Health is defined as the complete social physical and mental well being of a Human being, physical fitness being the most important one. Everyone agrees that to have good physical health several factors have to be taken care of from regular exercise to a well balanced meal. A common problem faced by the people today is obesity which is basically a medical ailment in which there is excess accumulation of fat in the body.This disease is extremely wide spread and causes several life threatening diseases such as diabetes and also certain types of cancer not to mention it reduces life expectancy greatly.
Accumulation of excess fat happens due to consumption of too many calories but not enough of exercise, calories provide energy but when the body is inactive and the calories don’t get used the body converts them into fat and stores it.
A persons consumption of calories on a daily basis should be according to age, level of activity and gender. An average child needs only about 1200 calories while women roughly need 2400 calories and average men need 2800 calories however it depends greatly on level of activity for example an athlete needs much more calories consumption than a person with a desk job, however people often don’t keep track of their calories and don’t end up creating a balance between their exercise level and calorie consumption. There are several food items which provide us with what is known as empty calories, empty calories are calories derived from food which provide only calories and no nutrition, nutrition is very important for the body and if adequate nutrition is not provided the body will be unable to perform simple functions such as repair of tissues.
The main cause of obesity is a poor diet and overeating, yes we all love food but we should know when to stop. Balance is essential in life weather it is in life or in your diet, they say too much of anything is not good and this is absolutely true especially in terms of food ,It is utmost important to have a correct well balanced meal in order to prevent obesity and other such health issues also a balanced meal provides your body with nutrition needed for growth and repair of tissues for prevention of infection. But the questions arises what exactly is a balanced meal, according to its definition a balanced meal is one which involves all of the five main food groups. A balance meal should have a proportionate amount of the five main food groups which are
- Dairy products – these products include milk, cheese, curd and other milk based products, these products are rich in calcium which is extremely important for our bones. Deficiency of calcium can lead to weak bones and various bone related diseases such as osteoporosis in women.
- Fruit group – fruits are extremely essential as they provide us with several minerals and vitamins for example bananas provide us with potassium, oranges provide us with citric acid and apples provide us with Vitamin A which is utmost important for the eyes and in general fruit consumption prevents several health risks
- Vegetable group – the vegetables are important as they too provide us with several nutrients for example spinach makes us strong and carrots are good for eye sight.
- Grains – Grains such as rice are needed for a meal to be complete they prevent several diseases and are very important for a well balanced meal.
- Proteins – Proteins can be gotten from several products such as animal meat, eggs, nuts and soy. Proteins are vital for formation of bones muscles and tissues.They also help form hormones and enzymes.
These five food groups together when consumed proportionally in a meal help the body fight diseases. While deciding our meals we should also try our best to avoid extra calories as much as possible we can do this by watching what we eat and the following ways
- Replace your milk with low fat or skimmed milk
- In tea and coffee try putting honey instead of sugar
- When hungry eat a bowl of fruits and vegetables instead of chips
- Avoid sugary drinks such as colas and junk food instead eat naturally sweet food
- Avoid consuming foods high in salt and processed foods
following few of these easy steps we can ensure we don’t consume extra calories and we can now focus on creating a balance in our meals to provide ourselves with only the best. In our busy schedule it is often hard to find time to actually bother with a balanced meal and it seems like an awful effort and lets not mention the amount of time it takes right? I mean its way easier to just pick up a packet of chips or stop at a fast food joint on the way back without giving it second thought but what we don’t realise how adversely it affects our health but what we don’t realise is that a balanced meal is also effortless and there are several recipes which provide a balanced meal in under thirty minutes and having a balanced meal is much easier if we follow 4 simple steps
- Understanding and Identifying the elements that make a balanced meal, that is the 5 main food groups
- Scrutinize every meal, see what it lacks and try to include those elements into your meal
- Ensure that you maintain balance in all your meals not just dinner but also breakfast, lunch and even mid-evening snacks
- Plan your meals in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on anything important
Thus a little planning and efficiency can help us have balanced meals which not only improve our chances of battling several health risks but also ensure that we have a good health and thus a bright future.