September 02, 2020 2 min read

Need help finding the right diet? Well us at SportsPower Geelong thought we would help you out with our Diet Digest. This week we focus on the importance of a balanced diet.

There is a significant importance of balanced nutrition and a balanced diet.

Food is a basic necessity of life. It helps us to stay healthy and and be active. Unhealthy food habits like starving yourself; not knowing what is in the food you eat; over-eating; binge-eating; not drinking enough water; drinking sugary & carbonated drinks irregularly; irregular meal times; and a late night dinner will increase the chance of you developing various health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases and obesity.

In the current situation there are several fad diets followed by many people without proper guidance especially to lose weight and these fad diets are popular as well as diets such as the Keto diet, Atkins diet, paleo diet etc. Yet we all fail to realise that whether these kinds of diet plans are healthy, well-balanced and unsustainable our body needs all the nutrients in adequate amounts and in correct proportions to work and to make healthy body cells.

This would require a balanced nutritional diet.

A well-balanced diet includes the basic five nutrients.

The first one is carbohydrates which is the main source of energy for the body. Examples include rice, potatoes etc.

The second is protein which helps us in growth and development. Examples are meats such as chicken or lamb.

The third one is calcium. Dairy is essential for building and maintaining the strength of our bones. Foods high in calcium include milk, yoghurt, cheese.

Fruits and vegetables are also important as they provide us with vitamins, minerals and fibre.

These nutrients/foods are referred to as ‘protective factors’ as they help to naturally fight infection and improve our immune system.

Fats and oils are important to our body also because it plays a vital role in various functions, however these should be consumed in smaller amounts.

There are five food groups and for us to consume a healthy balanced diet, it is suggested we consume foods from each of the five good groups every day. However, the amount you are consuming from each food group will depend on your lifestyle factors including your activity levels, and whether to not you are growing, pregnant, breastfeeding and more.

These are:

-vegetables and legumes (beans)

-fruit

-grains and cereals

-lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds

-milk, cheese, yoghurt.

Vegetables:

  • 5-6 serves a day for an adult
  • One serve is half a cup cooked or one cup raw

Fruit:

  • 2 pieces a day for an adult

Grains:

  • 3-6 serves a day for adults

Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds:

  • 2-3 serves a day for an adult

Milk, cheese, yoghurt:

  • 2-3 serves a day for an adult

Discretionary choices are foods that are not included in the five food groups as they should be consumed in minimal amounts and not too often either.

Discretionary foods that should not be consumed often include:

  • Biscuits
  • Cakes
  • Ice-cream
  • Fruit juices
  • Soft drinks
  • Cordials
  • Lollies
  • Chocolate
  • Processed meats
  • Potato chips
  • Savoury snack foods
  • Hot chips
  • Fried foods
  • Alcohol
Brad Edwards
Brad Edwards



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