- by Dr Paramesh S
- 1 Shares
- Apr 07 2017
What is a balanced diet
Balanced diet is one which contains different types of foods in such quantities and proportions so that the need for calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients is adequately met and a small provision is made for extra nutrients to withstand short duration of leanness.
Calorific values of Nutrients:
- 1g carbohydrate contains 3.75 calories.
- 1g protein contains 4 calories.
- 1g fat contains 9 calories.
- 1g alcohol contains 7 calories.
Objectives of a Balanced Diet:
- Don’t skip the meals.
- Eat at regular time.
- Variety of foods should be used in the menu. No single food has all the nutrients.
- A balanced diet should provide around 60-70% of total calories from carbohydrate, 10-12% from protein and 20-20% of total calories from fat.
- In addition a balanced diet should provide bioactive phytochemicals such as dietary fibre, antioxidants and nutraceuticals which have positive health benefits.
- Energy derived from sugar and jaggery is 5 % of total calories.
- One-Third of nutritional requirement – at least calories and protein should be met by lunch or dinner.
- If possible, meals should be planned at a time for several days.
- Usually the number of meals would be four and for very young children and patients, number of meals can be more.
- Ideally each meal should consist of all the five food groups.
- Processed foods contain a variety of food additives. They may not be nutritionally balanced unless fortified.
ICMR Five Food Groups
Five Food Group Systems
| I. Cereals, Grains and Products :|
Rice, Wheat, Ragi, Bajra, Maize, Jowar, Barley, Rice flakes, Wheat Flour.
|Energy, protein, Invisible fat Vitamin B1, Vitamin – B2, Folic Acid, Iron, Fibre.|
|II. Pulses and Legumes :|
Bengal gram, Black gram, Green gram, Red gram, Lentil (whole as well as dhals) Cowpea, Peas, Rajmah, Soyabeans, Beans
|Energy, Protein, Invisible fat, Vitamin –B1, Vitamin – B2, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Fibre.|
| III. Milk and Meat Products :|
Milk, Curd, Skimmed milk,Cheese
Chicken, Liver, Fish, Egg, Meat.
|Protein, Fat, Vitamin –B12, Calcium. |
Protein, Fat, Vitamin –B2
| IV. Fruits and Vegetables :|
Mango, Guava, Tomato Ripe, Papaya, Orange. Sweet Lime, Watermelon.
Carotenoids, Vitamin –C, Fibre.
| Vegetables (Green Leafy) :|
Amaranth, Spinach, Drumstick leaves, coriander leaves, Mustard leaves, fenugreek leaves
|Invisible Fats, Carotenoids, Vitamin –|
B2, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Fibre.
| Other Vegetables :|
Carrots, Brinjal, Ladies fingers, Capsicum, Beans, Onion, Drumstick, Cauliflower.
|Carotenoids, Folic Acid, Calcium, Fibre|
| V. Fats and Sugars :|
Butter, Ghee, Hydrogenated oils, Cooking oils like Groundnut, Mustard, Coconut.
Energy, Fat, Essential Fatty Acids
| Sugars :|
Significance of the Five-Food Group System
The five food group system can be used for the following purposes :
i. Planning wholesome balanced menus to achieve nutritional adequacy.
ii. Assessing nutritional status – a brief diet history of an individual can disclose inadequacies of food and nutrients from any of the five groups.
Based on the assessment, nutrition education can be imparted to the individual.
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