced diet should, contain daily a variety of vegetables to include a leafy salad and two or three different vegetables every day, like carrots, peas and the colored vegetables. Tomatoes, of course, are excellent in the salad.

It is also wise to have some fresh fruit each day, an orange, banana or apple, and if you are not eating fresh fruit it is more important to have one fresh tomato a day.

Cereal is an important source of vitamins and you can get that from home-cooked oatmeal or any of the prepared breakfast cereals and a variety of breads. Unless calorie restriction is necessary, at least two slices of a good-quality bread a day are desirable, particularly if other cereal is not used.

If you follow these general principles, you are most likely going on a balanced diet. The things you do not need for a balanced diet are sugar and sweets of all kinds and starchy desserts and puddings. The real key to a balanced diet, then, is variety, with emphasis on the foods that give you a variety of vitamins and minerals with adequate protein.

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