What A Balance Diet Really Looks Like

By: Shweta Shah

2 Oct 2021

What do you want from your diet ?

Lose weight, cleanse toxins, get a flat belly, boost energy, live a long and healthy life?

There is a way to optimize your health, to give your body exactly what it needs.
One that will give you a healthy, vibrant and youthful body.
And the good news is that it's really easy to follow.

balanced diet is the one that provides an adequate intake of energy and nutrients for maintenance of the body and therefore good health.
According to a research, a balanced diet is made up of one-third fats, one third protein and one third carbohydrates.
And it’s better to still have less carbohydrates in your diet.

Here is why you need all three for a balanced meal:

- Provides fast to medium release energy (around 1-3 hours)
- Boosts metabolism
- Inhibits insulin release hence steady blood sugar levels.
- Helps build lean muscle, which helps us burn more calories at rest.
e.g. meat, fish, cheese, tofu, yogurt, milk, beans, peas, lentils, eggs, nuts

- Provide fast to medium release energy (around 1-3 hours).
- Fuels your heart, muscles , brain, kidneys and nervous system.
e.g. oats, brown rice, sweet potato, fruit and most veggies

- Provide slow release energy (around 4 hours)
- Insulate us and protect our vital organs.
e.g. nuts, avocado, olive oil, cheese

Each macro-nutrient also has its own specific function in nourishing the body. Miss out on one category and it's likely you will feel deprived which will hamper even your best efforts to lose weight and feel good. If your meal has just protein + carbs then you will be hungry again after about 3 hours. But if you add fats to that same meal, you will be fueled for up to four hours, that is, no more looking for munches in between meals!

Do not be fooled! Eating extra protein does not encourage muscle growth! You will see high-protein food supplements on sale, eg. for athletes, or sometimes to build people up after illness. They do neither of these things. Eating extra protein does not improve muscles, and tends to reduce appetite so can even lead to weight loss. In the same way, if eaten in an excess of the dietary requirements carbohydrates are easily stored as fats in the cells.

Here are few things which are worth cutting from your diet:

1) Sugar and Sugary drinks:
   Sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. However, some sources of sugar are worse than others, and sugary drinks are the absolute worst. When people drink sugar calories, the brain doesn't register them as food. Sugar, when consumed in large amounts, can drive insulin resistance in the body and is strongly linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is also associated with various serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

2) Gluten:
   Avoiding gluten is a good idea for everybody. Wheat, especially refined white flour, stops up your gut, promotes inflammation, and leads to "brain fog" and other mood disorders. The biggest examples are pizzas and white bread. The pizza dough is made from highly refined wheat flour, and the meats on them are usually processed. Avoid Gluten free junk foods too. These products are often high in sugar, unhealthy oils and refined grains like corn starch or tapioca starch. These refined starches lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar, and are extremely low in essential nutrients.

3) Processed Foods:
   With labels on the back of every package, it's easy to see why you don't need this stuff in your diet at all. The ingredient lists are atrocious - a tongue-twisting mix of refined carbs, artificial additives, and unpronounceable chemicals. Processed foods are dead foods. Your body needs living foods to live. It needs plants that contain the chemicals and nutrients that make a body thrive. In general, avoid candy bars, processed meat and processed cheese.

4) Caffeine:

Stress, poor nutrition, and high caffeine intake can all lead to adrenal fatigue, and it's been estimated that up to 80 percent of the population will deal with adrenal fatigue at some point in their lives. Cutting caffeine is the first step. For a perfect day, swap out that coffee for a green smoothie instead. You will enjoy a natural energy boost, without the dramatic side-effects of coffee.

Now let’s check out some great stuff that should make your diet every day:

1) Vegetables and legumes (beans and peas):
   Vegetables and legumes have hundreds of natural nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Eating your vegetables raw is indeed sometimes the healthier option. However; there are also some vegetables which offer useful health benefits when they're cooked. Look for different coloured vegetables :
   - greens like beans, peas and broccoli
   - red, orange or yellow vegetables like capsicums, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin
   - purple vegetables like red cabbage and eggplant
   - white vegetables like cauliflower, mushrooms and potatoes.

2) Grains and cereal foods:
   Grain foods include rolled oats, brown rice, whole meal and wholegrain breads, cracked wheat, barley, buckwheat and breakfast cereals like muesli. Wholegrain's have protein, dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins. In processed grains, some of these nutrients are lost.

3) Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes (beans) tofu, nuts and seeds:
   These foods provide protein, minerals and vitamins. Legumes, nuts and seeds also have dietary fiber. It's good to choose a variety of foods from this group. A serve is 65g cooked red meat, or 80g poultry, or 100g fish, or 2 eggs, or 1up legumes, or 170g tofu, or 30g nuts, seeds or pastes (peanut butter or tahini). Adults should eat no more than 500 g of red meat a week. There is evidence that those eating more than 500 g of red meat may have an increased risk of bowel cancer.

4) Milk, cheeses, yoghurts:
   Milk gives you protein, vitamins and calcium. Soy drinks with added calcium can be used as a milk substitute.

5) 80 percent raw:
   The easiest way to eat right is remember: 80 percent raw. Focus on raw, whole foods and you'll be supporting your system with powerful plant-based nutrition. Raw foods alkaline the body, creating an optimised environment for health and wellness.

The rules seem simple but that's not the whole story - how much do you need daily, when is the best time to eat proteins or carbs and what should the portion size be? For this, you need to meet our experts at Fitza. Eat Right !!!