It is no surprise that: a balanced diet is essential to maintain a healthy life. It helps reduce the chance of diseases, keeps you energized all day, and improve your overall mood. But with so much information out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

We’ll break down the fundamentals of a balanced diet and guide you make a healthier choice so that you can make an informative decision on how to eat healthy. Whether you’re a beginner or someone who wants to refresh their knowledge, this guide is for you.

Table of Contents
1. The Importance of a Balanced Diet
2. The Basics of Macronutrients
3. How About Micronutrients?
4. How Much Micronutrients Do You Need Per Day?
5. Add More Fruits and Vegetables into Your Diet
6. Balanced Meal Starter Pack
7. Quick Tips: Drink More Water
8. Don’t Forget to Exercise!
9. Key Takeaways

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The Importance of a Balanced Diet

If you have a balanced diet, it will provides our body with the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, which are necessary for the functioning of our body. Eating a variety of foods from different food groups ensures that we get all the necessary nutrients in the right proportions.

Once you have a balanced meal set as your routine, the benefits are as follow: 1) Prevents Obesity, 2) Improve Mood 3) Boost ‘good’ cholesterol and 4) Decrease unhealthy triglycerides.

Contrary to popular belief, a balanced diet does not mean not eating certain foods. It’s all about moderation, a.k.a. ‘balanced’. It’s okay to indulge in your favorite treats occasionally as long as it’s in proper portion.

To achieve a balanced diet, include a variety of foods into your meals. This includes whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and low-fat dairy products. By focusing on these food groups, you can ensure that you’re getting all the essential nutrients your body needs. Speaking about nutrients, it’s important to know about ‘Macronutrients’ and ‘Micronutrients’ which are the two main types that your body needs.

The Basics of Macronutrients

Macronutrients are the fundamental nutrients that our body needs in order to function well.

There are three primary macronutrients:
– Carbohydrates
– Proteins
– Fats.

Sources: https://zoe.com/learn/carbohydrate-fat-protein-macronutrients

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy, found in foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Proteins are for building and repairing tissues. They can be found in meat, fish, dairy, and plant-based sources like beans and nuts.

Fats are for energy storage, insulation, and absorbing certain vitamins. They’re found in foods like oils, butter, nuts, and avocados.

Balancing these macronutrients in your diet is crucial for maintaining overall health and providing the body with the necessary nutrients it needs to function optimally.

In addition, our bodies also require ‘micronutrients’. These are vitamins and minerals.

How About Micronutrients?

Compared to Macronutrients, our body requires a smaller amount of Micronutrients. However, they are equally important to maintain a good health.

The Main Micronutrients includes:
– Vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, K)
– Iron
– Potassium
– Magnesium
– Zinc
– Calcium

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/micronutrients

Vitamins are necessary for energy production, immune function, blood clotting and other functions. Meanwhile, minerals play an important role in growth, bone health, fluid balance and several other processes.

Infographic below provides a simple overview of which food contains which type of vitamins.

Iron is crucial for the formation of ‘hemoglobin’, which is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. It also helps keeping a healthy immune system. Consuming sufficient amount of iron will help you prevent fatigue, weakness, or impaired cognitive function.

Iron can often be found in Seafood, Meat, Whole Grains, Nuts, Seeds and leafy greens (Source: Harvard.edu).

Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance, nerve signals, and muscle contractions. It helps maintaining proper heart function and blood pressure levels. Adequate potassium intake is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, kidney stones, and osteoporosis.

Foods rich in potassium include bananas, potatoes, leafy greens, soybeans and citrus fruits.

Magnesium: Magnesium is involved in energy production, muscle and nerve function, and protein synthesis. It also supports bone health and helps regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency may contribute to conditions such as migraines, osteoporosis, and heart disease.

The sources of magnesium include fish meat, avocadoes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables.

Zinc is essential for immune function, wound healing and DNA synthesis. It’s also important for children’s proper growth and development during childhood.. Zinc deficiency can impair immune function and delay wound healing.

Foods rich in zinc include meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Calcium: Calcium is crucial for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. It also plays a role in muscle function, nerve signaling, and blood clotting. Adequate calcium intake during childhood and adolescence is especially important for bone development and reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Source of Calcium are dairy products, leafy greens, tofu, and fortified foods are excellent sources of calcium.

Micronutrients are typically rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Deficiency of micronutrients can lead to a range of health issues, depending on which one you’re lacking. Therefore, make sure that you include enough micronutrients in your diet for overall well-being and optimal functioning of the body.

How Much Micronutrients Do You Need Per Day?

