How To Eat A Balanced Diet
What you eat is one of the factors that makes the biggest difference in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At all ages is essential to eat a balanced diet that includes all kinds of nutrients and that is adapted to suit the needs of each stage of life. In this OneHowTo article we'll give you some tips for how to eat a balanced diet.
A balanced diet already begins in the first years of life, so parents and guardians should feed little ones balanced food. This way they will learn correct eating habits that will be easier for them to maintain throughout life.
For infants, food should meet the energy needs of little ones: high-calorie foods in small, frequent meals. Especially pay attention to protein, calcium, iron and vitamins A and D. These are important for increasing physical activity, avoiding a sluggishness and preventing problems that are becoming more common like childhood obesity.
This vital stage is characterised by rapid growth and development, which involves an increased need for energy and certain nutrients. This demand is different in boys and girls, since boys need more protein than girls. During adolescence, establish correct eating and physical activity habits; energy restrictions can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Note that girls require more iron to replace menstrual losses and adolescents of both sexes need calcium so that the rapid increase in bone mass develops normally.
Although it may seem wrong to make no distinction between the different age groups, the fact is that nutritional needs do not change much between 19 and 50 year olds, except during pregnancy and lactation.
So adults should follow a balanced diet based on a healthy eating plate, combined with physical exercise to avoid the inactivity involved in many occupations and careers. Proper nutrition will help prevent diseases such as obesity, but also prevent cardiovascular problems and osteoporosis.
Upon reaching old age, nutritional factors, along with lifestyle and other health-related aspects increase in importance. This age group needs less energy but a high intake of certain nutrients like vitamins and minerals. In many cases, what they eat will influence other factors such as diseases and conditions, chewing problems, chronic use of drugs when they eat certain foods, etc.
The elderly should stay active within their abilities, and consume diets high in nutrient density. Likewise, they should get calcium, vitamin D, increase consumption of vegetables, etc. And they should especially monitor their intake of water and fluids.
Pregnant women should eat a balanced diet to meet their needs for energy and nutrients contributing to the growth of the uterus, placenta and breasts, and for the foetus and to maintain proper nutrient stores in the mother. Still, maintaining the proper weight for women is important in pregnancy, because if it is low it may affect the baby's weight and the risk of disease. Whereas if overweight, there is an increased possibility of complications such as diabetes and hypertension during pregnancy.
During this time, iron, calcium and zinc intake should be greater as should vitamins A, D, K, B1, B2, B6 and folic acid. After pregnancy and during lactation, the mother will also need an extra supply of energy and nutrients.
Recommended intake of energy and nutrients
The recommended daily intake of energy and nutrients varies depending on many factors. Your age, sex or amount of exercice you do on a daily basis are key to knowing how much energy you need to get you through the day.
If you'd like to know more about this, you can see our article on how many calories should you eat depending on age.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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- In addition to eating in a healthy and balanced way, it's important to get physical exercise.