We are all well aware that we should focus on our health at all times. However, a survey carried out by the Institute of Health and Welfare has found that a large percentage of the population aren’t really taking their health seriously.
Almost two in every three adults are either obese or overweight, which is a ninety five percent increase since 1995. An astounding 22,700 weight loss surgery separations were also recorded, which is a huge increase from around 9,300 separations in 2005.
While there’s a whole host of potential reasons for people being obese, ranging from medical conditions to a lack of exercise, it’s important to remember that a major part of our overall health and wellbeing is our diet, so let’s focus on that for now!
Why Strive for a Balanced Diet?
Before we get started, let’s focus on why you should strive for a balanced diet and why you want to actively avoid obesity. A balanced diet will provide your body with all of the vitamins, minerals, and fuel that you need to get by and carry out your day to day tasks and routines. You should actively avoid obesity, as four of the top leading causes of death have been linked to weight. These include heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Being obese can also result in general discomfort and difficulties in getting about.
Avoiding Fad Diets
Many people make the mistake of thinking that a fad diet is a balanced or healthy diet. Many fad diets guarantee or boast extremely fast weight loss where you will shed kilograms in a matter of weeks. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. Many fad diets completely miss out major food groups, or don’t provide you with sufficient calories to get by. This may result in fast weight loss, but it’s not good for your body and you are extremely likely to put all of the weight that you lost back on in a short period of time when you stop the diet. They should be avoided at all costs.
Recommended Calorie Consumption
The amount of calories that you consume on a daily basis will vary greatly depending on who you are as an individual and the lifestyle that you lead. Follow the general guidelines below in order to maintain a healthy weight or in order to ensure that any of your dependents maintain a healthy weight.
- Children aged 2 to 8 – 1000 to 1400 calories
- Girls aged 9 to 13 – 1400 to 1600 calories
- Boys aged 9 to 13 – 1600 to 2000 calories
- Active women aged 14 to 30 – 2400 calories
- Sedentary women aged 14 to 30 – 1800 to 2000 calories
- Active men aged 14 to 30 – 2800 to 3200 calories
- Sedentary men aged 14 to 30 – 2000 to 2600 calories
- Active adults over 30 – 2000 to 3000 calories
- Sedentary adults over 30 – 1600 to 2400 calories
Hitting All of the Categories
Fruit and Veg
Let’s start with the category that tends to immediately spring to mind when we talk about balanced diets. We should consume five portions of fruit or vegetables a day. You can generally determine portions by taking a handful of any given fruit or veg. One apple constitutes one portion, as it is relatively large. However, you will require a few more berries, grapes, or pomegranate seeds to do the job.
Fats and Sugars
Next, let’s focus on a category of food that we tend to avoid when talking about healthy eating – fats and sugars. Believe it or not, fats and sugars form an extremely important part of any good diet. Fat (in small quantities) provides the body with essential fatty acids that your body cannot produce of its own accord. These help the body to absorb vitamins A, D, and E. So, don’t beat yourself up for wanting something sweet and delicious and make an order with Corica Pastries.
Food that constitutes the bulk of your diet is likely to be high in carbohydrates. In fact, around one third of everything you eat should be some sort of starchy carb. This could be bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes. These are all good sources of energy and also contain fiber, calcium, B vitamins, and fiber.
Our bodies use protein to build and repair tissues, muscles, bones, cartilage, and blood. When we think of protein, we tend to think of meats. However, you can easily incorporate plenty of alternative forms of protein into your diet. Consider soy, tofu, nuts, peas, beans, lentils, and sources of mycoprotein, such as Quorn.
Dairy products help to keep your teeth, hair, and bones healthy, and it is recommended that you eat around three portions of dairy a day. If you are vegan, it’s important to remember that you can find calcium in sources that aren’t taken from animals. Try incorporating more tofu, pak choi, spring greens, dried figs, chia seeds, and almonds into your diet.
Avoiding Common Junk Foods
It’s easy to let plenty of junk food slip into your diet while putting meals together or snacking. Common culprits include bacon, sausages, cakes, cheese, biscuits, pizza, and ice creams. You should also consider making water your go-to drink, as many people rack up their calorie and sugar consumption through drinking excessive amounts of fruit juice, soda, and energy drinks.
As you can see, curating a balanced diet and sticking to it can help to ensure that your body is getting all of the nutrition that it needs. Sure, it may be easy and cheap to head to fast food chains or eat deliveries from the takeaway on a regular basis. But creating meal plans and sticking to a healthy balanced diet is more than worth your time and effort!