Now you know what each of the micronutrients do and their benefits, let’s look at some data. We’ve gathered a list of how much do you need for each micronutrients on a table below. Keep in mind that this number is only a general guideline. Also, your gender plays a role too:

Terminology
mg = milligram (one thousandth of a gram)
µg = microgram (one millionth of a gram)
IU = international units (?)

Reference: health.gov | betterhealth.vic.gov.au | National Institutes of Health

Add More Fruits and Vegetables into Your Diet

As mentioned above, micronutrients can be found mostly in fruits and vegetables, and because of that, they are a vital part of a balanced diet. They are important of how to eat healthy because they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, and are low in calories and fat.

If you’re already eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis then that’s good, but for those who dislike them, I’m sorry but if you want to have a balanced diet, then this is a must and you need to start adding them to your favorite dishes. There are simply no way around it.

There are various kinds of fruits and vegetables, and even if you don’t like eating them, chances are that you might find at least a few that you think it’s not too bad. Don’t be afraid to try new fruits and vegetables that you’ve never had before. You might discover new favorites.

Surprisingly, frozen and/or canned fruits and vegetables can also be a healthy option. Just make sure to choose products without added sugars or sodium. They are convenience and can be a great alternative when fresh produce is not available.

Now, to avoid any excuses that you don’t have time to go out for grocery, or the supermarket, we’ve also prepare you the lists of items that you can start ordering online. No more excuses, start to balance your diet now!

Balanced Meal Starter Pack

Here are the lists of prepared balanced meal, a quick starter pack for you at a click of a button:

1. HMR Vegetarian Entrée Pack

For Lunch or Dinner, ready to enjoy in just one minute, also, no refrigeration needed. Also high in proteins, supports weight loss, low calories, and also it’s vegan.

2. Healthy Choice Frozen Meals Variety Pack

The frozen Asian-inspired dish combines grilled chicken breast, rice and vegetables in an authentic spicy brown sauce to make frozen meals that are as delicious as they are healthy. 

A Full Set of Five : Sesame Chicken – Spicy Chicken General Tso’s – Chicken Margherita with Balsamic – Kung Pao Chicken – Beef Merlot

3. Nutrisystem® 14 Day Kit Flex, Ready-to-Go Breakfasts, Lunches, and Snacks

For Breakfast or Lunch, here is a healthy weight loss pack, good for 14-days. Packed with Proteins and Nutrition. A perfectly balanced meal!

4. Jenny Craig 14-Count Entrée Kit Menu

Another Full Set of High Quality Ingredients product. Prepared frozen lunches & dinners include: Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Potato, Chicken & Wild Rice Soup (x2), Chicken Burrito, Chicken Street Tacos, Fish & Chips (x2), Loaded Baked Potato, Orange Chicken, Bourbon Steak, Three Cheese Macaroni with Broccoli & Carrots (x2), Classic Cheeseburger (x2)

Quick Tips: Drink More Water

You might have heard this one before: Just drink more water, and yes, it’s true and might not seem to be a critical point but it’s a major part of how to eat healthy. Water is crucial for all life-form and stay hydrated is VERY important. And No. We’re not talking about Coke, Pepsi or soft drinks, just water.

Water plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including digestion, circulation, temperature regulation, and nutrient absorption. It’s important to drink enough amount of water throughout the day.

Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day.

If you’re physically active or live in a hot climate, you may need more.

In addition, drinking water has numerous benefits for your health. It can help maintain healthy skin, aid in digestion, prevent constipation, and promote weight loss. It can also help reduce the risk of kidney stones and improve physical performance.

Don’t Forget to Exercise!

A balanced diet goes hand in hand with regular exercise when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is the best medicine!

Exercise do burn calories, build strength, and improve flexibility. It can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Additionally, exercise has also been shown to boost mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Aim for at least 20-30 minutes of exercise per day.

It can be as simple as going for a walk, dance, or cycling. In addition to exercise, try to include strength training exercises, such as pushups, weight lifting (can be a light one), or pull up bar as well. This can help build muscle mass, increase bone density, and boost metabolism.

Start slowly! And gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time. Remember, this article is focusing on the term ‘balanced’, there is no need to rush.

By combining a balanced diet with regular physical activity, you can achieve and maintain a healthy weight, improve your fitness levels, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It’s all about finding a balance that works for you and making it a part of your lifestyle.

Key Takeaways

Hopefully this guide teaches you how to eat healthy. Remember that a balanced diet is all about moderation and making sustainable and small changes. By adding small changes into your daily routine, such as adding more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and do some exercises, you will be healthier, happier and reduce the chances to various diseases.